Johanna Konta’s bid for Australian Open success will begin against American Madison Brengle after the draw for the first Grand Slam of the year was made in Melbourne.
The British No.1 has some impressive history in the annual curtain-raiser, reaching the semi-finals in 2016 while a place in the last eight came her way 12 months ago, losing to Serena Williams.
She followed that up with her first Wimbledon semi-final to be the last Brit standing on home courts in 2017, and is keen to kickstart the new calendar year on the right note having slipped to ninth seed for the Australian Open.
That begins against Brengle when the competition gets going on Monday, the 27-year-old reaching the fourth round back in 2015.
Get past that challenge and Konta can likely expect to face No.20 seed Barbora Strycova in the third round, while sixth seed Karolina Pliskova could wait in the quarter-finals.
The Rio 2016 Olympian will be joined in Melbourne’s first round by Heather Watson, who faces Kazakh Yulia Putintseva, while Naomi Broady is among those in qualifying action.
Andy Murray will not be on court down under however, with the double Wimbledon, double Olympic and US Open champion having undergone surgery on his troublesome hip.
Kyle Edmund will therefore be Britain’s men’s singles representative in the draw, facing a tough test against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, ranked 11th in the world.