Andy Murray
Andy Murray practising ahead of the start of the 2017 Australian Open in Melbourne Getty


  • Murray aiming to win his maiden title in Melbourne after five defeats in the final.
  • Novak Djokovic is seeking his record seventh title at Melbourne Park.

World number one Andy Murray will begin his quest for a first Australian Open title against Ukraine's Illya Marchenko when the first grand slam of the year begins on 16 January. The five-time beaten finalist is in the same quarter as 17<sup>th seed Roger Federer, 10<sup>th seed Tomas Berdych and 5<sup>th seed Kei Nishikori.

The Briton has always fared well at Melbourne Park in the past, but could never manage to get past the final hurdle. Murray has lost to current world number two Novak Djokovic on four of the five occasions he made the final. The Scot has faced Marchenko on just one occasion in the past at the 2011 Australian Open when he won in straight sets in the second round.

Fellow Britons, Aljaz Bedene and Daniel Evans will begin their Australian Open campaign against Dominican Republic's Victor Estrella Burgos and Facundo Bagnis from Argentina respectively. If the duo gets past their first round opponents they could come up against home favourite Bernard Tomic and number seven seed Marin Cilic.

Elsewhere, defending champion Djokovic, who is looking for his record seventh Australian Open title, will begin his campaign against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. The last time the duo faced each other the Serb saved five match points to win in three sets at the Qatar Open two weeks ago. The Spaniard will be hoping for a similar start to last year when he beat Rafael Nadal in the first round.

Federer, in his first grand slam appearance since Wimbledon last year, has been handed a dream draw, and will face two qualifiers in the first two rounds of his campaign. However, if all goes to plan, he will come up against Berdych in the third round and ans then Murray in the last eight. Rafael Nadal seeded ninth meanwhile will begin his campaign against Florian Mayer and is in the same quarter as number three seed Milos Raonic and number six Gael Monfils.

In the women's draw, world number one and defending champion Angelique Kerber will start her title defence against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine. Serena Williams, the world number two, will begin her campaign against Switzerland's Belinda Bencic.

Great Britain's Johanna Konta, who is seeded ninth, will take on experienced campaigner Kirsten Flipkens in the first round and could come up against former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the third round.

Fellow compatriots Naomi Broady and Heather Watson have been drawn against seeded players in the first round. The former will take on 22<sup>nd seed Daria Gavrilova, while the latter comes up against home favourite Samantha Stosur.