While his biggest rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are being challenged as early as the second round; Novak Djokovic hopes to ease past Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.
The Djoker, four-time Australian Open winner and reigning world no. 1, has been fighting an illness prior to the tournament but survived an early scare against qualifier Aljaz Bedene only to close his opening match in three sets (6-3, 6-2, 6-4).
He is now bookmakers’ clear favourite as he faces Kuznetsov in round two. For Kuznetsov, who sent Spaniard Albert Ramos- Vinolas packing in his opening encounter, a win would mean a first appearance in the third round in Melbourne.
It will be the players’ first encounter and the winner will face either Go Soeda or Fernando Verdasco.
Start: Thursday, Rod Laver Arena, third match of the morning session (starting at 00.00 GMT)
Kuznetsov has no major career titles, in comparison to Djokovic’s 48 career titles and seven Grand Slams.
Djokovic has won the Australian Open four times; Kuznetsov has only played three matches in Melbourne in his career.
Djokovic is currently ranked world no.1; Kuznetsov is 93rd.
Djokovic is the only player ever to win three Australian Open titles in a row.
Djokovic to win 1.00 (1/200)
Kuznetsov to win 19
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