Match: Novak Djokovic v Fernando Verdasco
Date: 17 January, Tuesday
Time: 4pm SGT/1:30pm IST/8am GMT (onwards)
Competition: Australian Open 2017
Venue: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park
TV Channel: In Singapore, Fox Sports will provide live TV coverage.
Novak Djokovic faces the toughest test in the opening round when compared to his Big Four mates Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the season's first Grand Slam in Australia.
The second seed will be up against world number 33 Fernando Verdasco, who tested the Serb in the semi-final of the recently-concluded Qatar Open. Djokovic lost a set and conceded five match points but held his nerve to win the clash 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 enroute to the title match, in which he defeated world number one Andy Murray.
However, Djokovic has won the title in Melbourne six times in the past and the defending champion has it in him to brush off a challenge from the Spaniard. The Serb, who has a staggering 57-6 record at the Australian Open, will be eyeing a record seventh title at his favourite Slam.
Djokovic is in fine form after toppling in-form Murray in Qatar but the world number two is not willing to become complacent. Calling Verdasco, against whom he has a 9-4 head-to-head record, a complete player, the 29-year-old recollects how the Spaniard knocked out Nadal in the opening round of last year's tournament. Notably, the Serb has won their last five meetings with his last defeat coming in 2010.
"Fernando is a very complete player on any surface. In a given day, if things go right, he can beat really anybody on any surface, as I said. Nadal last year in five sets, he won first round," Djokovic said, as quoted by the Herald Sun.
"I am expecting a tough one, there is no doubt about it."
India: Sony Six
Japan: NHK, WOWOW, Sportsnavi
Malaysia: Fox Sports
Philippines: Fox Sports
Thailand: Fox Sports
China: CCTV, Guangdong Sports, BTV Sports