Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic has the spectre of top-seeded Rafael Nadal looming over him at the Australian Open.
Eleventh-seeded Raonic was drawn in the same bracket as the world’s top-ranked player for the first grand slam tournament of the year, which gets under way Monday in Melbourne. But the 23-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., wouldn’t face Nadal until the fourth round, provided both survive that long.
Raonic will take on 28-year-old journeyman Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain in the opening round of the Aussie Open. The two have never met on the ATP Tour.
Another Canadian, 28th-seeded Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver, will play Samuel Groth of Australia in his first match. Pospisil is in the same bracket as second-seeded Novak Djokovis of Serbia.
In women’s singles, 30th-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., meets Hao Chen Tang of China in the first round. Bouchard is in the same bracket as world No. 1 and top seed Serena Williams of the U.S.
The men’s doubles draw, which will include Canadian Daniel Nestor, won’t be held until next week.