Australia Open: Andy Murray handed stern test, faces Roberto Bautista Agut in first round

Murray will retire from tennis in 2019
Murray will retire from tennis in 2019
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Andy Murray will make his return to the Australian Open with a tough first-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Spanish 22nd seed defeated Novak Djokovic on his way to the title in Doha last week while concerns about Murray’s fitness grew as he struggled through a practice match against world number one Djokovic at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Novak Djokovic in the ATP Qatar Open semi-finals earlier this month. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Novak Djokovic in the ATP Qatar Open semi-finals earlier this month. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Kyle Edmund, back at the scene of his semi-final appearance 12 months ago, was also given a difficult opener against former top-10 stalwart Tomas Berdych, who is unseeded following injury.

Cameron Norrie goes into the tournament as Britain’s form man and he faces a rematch with American Taylor Fritz, who he defeated to reach the semi-finals of the ASB Classic in Auckland on Thursday.

Defending champion Roger Federer takes on Denis Istomin in round one and is in the same half of the draw as Rafael Nadal, who has drawn Australian James Duckworth.

• READ MORE - Andy Murray: Australia Open bid in doubt after practice match with Novak Djokovic

Djokovic, who like Federer is bidding for a record seventh title in Melbourne, will play a qualifier in round one.

Johanna Konta begins her campaign against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, who she lost to in Brisbane last week.

Konta is in a loaded top quarter of the draw that also includes world number one Simona Halep, who faces a rematch with her US Open conqueror Kaia Kanepi, and Serena and Venus Williams.

British number two Heather Watson takes on 31st seed Petra Martic from Croatia while Katie Boulter, playing in her first slam main draw outside of Wimbledon, meets experienced Russian Ekaterina Makarova.