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Nishikori to open against Kohlschreiber at Australian Open

KYODO

Japan’s world No. 7 Kei Nishikori will face 34th-ranked German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round of the Australia Open after the draw for the first Grand Slam of the year was released Friday.

If the seventh-seeded Nishikori comes through the early rounds, he could face French ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round, with Serbia’s world No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic a potential opponent in the quarterfinals.

Also for Japan, world No. 97 Taro Daniel has been drawn in the first round against Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic, while 116th-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka is up against Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.

On the women’s side, Nao Hibino faces a tough first-round assignment in fifth-seeded Russian superstar Maria Sharapova.

Misaki Doi opens against seventh seed Angelique Kerber of Germany and Kurumi Nara takes on Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin.