Rafael Nadal practice session Margaret Court Arena Australian Open 2018 Rafael Nadal practice session Margaret Court Arena Australian Open 2018

Nadal headlines RLA night session on AO Day 1


World No.1 Rafael Nadal will launch his bid for a second Australian Open title in the first night match on Rod Laver Arena on Day 1 of this year’s tournament.

The reigning French and US Open champion, who claimed the Australian Open title in 2009, faces Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos for the first time before home hope Daria Gavrilova takes on a qualifier in the final match of the day on Melbourne Park’s centre court.

Check out the Day 1 order of play in full here

Earlier on Rod Laver Arena, last year’s finalist Venus Williams’ clash with the resurgent Belinda Bencic – fresh from her Hopman Cup victory alongside Roger Federer – is among the highlights of the day session that also includes the battle of the reigning and former French Open champs Jelena Ostapenko and Francesca Shiavone.

US Open champion Sloane Stephens faces Shuai Zhang in the opening match on Margaret Court Arena before Australians Matt Ebden and Sam Stosur fly the flag against John Isner and Monica Puig respectively, while Caroline Wozniacki and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga headline the night session: No.2 seed Wozniacki faces Mihaela Buzarnescu, while Tsonga takes on a qualifier.

MORE: Full men's draw

Nick Kyrgios launches his bid for Australian Open glory in the final match of the day on Hisense Arena. Australia’s No.1 faces Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil after former semifinalists CoCo Vandeweghe and Marin Cilic play their first-round matches.

MORE: Full women's draw

Around the grounds, some of the standout clashes include Canadian teen Denis Shapovalov’s clash with Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas on Show Court 2, the all-Australian wildcard showdown on Show Court 3 between Jaimee Fourlis and Olivia Rogowska, Jason Kubler’s return to the Australian Open against No.10 seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Court 8, and CiCi Bellis versus Kiki Bertens on Court 15.