Daria Gavrilova at the Australian Open

How our local talent will line up at the Australian Open

The Lleyton Hewitt era of the Australian Open is over - in the singles at least.
And unless Bernard Tomic can make his way through qualifying, his Open dream is dead for 2018 as well.
But despite the absence of two of Australia's biggest weapons, there is plenty of promise on the horizon.
The draw has been revealed for the Australian Open, and we run the rule over the seeds and the challengers looking to make their mark at the home slam.

Nick Kyrgios (17) vs Rogerio Dutra-Silva (Bra)

Kyrgios bravely battled injury to take out his first domestic title at the Brisbane International, and Australians will be sweating on his fitness in the Open campaign. His assignment is tricky, but if he plays to his ability Kyrgios should be able to navigate his way through. World No.100 Rogerio Dutra-Silva will be no pushover in the opening round, while 15th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will likely await in the third round. Beyond that, Kyrgios won't meet any of the top four players until the semis.

Ashleigh Barty (18) vs vs Aryna Sabalenka (Blr)

Ashleigh enjoys a reasonable start to her tournament, facing off against Belarus No.96 in round one, and then either Italian No.78 Camila Giorgi or a qualifier in the second round. Things get much tougher from there, with likely match ups against 16th seed Elena Vesnina and then British ninth seed Johanna Konta.

Daria Gavrilova (23) vs qualifier

Dasher gets a dream start against a much lower ranked, yet to be named qualifier. She will then either meet Belgium world No.35 Elise Mertens or another qualifier, meaning she has a golden chance to progress to the third round. From there, anything is possible.

The rest of the men at the Australian Open

Alex De Minaur will compete at the Australian Open

Alex De Minaur has a tough first up opponent at the Australian Open

Teenager Alex De Minaur proved giant slayer at the Brisbane International, taking down Milos Raonic in straight sets. He will need to find that form again, as he has drawn tricky veteran Tomas Berdych in the first round.

Matthew Ebden and Jason Kubler didn't fare much better, and will face American John Isner (16th seed) and Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta (16th seed) respectively.

Thanasi Kokkinakis has a chance to ease into his tournament, drawing Russian Daniil Medvedev (world No.84). Likewise, Jordan Thompson has a chance to progress against Argentine No.94 Nicolas Kicker.

John Millman faces a tough task against Croatian Borna Coric from Croatia, the 21 year old coming in ranked 47 after reaching a career-high 33 in 2015.

Alex Bolt has drawn Serbian veteran Viktor Troicki, the former world No.12 promising a tough assignment for the Aussie 25-year-old.

Finally, Alexei Popyrin will meet American Tim Smyczez, a veteran on the decline in the rankings who is definitely beatable for the 18-year-old rising star.

Don't forget to tune into the doubles as well, where Hewitt will partner his retiring mate Sam Groth for one final salute.

The rest of the women at the Australian Open

What a nightmare for teenage talent Destanee Aiava, who has drawn top seed Simona Halpe straight off the bat. Veteran Sam Stosur didn't fair much better, drawing Olympic champion Monica Puig with a host of big names to come beyond that.

Australians Jaimee Fourlis and Olivia Rogowska will square off against each other, meaning one of them is guaranteed to make it through to the second round.

Finally, Lizette Cabrera will meet Brazillian No.71 Beatriz Haddad Maia in what could be an enthralling battle between the two young talents.

Fancy a punt? Here is our ultimate guide to betting on tennis, where you can learn all the tips and tricks to become an expert in time for the Australian Open.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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