JOHANNA KONTA FACES USA’S MADISON BRENGLE IN FIRST ROUND

British number one Johanna Konta will play American Madison Brengle in the first round of the Australian Open, which gets under way on Monday. The 26-year-old, seeded ninth, leads the British singles challenge in the absence of Andy Murray, who is recuperating after hip surgery.

Kyle Edmund and Heather Watson are the only other Britons with direct entry into the main draw. Naomi Broady could yet join them through qualifying.

Reigning champion Serena Williams is the other notable absentee following the birth of her first child four months ago, but Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka appear ready to play despite injury worries in the build-up.

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