Lleyton Hewitt is facing his fellow first in final tournament

Resigning Australian star Lleyton Hewitt will play compatriot James Duckworth in the first round of his twentieth and last Australian Open.

Hewitt, who declared a year ago that 2016 would be his last crusade at Melbourne Park, was drawn against the 23-year-old Duckworth.

“It’s a fantasy first round for the occasion that Hewitt and Duckworth match up,” Tennis Australia CEO and competition executive Craig Tiley said.

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Both players got trump cards into the principle draw and the victor of the experience is prone to confront the overwhelming assignment of meeting eighth seed David Ferrer in the second round.

Australia’s sixteenth seed and most noteworthy positioned player, Bernard Tomic, was drawn against Uzbek veteran Denis Istomin first up, while 29th seed Nick Kyrgios will play world number 67 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.

The huge serving Sam Groth will confront a stern test on the off chance that he can move beyond Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, with world number two Andy Murray approaching in the second round.

Top seed and ruling champion Novak Djokovic will begin his push for a 6th Australian title against 51st-positioned South Korean Hyeon Chung, while third seed Roger Federer’s first match will be against Georgian world number 117 Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Fifth seed Rafael Nadal’s opener will be a rematch of the epic 2009 semi-last against Fernando Verdasco.

On the ladies’ side of the draw, Samantha Stosur, seeded 25th in Melbourne, will meet a qualifier in the first round.

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Stosur could keep running into Monica Puig, the Puerto Rican who thumped the 2011 US Open champion out of the Sydney International this week, in cycle two and after that fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in cycle three.

Australian number two Daria Gavrilova faces Lucie Hradecka in her opener and could strike Czech 6th seed Petra Kvitova in the second round.

World number one and protecting champion Serena Williams will dispatch her mission for a seventh title against Italian Camila Giorgi.

Kian Horren

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