Rafael Nadal will take on Florian Mayer in the first round of the 2017 Australian Open at the Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday (17 January).
Where to watch live
The game is set to start at 4am GMT. Live coverage of the game is available on British Eurosport and Eurosport 1.
Nadal's first aim will be to get through the first round when he begins his Australian Open campaign. Last season, the Spaniard fell at the first hurdle when he was beaten by compatriot Fernando Verdasco. The 14-time Grand Slam champion is playing in only his second tournament after cutting his 2016 season short due to injury.
Nadal suffered a wrist injury last season during the French Open, which saw him miss the Wimbledon. Following his return he continued to struggle and it eventually forced him to cut short his campaign. The 30-year-old is keen to get back to winning way but admitted recently that he will judge his progress only after three months rather than just one tournament.
The world number nine could face more accomplished players higher in the ATP rankings in the earlier rounds if he gets past Florian Mayer, who has beaten the Spaniard on hard courts in the past.
The German, who is ranked 49 in the world, is making his 10th appearance at Melbourne Park with fourth round being his best result thus far. Mayer's opponent is vulnerable at the moment having just made his return from injury, but Nadal looked to be in good form during his recent wins over Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic during the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.
Mayer and Nadal are scheduled to play in the last game of the morning session on Rod Laver Arena, with the winner set to face experienced campaigners Marcos Baghdatis or Mikhail Youzhny.
Betting odds (Betfair)
- Nadal win: 1/18
- Mayer win: 8
The duo have met each other on two occasions in the ATP Masters 1000 series. Nadal won in 2012 when they played on his favourite surface – clay – at the Rome Masters, but Mayer had won a year earlier when they met in the third round at the Shanghai Masters – which is played on hard courts.