Venus Williams, who lost the Australian final to her younger sister Serena last year, is seeded fifth.
Raonic, ranked 22nd in Melbourne, takes on Slovakia's Lukas Lacko on Sunday in a first-round match. Imagine walking through the actual house where Rubens lived and worked, seeing the landscapes that inspired Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and discovering an original painting by Jan van Eyck in the exact location depicted in the painted scene. The question is, how fit and healthy is Djokovic? The Flemish Masters of today are generating considerable excitement in fields as diverse as fashion, food, beer brewing and music.
"It's not an official match but still a test for me and good practice, that's the most important thing, that's the most important thing for the whole season", the 31-year-old Spaniard said, reaffirming his need to keep practising hard to be prepared for the Australian Open. So I think he's the favourite.
But with Murray out until the summer, perhaps this will be the year of the newcomer.
The tennis community and sporting world yearns for another instalment in the Federer-Nadal rivalry but while form is temporary and class is permanent, a lack of preparation may rob the Australian public of another unforgettable event.
Brother Mischa (32) and Albert Ramos-Vinolas (21) should not unduly trouble the 20-year-old, but six-time champion Djokovic, seeded 14th after his lengthy absence from the tour, could yet blow his portion of the draw wide open should he prove his fitness.
Nadal heads defending champion Roger Federer at the top of the men's seedings, with Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki seeded one and two in the women's competition.
In the second quarter, we find former Grand Slam finalists Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kevin Anderson.
This year's Australian Open was shaping up to be one of the most underwhelming editions, with numerous top-ranked players being forced to withdraw from the tournament because of injury.
Unseeded women have won two of the last three majors: Ostapenko at the French Open and Sloane Stephens at the U.S. Open. Former Australian winner Stan Wawrinka, who hasn't played since Wimbledon after knee surgery, is the same section of the draw and faces Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis first up.
For Djokovic, his opening competitive match will be tricky against American lefty Donald Young.
The Australian Open draw ceremony took place Thursday evening in Melbourne.
Court, a Pentecostal pastor, has strong views on homosexuality. "No, there's no chance". His big serve and powerful groundstrokes can take him into the second week, as long as he avoids a top seed early on.
It's not clear cut.
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