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Young Coco to do battle with Williams again

 

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Big upset: teenager Cori Gauff after she defeated Venus Williams at Wimbledon

Big upset: teenager Cori Gauff after she defeated Venus Williams at Wimbledon

AFP/Getty Images

Big upset: teenager Cori Gauff after she defeated Venus Williams at Wimbledon

Coco Gauff was sensationally drawn against Venus Williams again in the first round of the Australian Open.

It was victory over Williams for then 14-year-old qualifier Gauff at the same stage of Wimbledon that catapulted the American teenager to global stardom.

Gauff, now 15, has built on her breakthrough brilliantly, winning her first WTA tournament at the end of last season to break into the top 100 of the world rankings and earn direct entry to the draw in Melbourne.

Johanna Konta, the highest-ranked British player, is seeded 12th but has been struggling with a knee injury and was given a tricky assignment against dangerous Tunisian Ons Jabeur.

A difficult section could see Konta come up against Caroline Garcia, Caroline Wozniacki or Dayana Yastremska and, in the fourth round, Serena Williams.

Katie Boulter's return to Grand Slam tennis after six months out with a back injury will come against fifth seed Elina Svitolina, while Heather Watson takes on Kristyna Pliskova.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka opens against Marie Bouzkova and top seed Ashleigh Barty takes on Lesia Tsurenko.

In the men's draw, British No.1 Dan Evans faces American Mackenzie McDonald.

Evans is the 30th seed - the first time he has been among the top 32 at a Grand Slam.

If Evans can reach the third round, then could face defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Kyle Edmund was given tricky 24th seed Dusan Lajovic.

Djokovic opens against German Jan-Lennard Struff, Roger Federer meets American Steve Johnson and No.1 seed Rafa Nadal faces Bolivia's Hugo Dellien.

Belfast Telegraph