Djokovic to begin against Lestienne in Adelaide; Murray v Korda in round one

The former world No 1 could face Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals

Novak Djokovic Adelaide fans 2022 AI / Reuters / Panoramic

The new year looks set to begin with a bang in Adelaide with a few first-round crackers and the return to Australia of Novak Djokovic.

Twelve months on from his ignominious deportation from Australia after his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, Djokovic is back and will be the No 1 seed for the stacked ATP 250 event.

The former world No 1 takes on Constant Lestienne of France in round one and is drawn in the same half as Daniil Medvedev, the Russian who denied him the calendar-year Grand Slam in 2021. Medvedev begins against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy and he and Djokovic are seeded to meet in the semi-finals.

Murray looking for strong start to year

Before then, though, there are some mouthwatering match-ups, none more so than the one between former world No 1 Andy Murray and young American Seb Korda.

Korda won their only previous meeting, in Gijon, last year, but Murray, back in the world’s top 50 and with big hopes for 2023, is intent on starting the year strong. The winner could play Andrey Rublev, though the Russian has to get past Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain first.

Italian Jannik Sinner takes on Britain’s Kyle Edmund, a former Australian Open semi-finalist, making his way back from injury, in another first-round battle while defending champion Thanasi Kokkinakis opens his title defence against serve and volleyer Maxime Cressy.

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