Australian Open 2019: Andy Murray suffers Novak Djokovic mauling in practice

Novak Djokovic is the favorite to win Australian Open says Roger Federer

Australian Open 2019: Andy Murray faces Roberto Bautista Agut in first round

And he gets his Australian Open campaign underway against James Duckworth, while Federer takes on Denis Istomin.

Serbian Djokovic heads into the tournament as favourite to win a record seventh title and his third Grand Slam in a row, while five-times runner-up Murray, now ranked 230th, will have far lower expectations at the event starting on Monday. Spaniard Rafael Nadal and defending champion Roger Federer were seeded second and third respectively.

Chinese top tennis player Wang Qiang is the 21st seed at the Australian Open on Thursday as Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep led the men's and women's singles seeding lists respectively.

"The hip is incredibly difficult to come back from for especially a tennis player and someone that has worked as hard as he's worked, put the miles on", ESPN tennis pundit Patrick McEnroe said.

The 1:30pm practice match was free to the public between the two who have met four times in the Australian Open final.

Should Djokovic, a six-time victor at Melbourne Park, beat an as-yet-unknown qualifier, he could face wild card Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the next match, with Denis Shapovalov a possible third-round opponent and Kei Nishikori potentially awaiting in the last eight.

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Halep, however, may be reluctant to look beyond the first round, having drawn her U.S. Open nemesis Kaia Kanepi.

Denmark's defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, who is battling health problems and poor form, is seeded three, one behind Germany's Angelique Kerber. He defeated Tsonga in the 2008 Australian final.

"I'm so close, I'll give it a go, " Federer said.

All the active grand slam winners in the men's game are over 30 and one of the most intriguing storylines will be whether the new generation can finally break the stranglehold.

Second seed and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber, bidding for a fourth Grand Slam title, will open against Slovenian Polona Hercog, with a possible quarter-final against 2017 U.S. Open victor Sloane Stephens in the second week.

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