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Djokovic and Medvedev headline strong Adelaide field to begin season

The Australian Open may be two weeks away, but the 2023 ATP season won’t waste any time getting underway with a marquee event to ring in the new year. Joining the Tata Open Maharashtra on the Week 1 schedule is the Adelaide International, which features an absolutely loaded field. In fact, this has the makings of being the best 250 tournament on the entire 2023 tennis calendar.

Novak Djokovic headlines the draw as the top seed, followed by Felix Auger-Aliassime, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner, Denis Shapovalov, and Karen Khachanov. Adelaide’s unseeded contingent includes Andy Murray, Roberto Bautista Agut, Miomir Kecmanovic, Lorenzo Sonego, Sebastian Korda, and Jack Draper.

For Djokovic, this marks his return Down Under after infamously being deported out of the country prior to the 2021 Australian Open.

“It’s great to be back in Australia,” the 35-year-old Serb said earlier this week. “It’s a country where I’ve had tremendous success in my career, particularly in Melbourne. It’s by far my most successful Grand Slam. I’m hoping that everything is going to be positive. Obviously [fan reaction] is not something that I can predict. I’ll do my best to play good tennis and bring good emotions and good feelings to the crowd.

“Obviously what happened 12 months ago was not easy for me, for my family, team, anybody who is close to me.”

Djokovic will kick off his 2023 campaign with a first-round matchup against France’s Constant Lestienne. The 21-time Grand Slam champion could face Jordan Thompson in the last 16, Shapovalov in the quarterfinals, and either Medvedev or Khachanov in the semis. Among those on the other side of the bracket are Auger-Aliassime, Rublev, Rune, Sinner, Murray, and Korda.

Murray and Korda are going head-to-head in round one, while Rublev may have a tough opener on his hands against Bautista Agut.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.