Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal [Reuters]

The Australian Open kicks off at Melbourne Park on 13 January, ending a long break in the tennis season as the first Grand Slam of the year gets under way.

With no injuries to the top seeded players, this season will have a lot of excitement as World No 1 Rafael Nadal returns to the Australian Open after missing out the 2013 edition. IBTimes UK takes a look at the top five seeds in the men's and women's singles competition and their first round of matches.

Where to Watch Live

The tournament starts at 12am GMT, with British Eurosport and British Eurosport 2 providing live coverage in the UK. Regular updates and live scores are also available on the Australian Open official website.

Men's Singles

Seed Rank First Round Opponent

1 1 Rafael Nadal Bernard Tomic

2 2 Novak Djokovic Lukas Lacko

3 3 David Ferrer Alejandro Gonzalez

4 4 Andy Murray Go Soeda

5 5 Juan Martin Del Potro Rhyne Williams

The World No 1 is the favourite to win the 2014 Australian Open after missing out on last year. Nadal comes into the tournament after winning the Qatar Open earlier this month. Djokvic has won the competition for three years in a row and will face a stiff fight from the Spaniard to make it fourth in a row.

Djokovic Avoids
Djokovic Avoids [Reuters]

Meanwhile, Great Britain's hope will be pinned on Murray to clinch another Grand Slam after he won the Wimbledon in front of his home fans in 2013.

"You never know. I've done a lot of training the last few months; it's just I haven't played many matches. So, you know, if somehow I can work my way into the tournament, feel a little bit better every day, then I might start to raise those expectations," Murray said.

Women's Singles

Seed Rank First Round Opponent

1 1 Serena Williams Ashleigh Barty

2 2 Victoria Azarenka Johanna Larsson

3 3 Maria Sharapova Bethanie Mattek-Sands

4 4 Na Li Ana Konjuh

5 5 Agnieszka Radwanska Yulia Putintseva

Azarenka has won the Australian Open for two years in a row in 2012 and 2013 and the World No 2 would be looking to extend the run for yet another year during this year's Australian Open. The Belarusian could face competition from Williams, who is the favourite to win this year's competition.

"Well, if you meet her [Williams], yes. ut I think everybody is the one to beat here. We have such a high competition right now. You always have to look for every opponent you play. You cannot look past anybody because everybody is prepared, everybody wants it badly. (Regarding) her last season, of course, everybody will be motivated to beat her," Azarenka stressed.