Coco Gauff and Venus Williams fight in the first round of the Australian Open

Coco Gauff was again sensationally attracted to Venus Williams in the first round of the Australian Open.

It was the victory over Williams for the then 14-year-old qualifying Gauff in the same phase of Wimbledon that catapulted the American teenager into world fame.

Gauff, now 15, has built on her brilliant breakthrough and won her first WTA tournament at the end of last season to break into the top 100 and earn direct access to the draw in Melbourne.


Defending champion Naomi Osaka plays Marie Bouzkova in round one, while Venus Williams plays Coco Gauff. # AO2020 | #AusOpen

– #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 16, 2020

Johanna Konta, the highest ranked British player, is placed 12th, but suffers from a knee injury and received a difficult assignment against dangerous Tunisian Ons Jabeur.

In a difficult part, Konta also faced Caroline Garcia, Caroline Wozniacki or Dayana Yastremska and, possibly in the fourth round, Serena Williams.

Katie Boulter’s return to grand slam tennis after six months with a back injury comes against the fifth seed Elina Svitolina, while Heather Watson takes on Kristyna Pliskova.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka opens against Marie Bouzkova and top seed Ashleigh Barty, on whom much of Australia will focus, will play against Lesia Tsurenko. Defending champion Naomi Osaka faces Marie Bouzkova in the first round (Steven Paston / PA)

In the men’s draw, the British number one Dan Evans faces the American Mackenzie McDonald.

It was confirmed shortly before the draw that Evans will be the 30th seed for the tournament – the first time that he is among the top 32 in a grand slam.

McDonald, a 24-year-old ranked 132, should represent a good draw and, if Evans can reach the third round, he has the root of a likely shot at defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Second seed Novak Djokovic opens his title defense against Jan-Lennard Struff. # AO2020 | #AusOpen

– #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 16, 2020

Kyle Edmund received a difficult first order against the 24th seed Dusan Lajovic, fresh from his ATP Cup triumph with Serbia, while Cameron Norrie will take over the French Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Djokovic starts against the dangerous German Jan-Lennard Struff while Roger Federer, who is in the same half as the Serbian, meets the American Steve Johnson.

At the top of the draw is number one seed Rafael Nadal opposite Hugo Dellien from Bolivia.

Nick Kyrgios, promoted to Australian number one after Alex De Minaur’s withdrawal, could be an opponent in the fourth round for Nadal, who is scheduled to meet his US Open final opponent Daniil Medvedev in the final four.