Roger Federer
Federer out to win his 20th grand slam in Melbourne this month. Getty

Roger Federer will begin his Australian Open title defence against Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia.

Federer opens the tournament against an opponent ranked 51st in the world, who last month Switched allegiances back to Slovenia after two-and-a-half spell competing under the British flag. The man he beat to claim the title in Melbourne last year in Rafael Nadal will begin his campaign against Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic.

World number one Nadal and defending champion Federer are seeded first and second respectively, meaning they will only meet if there is a repeat of last year's final.

Federer, 36, beat the Spaniard in an enthralling five-set encounter to clinch his 18th title and a first since 2012 before adding another Wimbledon crown later that year.

Elsewhere, former world number one Novak Djokovic has been drawn against 28-year-old American Donald Young in his opening round match and faces a potential meeting with Gael Monfils, the winner of last week's Qatar Open, in the second.

Kyle Edmund, the only British player in the men's singles draw following Andy Murray's withdrawal, has been handed a tough opener against US Open runner-up Kevin Anderson.

World number one Simona Halep meanwhile is hoping to win her first grand slam down under this month and will begin her challenge against Australian opponent Destanee Aiava. A second round meeting Genie Bouchard could lie in wait for the Romanian.

British number one Johanna Konta, seeded ninth for the first grand slam of the year, will take on Madison Brengle of the USA while last year's runner up Venus Williams has been drawn against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

British number two Heather Watson meanwhile has been handed an opener against Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.