Stanislas Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka set to defend his 2014 Australian Open titleGetty

The first grand slam of the year kicks off on 19 January at Melbourne Park. Can reigning champion Stanislas Wawrinka successfully defend his title or will we he see one of the big four return to the top. British number one Andy Murray will be keen to win the title after finishing runner-up on three occasions in the past.

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 2am GMT, with British Eurosport and British Eurosport HD 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 Novak Djokovic Aljaz Bedene

2 2 Roger Federer Yen-Hsun Lu

3 3 Rafael Nadal Mikhail Youzhny

4 4 Stanislas Wawrinka Marsel Ilhan

5 5 Kei Nishikori Nicholas Almagro

World No 1 Novak Djokovic will be the favourite to win the Australian Open after ending last season on a high. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka will be tasked with stopping the Serb from continuing his dominance at the first Grand Slam of the year.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is the favourite to win the 2015 Australian Open title followed by World No 2 Roger FedererGetty

Meanwhile, Great Britain's hope will be pinned on Murray, who has made the finals three times, but failed to lift the trophy on all three occasions losing to Federer in 2010 and to Djokovic in 2011 and 2013. The Scot has been handed a tough draw and will have to get past Federer and Nadal to make it to the final, if the trio win all their matches in the previous rounds.

Women's Singles

Seed Rank First round opponent

1 1 Serena Williams Alison Van Uytvanck

2 2 Maria Sharapova Petra Martic

3 3 Simona Halep Karin Knapp

4 4 Petra Kvitova Richel Hogenkamp

5 5 Ana Ivanovic Lucie Hradecka

Serena Williams will come in as a pre-tournament favourite owing to her fine form in 2014, with Maria Sharapova being her closest challenger.

Li Na who won the grand slam in 2014, has retired from the game and will not be present to defend her title and 2012 and 2013 champion Victoria Azarenka has dropped down the rankings and is unseeded for the tournament.

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard will be a player to watch out for after a breakthrough performance in 2014, which saw her reach the semi-finals at the Australian Open and the French Open and make the finals at Wimbledon.