Gauff and Williams’s match is sure to highlight the Australian Open’s first round, the schedule for which has not yet been released. Main draw play will begin Monday morning (Sunday evening Eastern time).
Williams, 39, pulled out of this month’s lead-up tournaments to the year’s first major tournament with a hip injury.
(The entire women’s singles draw can be viewed here. The men’s singles draw is here.)
The two Americans aren’t the only stars in their quarter of the draw. Defending champion and No. 3 seed Naomi Osaka heads a jam-packed group that includes No. 8 seed Serena Williams, who is seeking a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title. Serena Williams begins her tournament against 90th-ranked Anastasia Potapova. There are two other seeded Americans in the quarter in No. 24 Sloane Stephens and No. 14 Sofia Kenin.
Either Gauff or Venus Williams, should they advance, could meet Osaka in the third round.
Caroline Wozniacki, a past champion in Melbourne and former world No. 1, also sits in this section of the draw. The Dane, who plans to retire after the Australian Open, will play American Kristie Ahn in the first round. Wozniacki, 29, revealed in 2018 that she has rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain and issues with mobility.
The top seed in the women’s tournament is Ashleigh Barty, last year’s French Open champion, who will open her home Grand Slam against 120th-ranked Lesia Tsurenko. No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova, who won last week’s lead-up tournament in Brisbane, faces a juicy opening matchup against 39th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic, against whom she has a 2-2 record. Simona Halep, the No. 4 seed and last year’s Wimbledon champion, faces a first-round match against American Jennifer Brady.
In the men's tournament, No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal heads perhaps the most exciting quarter of a more evenly balanced draw overall.
The Spaniard will face 72nd-ranked Hugo Dellien of Bolivia in the first round as he seeks his 20th Grand Slam title, a victory that would tie him with Roger Federer for the all-time men’s singles record.
Nadal could face No. 23 seed Nick Kyrgios in what would be a flashy fourth round; the volatile Aussie has a 2-1 record against Nadal on hard courts. No. 10 seed Gael Monfils, No. 16 seed Karen Khachanov and No. 20 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime all populate Nadal’s tough quarter. In the quarterfinals, Nadal could face No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem, the Austrian whom he has defeated in the French Open final in each of the past two years.
The other top seeds are defending champion and No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic, who is seeking a record-extending eighth Australian Open title; No. 3 seed Federer, who could win his 21st Grand Slam title; and No. 4 seed Daniil Medvedev, the lanky Russian who burst onto the scene with an incredible summer run last year and took Nadal to a dramatic five sets in the final of the U.S. Open.