Australian Open 2012: Men's Draw Preview

If it weren't enough that Novak Djokovic came off a 70-6 season, the Australian Open went and placed Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the same half of a Grand Slam draw for the first time since 2005. But that's not the only excitement that will happen Down Under.

Besides the usual big hitters of Djoko, Nadal and The Fed here are some highlights to the start of the men's draw.


SI.com: Australian Open men's draw breakdown and predictions | Full coverage of the Australian Open


Play opens with Bernard Tomic facing No. 22 Fernando Verdasco in Rod Laver Arena. The 19-year-old Tomic is fresh off a tournament win at the Kooyong Classic. The young Australian defeated American Mardy Fish in three sets on his home turf.

In last year's Aussie Open, David Nalbandian went five sets to beat Lleyton Hewitt in the opening round before retiring in the second round with fatigue. This year, the Argentine will face Finland's Jarkko Nieminen. Nimeinen won his second ATP title of his career when he beat Julien Benneteau 6-2, 7-5 in the Sydney International (a tune-up for the Aussie Open.)

Also, if Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick both win their opening round matches, it will be a chance to see the former World No. 1's facing off in the second round.

Be sure to check out the entire 2012 Australian Open men's draw here.

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