Tomic and Barty enter Australian Open nightmare

RISING Australian stars Bernard Tomic and Ashleigh Barty have been handed horror draws for next week's Australian Open after being picked to play the top men's and women's seeds in the first round.

Queenslander Tomic, the world No.52, will take on Spaniard Rafael Nadal, while 17-year-old Barty faces up to Serena Williams.

Tomic is not the only Australian man to be staring down the barrel of a tough first-round clash, with James Duckworth to take on 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer and Marinko Matosevic, who has never won a first round grand slam match, to play No.16 seed Kei Nishikori from Japan.

Veteran Lleyton Hewitt also faces a tough task to progress, after being drawn against 24th seed Andreas Seppi.

Australian wildcard Jordan Thompson will also have to beat a seed to go through, with big Pole Jerzy Janowicz (20) his first match-up.

Reigning champion Novak Djokovic will meet Slovakia's world number 90 Lukas Lacko in round one.

On the women's side, Samantha Stosur, did not have the easiest of draws either, picked to meet world number 37 Klara Zakopalova in the opening round.

Jarmila Gajdosova will have her work cut out for her when she goes up against ninth-seeded German Angelique Kerber.

Reigning Melbourne champion Victoria Azarenka will take on Sweden's Johanna Larsson.

Wild weather on the way, warns SES

premium_icon Wild weather on the way, warns SES

SES urge residents to prepare for ‘possibility of localised flash flooding’.

‘It was like Christmas all over again’

premium_icon ‘It was like Christmas all over again’

Australia Post experiences regional boom as it plays critical role in keeping the...

VANISHED: Where are Mia and Ziggy?

premium_icon VANISHED: Where are Mia and Ziggy?

COUPLE fear unthinkable as investigation begins into potential dog theft.