Medvedev, Tiafoe Among Five Must-See First-Rounders At The Australian Open
ATPTour.com breaks down five first-round matches to watch in Melbourne
 Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs. Frances Tiafoe (USA) — Head2Head: Medvedev 1-0
Memories of shirt-ripping celebrations remain vivid for Frances Tiafoe, who beat Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov en route to the 2019 Australian Open quarter-finals. With that run, the American broke into the Top 30 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time, but upon his return to Melbourne Park this year, Tiafoe will now be remembering not to turn his back on Daniil Medvedev, his first-round opponent, if he is to kick-start his 2020 ATP Tour season.
Medvedev, who put together a 20-3 record on the North American summer hard-courts, culminating in a run to the US Open final, beat Tiafoe 6-2, 7-5 at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Tiafoe, at 4-5 in the second set, brought Medvedev to the net with a drop shot, before flicking a backhand volley past his opponent and turning his back on the court. But, with impressive speed, Medvedev changed direction to track down the ball and chip it into the vacant space for a winner.
World No. 4 Medvedev started the year for Team Russia at the ATP Cup, beating three Top 20 players in five matches, while Tiafoe looks to bounce back from first-round exits in Doha and Auckland in the first two weeks of this year.
Reilly Opelka (USA) vs.  Fabio Fognini (ITA) — Head2Head: 1-1
Power meets finesse as Reilly Opelka, who hit 1,023 aces and won 91 per cent of his service games in 2019, faces off against Fabio Fognini, whose best performance in 12 Melbourne appearances came two years ago with a fourth-round run (l. to Berdych). Opelka, at 6’11”, has a 13” height advantage over Fognini and in their past two matches has hit 49 aces — 26 aces in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 victory in the 2019 US Open first round and 23 aces in the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, which Fognini won 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3. World No. 12 Fognini arrives at the Australian Open after the birth of his second child, a daughter, Farah, on 23 December. He has got off to a 1-3 start in 2020.
 Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) vs. Feliciano Lopez (ESP) — Head2Head: 2-2
Coming off the best season of his career, Roberto Bautista Agut has started 2020 with a bang, going 6-0 for Team Spain en route to the ATP Cup final. Next week, at Melbourne Park, last year’s quarter-finalist comes up against a fellow Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez, who is appearing in a record-extending 72nd consecutive Grand Slam championship. While they’ve met on four previous occasions, Lopez has won both of their hard-court clashes at the 2014 Rogers Cup and 2016 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. It will be a contrast of styles as Bautista Agut will look to pit his baseline game against the attacking nature of Lopez, who, at 38, is hoping to recall memories of his 2012 and 2015 runs to the fourth round.
Sam Querrey (USA) vs.  Borna Coric (CRO) – Head2Head: Coric 1-0
It wasn’t until his fifth visit that Borna Coric tasted victory at the Australian Open, en route to the fourth round last year. But 12 months on, Coric returns looking to rebuild his confidence having ended 2019 on a six-match losing streak, following on from reaching his sixth ATP Tour final at the St. Petersburg Open (l. to Medvedev) in October. With a 1-3 mark in 2020, heading into Melbourne, the World No. 28 squares off against Sam Querrey for the second time. In their only previous meeting at 2015 Roland Garros, Coric won 7-6(8), 6-3, 0-6, 6-3. The 32-year-old Querrey has beaten eight Top 30 players since rising to No. 11 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in February 2018, and with a big serve, that reaped 690 aces in 2019, the American’s game may well test the defensive baseliner, Coric.
 David Goffin (BEL) vs. Jeremy Chardy (FRA) – Head2Head: 1-1
Having dropped to No. 33 on 17 June, David Goffin set about rising up the FedEx ATP Rankings in the second half of last year, reaching two ATP Tour finals at the Grass Court Open Halle (l. to Federer) and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (l. to Medvedev) and recording 22 match wins. The Belgian, who reached the 2017 quarter-finals in Melbourne, will hope to beat Jeremy Chardy for the second time in three meetings, having beaten the Frenchman at Wimbledon in July, and begin his push back into the Top 10. Chardy, who was also a quarter-finalist at the major in 2012 (l. to Murray), completed 2019 on a high with victory over No. 4-ranked Medvedev en route to the Last 16 at the Rolex Paris Masters in November. He has beaten three Top 10 players at major championships (No. 7 Nalbandian at the 2008 Roland Garros), No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro at the 2013 Australian Open and No. 7 David Ferrer at 2018 US Open), and last beat a Top 20 opponent, the recently retired Tomas Berdych, last year at Roland Garros.