PA Sport

Day one highlights at the Australian Open

Day one highlights at the Australian Open
By PA Sport

13/01/2019 at 12:29Updated 13/01/2019 at 15:42

An at-a-glance guide to what’s on on day one in Melbourne.

The Australian Open gets under way at Melbourne Park on Monday with a host of intriguing match-ups.

Here, Press Association Sport picks out five of the best.

Roberto Bautista Agut v Andy Murray (Melbourne Arena, not before 0700 GMT)

A tearful Murray announced his impending retirement on Friday

All eyes will be on Melbourne Arena for what could be Murray’s last professional match. While his mind and most of his body are still more than willing, his right hip leaves him severely compromised. Spaniard Bautista Agut, in form and one of the biggest grinders on tour, offers a formidable challenge.

Kyle Edmund v Tomas Berdych (third on Melbourne Arena, where play starts at 0000 GMT)

As the 13th seed, Edmund would have hoped for a kind draw, but his luck was out. Last year’s semi-finalist will face former top-10 stalwart Berdych, whose ranking has dropped to 57 after back problems saw him miss the second half of last season.

Marin Cilic v Bernard Tomic (second in evening session on Margaret Court Arena, where play starts at 0800 GMT)

Bernard Tomic has climbed back up the rankings

Australia’s Tomic has been handed a high-profile first-round match against last year’s runner-up Cilic. Tomic failed to qualify 12 months ago but has climbed back into the top 100.

Alison Van Uytvanck v Caroline Wozniacki (first on evening session on Rod Laver Arena, where play starts at 0800 GMT)

Wozniacki defeated Simona Halep to win a long-awaited first slam title here 12 months ago but the rest of 2018 was a struggle and in October she revealed a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Belgian Van Uytvanck is not at her best on hard courts but has proved capable of big wins.

Sloane Stephens v Taylor Townsend (second on Margaret Court Arena, where play starts at 0000 GMT)

Sloane Stephens has struggled for consistency

Stephens’ last six grand slams have yielded one title, one final, one quarter-final and three first-round exits, which rather sums up the fifth seed’s unpredictability. In the first round here, she takes on one of the most stylish players in the draw in fellow American Taylor Townsend.