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Andy Murray will go into a Grand Slam as the No. 1 seed for the first time when the Australian Open gets underway Monday, but has been handed the dubious reward of a potential quarterfinals matchup with 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.Federer is...

Australian Open 2017: TV Schedule, Predictions, Draw Analysis As Murray, Federer, Djokovic Vie In Year's First Grand Slam

Andy Murray will go into a Grand Slam as the No. 1 seed for the first time when the Australian Open gets underway Monday, but has been handed the dubious reward of a potential quarterfinals matchup with 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.Federer is...

Australian Open 2017: TV Schedule, Predictions, Draw Analysis As Murray, Federer, Djokovic Vie In Year's First Grand Slam

Andy Murray will go into a Grand Slam as the No. 1 seed for the first time when the Australian Open gets underway Monday, but has been handed the dubious reward of a potential quarterfinals matchup with 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.

Federer is only seeded 17 for the event in Melbourne after falling outside of the world’s top 10 for the first time since 2002. The Swiss legend decided to call time out on his 2016 season after last year’s Wimbledon to fully recuperate from a knee injury that first occurred just days after a semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic at last year’s Australian Open.

Despite his unfamiliar lowly seeding, the 35-year-old has been given a kind introduction to the tournament. He will take on a qualifier in the first round and the winner between two qualifiers in the second. But things will soon get much tougher. Former Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych is a likely third-round opponent and, if he gets through that test, fifth seed Kei Nishikori could await in the last 16.

Murray may then be next. The Scot, who finally reached the top of the rankings late last year, will begin with a first-round match against Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko and is in the same half of the draw as U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka.

Britain's Andy Murray hits a shot during a training session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters/David Gray

On the other side of the draw, Djokovic will begin with a potentially tricky matchup against Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco. Djokovic, a record six-time winner of the Australian Open, holds a 9-4 head-to-head advantage, but had to save five match points in their last meeting in Doha just two weeks ago.

Djokovic could face off with his long-term rival Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. However, the Spaniard could have to get through Gael Monfils and Milos Raonic to get that far after, like Federer, falling down the rankings because of injury.

On the women’s side, there is also a new No. 1 seed in a Grand Slam. Angelique Kerber enjoyed a year to savor in 2016, which all began with her upset victory over Serena Williams in the final of the Australian Open. The German, who also won the U.S. Open, will begin her first defense of a Grand Slam title against Ukrainian world No. 61 Lesia Tsurenko. From there she could face a tough fourth-round encounter against Venus Williams.

As for the other Williams, Serena has, like her fellow six-time champion Djokovic, been handed a less than ideal start to the event. In the first round, the 22-time Grand Slam champion will face off against Belinda Bencic. The talented Swiss teenager has fallen down to 48th in the world after an injury-riddled 2016, but was as high as No. 7 a year ago and beat Williams in their most recent matchup in Toronto in 2015.

Things do not get any easier from there for the newly engaged 35-year-old, with former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova a potential second-round opponent.

Predictions

Men’s Champion: 
Novak Djokovic

Women’s Champion: Angelique Kerber

TV Schedule (all times EST)

Sunday, Jan. 15


7 p.m. - 7 a.m.: First round, ESPN2

Monday, Jan. 16

9:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.: First round, ESPN2

Tuesday, Jan. 17 

9 p.m. - 7:00 AM: Second round, ESPN2

Wednesday, Jan. 18 

9 p.m. - 7 a.m.: Second round, ESPN2

Thursday, Jan. 19

11 p.m.- 7 a.m.: Third round, ESPN 2

Friday, Jan. 20

9 p.m. - 7 a.m.: Third round, ESPN2

Saturday, Jan. 21

9 p.m. - 7 a.m.: Fourth round, ESPN2

Sunday, Jan. 22

9 p.m. - 7 a.m.: Fourth round, ESPN2

Monday, Jan. 23 

9 p.m. - 2 a.m.: Quarterfinals, ESPN2

Tuesday, Jan. 24

3 a.m. - 6 a.m.: Quarterfinals, ESPN2

9 p.m. - 2 a.m.: Quarterfinals, ESPN2

Wednesday, Jan. 25

3:30 a.m. - 6:00 a.m.: Quarterfinals, ESPN2

9:30 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.: Women’s semifinals, ESPN2

Thursday, Jan. 26

3:30 a.m. - 6:00 a.m.: Men’s semifinals, ESPN



Friday, Jan. 27

3:30 a.m. - 6 a.m.: Men’s semifinals, ESPN

Saturday, Jan. 28

3 a.m. - 5:30 a.m.: Women’s final, ESPN

Sunday, Jan. 29

3 a.m. - 6:30 a.m.: Men’s final, ESPN

Live stream: The whole tournament will be available to live stream on Watch ESPN.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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