SA's Anderson faces a tricky first round at the Australian Open

Kevin Anderson of South Africa plays a backhand against Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the 2018 Kooyong Classic at Kooyong on January 10, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.
Kevin Anderson of South Africa plays a backhand against Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the 2018 Kooyong Classic at Kooyong on January 10, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.
Image: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson faces a tricky first round encounter at the Australian Open in the early hours of Monday morning when he takes on world number 49 Kyle Edmund in Melbourne.

Anderson‚ seeded 11‚ is in the bottom half of the draw.

World number 1 Rafa Nadal‚ who beat Anderson in last year’s US Open final at Flushing Meadows‚ is in the same half of the draw as the big South African.

Edmund is the only British player in the men’s singles after Andy Murray’s withdrawal through injury.

The last‚ and only time Anderson and Edmund have met‚ was in the third round at the 2017 French Open.

It took Anderson five sets to subdue the gritty Englishman‚ although the faster courts in Melbourne should suit the big-serving South African’s game.

Despite a potential semi-final against Nadal‚ if both progress that far‚ Anderson has a decent early draw.

No 18 seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille is a potential third round opponent‚ but until the quarterfinals where a potential clash with No 3 Grigor Dimitrov awaits‚ Anderson has a good chance to advance deep into week two.

Men's draw for the 2018 Australian Open:

TOP HALF

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) v Victor Estrelle Burgos (DOM)

Nicolas Jarry (CHI) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)

John Millman (AUS) v Borna Coric (CRO)

Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) v Damir Dzumhur (BIH x28)

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x24) v Dusan Lajovic (SRB)

Qualifier v Qualifier

Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR x14) v Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT)

Matthew Ebden (AUS) v John Isner (USA x16)

Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x10) v Jason Kubler (AUS)

Gilles Simon (FRA v Marius Copil (ROM)

Qualifier v Malek Jaziri (TUN)

Federico Delbonis (ARG) v Gilles Muller (LUX x23)

Pablo Cuevas (URU x31) v Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)

Dudi Sela (ISR) v Ryan Harrison (USA)

Qualifier v Joao Sousa (POR)

Lu Yen-hsun (TPE) v Marin Cilic (CRO x6)

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x3) v Qualifier

Qualifier v Qualifier

Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) v Qualifier

David Ferrer (ESP) v Andrey Rublev (RUS x30)

Nick Kyrgios (AUS x17) v Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA)

Viktor Troicki (SRB) v Alex Bolt (AUS)

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) v Denis Shapovalov (CAN)

Qualifier v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x15)

Kevin Anderson (RSA x11) v Kyle Edmund (GBR)

Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) v Denis Istomin (UZB)

Gerald Melzer (AUT) v Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO)

Qualifier v Lucas Pouille (FRA x18)

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x27) v Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN)

Andreas Seppi (ITA) v Corentin Moutet (FRA)

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) v Laslo Djere (SRB)

Yuichi Sugita (JPN) v Jack Sock (USA x8)

BOTTOM HALF

Dominic Thiem (AUT x5) v Guido Pella (ARG)

Steve Johnson (USA) v Qualifier

Qualifier v Jiri Vesely (CZE)

Filip Krajonovic (SRB) v Adrian Mannarino (FRA x26)

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x20) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) v Maximilian Marterer (GER)

Jeremy Chardy (FRA) v Tennys Sandgren (USA)

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI x9)

Novak Djokovic (SRB x14) v Donald Young (USA)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Qualifier

Tim Smyczek (USA) v Alexei Popyrin (AUS)

Jared Donaldson (USA) v Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP x21)

Mischa Zverev (GER x32) v Hyeon Chung (KOR)

Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v Daniil Medvedev (RUS)

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v Peter Gojowczyk (GER)

Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) v Alexander Zverev (GER x4

David Goffin (BEL x7) v Qualifier

Julien Benneteau (FRA) v Taro Daniel (JPN)

Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) v Florian Mayer (GER)

Horacio Zeballos (ARG) v Fabio Fognini (ITA x25)

Tomas Berdych (CZE x19)v Alex de Minaur (AUS)

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) v Benoit Paire (FRA)

Karen Khachanov (RUS) v Qualifier

Frances Tiafoe (USA) v Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x12)

Sam Querrey (USA x13) v Feliciano Lopez (ESP)

Radu Albot (MDA) v Marton Fucsovics (HUN)

Nicolas Kicker (ARG) v Jordan Thompson (AUS)

Lukas Lacko (SVK) v Milos Raonic (CAN x22)

Richard Gasquet (FRA x29) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO)

Qualifier v Robin Haase (NED)

Kwon Soon-Woo (KOR) v Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)

Aljaz Bedene (SLO) v Roger Federer (SUI x2)

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