Novak Djokovic will begin his quest for an eighth Australian Open title against Jan-Lennard Struff, while Ash Barty’s bid to become the first homegrown singles champion at the year’s first Grand Slam since 1978 starts against Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.

Serbian Djokovic is defending champion after winning his record seventh Melbourne Park crown in last year’s final against Rafa Nadal, who is the top seed this year and will face Bolivian Hugo Dellien as he aims for a 20th Grand Slam title.

American Serena Williams is only one Grand Slam title short of Australian Margaret Court’s record of 24 and the eighth seed begins her bid for an eighth Melbourne Park crown with a tie against Russian Anastasia Potapova.

Japan’s Naomi Osaka, seeded third, won her second Grand Slam crown in Australia last year and starts her title defence against Czech Marie Bouzkova.

Rising American talent Coco Gauff plays twice champion Venus Williams, who she beat on her main draw Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon last year.

Only one man has won more major men’s singles titles than Nadal and Swiss Roger Federer will open his search for a 21st with a first-round match against American Steve Johnson.

French Open champion Barty, the women’s top seed and world number one, will be looking to end Australia’s 42-year wait for a home champion since the unseeded Chris O’Neill won the title at Kooyong.

Coco Gauff meanwhile was sensationally drawn against Venus Williams again in the first round.

It was victory over Williams for then 14-year-old qualifier Gauff at the same stage of Wimbledon that catapulted the American teenager to global stardom.

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

Johanna Konta, the highest-ranked British player, is seeded 12th but has been struggling with a knee injury and was given a tricky assignment against dangerous Tunisian Ons Jabeur.

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