Australian Open 2019 draw, bracket: Potential Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic final; Serena Williams faces tough road
Serena Williams is in the same bracket as Simona Halep
The Australian Open begins on Monday, and Thursday gave us the draw, which means we now know who's playing who. One of the first things that jumps off the bracket is that Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic could play each other in the finals. Both of them have six Australian Open titles, tied with Roy Emerson for the most ever, so they could be playing for the most ever if they get through their respective brackets.
One the women's side, Serena Williams is trying to win her 24th Grand Slam, which would tie her with Margaret Court for the most ever. Williams has made the last two women's singles finals, losing to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon and Naomi Osaka in the US Open. Williams, 37, is in the same bracket as WTA No. 1 Simona Halep, so it'll be a long road for her.
Venus Williams could play Halep as early as the third round, whereas Serena would have her in the fourth if the bracket goes chalk.
Osaka is the No. 4 seed, and her side of the bracket is shared with Anastasija Sevastova. Osaka broke out at last year's Open with an incredible run that ultimately ended in her defeat of Williams. At just 21, Osaka is coming off a tough loss at Brisbane to Lesia Tsurenko, but her attitude after the match shows that she's refocusing.
"If I'm being really frank, I just feel like I had like the worst attitude today," she said after that match, per Tennis World USA. "I feel like I didn't really know how to cope with not playing well. So, I don't know, like I was sulking a little bit, and like there are moments that I tried not to do that. But then the ball wouldn't go in, and then I would go back to being like childish and stuff."
Caroline Wozniacki is looking to defend her title, but a second-round loss to Tsurenko at the US Open, Ekaterina Makarova at Wimbledon and a fourth-round loss to Daria Kasatkina are still looming. Last year she won her first career Grand Slam in Melbourne, now she wants to expand her portfolio.
Rafael Nadal, the No. 2 seed, is sharing a bracket with Kyle Edmund, who's looking to return to form after a brutal Brisbane International loss to Yasutaka Uchiyama. A potential semifinal match with Federer looms if he's able to power through, but his quarterfinal section would include Kevin Anderson and John Isner. An Anderson-Isner rematch, of course, would evoke memories of last year's Wimbledon when the two played a marathon against each other.
Should things go chalk, Federer's quarterfinal matchup would be Marin Cilic, but in Cilic's section Karen Khachanov is looking to play spoiler.
Kei Nishikori and Djokovic could play in the quarterfinals after Djokovic swept Nishikori in the semifinals of the US Open. Djokovic has won the last two men's majors, and he's looking for No. 3. Andy Murray has a relatively favorable draw himself, ending up in Cilic and Khachanov's bracket, but he'll need to prove he's back on Djokovic, Federer and Nadal's level.
Several records could fall in this year's Open, but it's a new year. The new guard is still creeping, and they do not want Federer, Nadal and Djokovic to win every major against this year. On the women's side, Williams is trying to break records herself, but she's facing a talented field.
Sharapova has looked incredible all tournament, and a high-profile win Thursday solidified...
Novak Djokovic looked slightly less dominant, but dominant nevertheless
Breaking down every notable matchup you need to know from Melbourne
Sharapova has looked excellent early in the Open
Halep had some trouble with Kaia Kanepi in her opening match
In the women's bracket, Caroline Wozniacki also advanced with relative ease