Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been placed on the same half of the Australian Open draw for the first time in any Grand Slam since 2005. This means that Novak Djokovic, the current number one ranked player, won’t have to go up against either rival until he potentially reaches the finals of the Open.
Kim Clijsters may go up against French Open winner Li Na in the fourth round, which would be a rematch of last year’s Australian Open. Caroline Wozniacki is also in the same quarter-bracket as both Clijsters and Li. On the other half of the draw, Serena Williams is in the same quarter as both Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova. The bottom half of that draw includes Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who is ranked second and former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur.
Djokovic has won three of the last four majors which put to an end the non-stop wins by both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. In the past, Djokovic has fallen into the same side as Federer, with his only loss to Federer in the French Open semifinals. If top players go through to the semifinals this time around, Djokovic will face Andy Murray over Federer in the semifinals of the Australian Open.
During the draw, both Djokovic and Clijsters posed with the trophies and took a close look at the routes they would have to take to make the finals. Djokovic has both Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt in his sections who are both formerly number one ranked players.
"It’s a Grand Slam, everyone has motivation. We can’t underestimate anyone,” said Djokovic.
Nadal will play a qualifier in his first round match, however could meet Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals. Federer is in the same quarter as both Mardy Fish and Juan Martin del Potro who defeated him in the 2009 U.S. Open final.
Clijsters says she is feeling ready after recovering from a hip injury that put her out of play in the Brisbane International tournament. This will be her fifth major title in what she claims will most likely be her last season on the WTA tour.
In reflection, Clijsters had said that “Playing Li Na was one of the funnest finals I’ve played, also one of the best in a Grand Slam. It was a tough match. We both played well. Winning at the end gives you a lot of confidence. I was able to show the people here my best level.”
►Click here to view the full 2012 Australian Open Men's Singles Draw.
►Click here to view the full 2012 Australian Open Women's Singles Draw.