Federer to keep an eye on Hewitt’s match

Swiss superstar Roger Federer will join many around the country and tune in for Lleyton Hewitt’s potential Australian Open swansong.

Hewitt’s 20th – and final – Australian Open campaign starts on Tuesday night, when he faces compatriot James Duckworth on Rod Laver Arena.

Third seed Federer will take a break from plotting his tilt at an 18th grand slam title to keep an eye on Hewitt’s first-round clash.

“I’ll watch him very closely in this tournament,” Federer said in his courtside interview after winning on Monday night.

“I don’t think I will be at the stadium. I don’t think there’s any more tickets available, he’s using them all.

“I’ll be watching it on the television and enjoying his battles.

“He’s had a wonderful career … it’s a wonderful finish for him, regardless of how it (the match against Duckworth) goes.”

Rod Laver Arena will host another of day two’s most eagerly-anticipated clashes, with Rafael Nadal facing Fernando Verdasco in an all-Spanish affair.

Nadal and Verdasco played out an epic 2009 semi-final at Melbourne Park, which lasted five hours and 14 minutes.

Andy Murray, a four-time finalist at Melbourne Park, and 2014 Open champion Stan Wawrinka will also play on Tuesday.

Second seed Murray is tackling German teenager Alexander Zverev in the first round, while fourth seed Wawrinka is up against Russian veteran Dmitry Tursunov.

Bernard Tomic, the highest-ranked of Australia’s 18 representatives in the singles draws, starts his campaign with a match against Uzbek Denis Istomin.

Sam Groth, John Millman, Matthew Ebden and Jordan Thompson are the other Australian men scheduled to play on day two.

Priscilla Hon, Storm Sanders, Maddison Inglis, Jarmila Wolfe, Kimberly Birrell and Tammi Patterson are the local women’s hopes in action on Tuesday.

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