Reigning Australian Open men’s singles champion, Stanislas Wawrinka will begin the defence of his title against Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan and could fight on to the semi-finals before meeting one of the big fours.
A year ago, Wawrinka upset four-time Aussies winner Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals en-route to his first and only Grand Slam title in Melbourne. Both players could be reunited in the last-four this year after being drawn in the same half again.
Fellow Swiss Roger Federer has been handed a tougher draw as he has been placed on the same side as sixth-seed Andy Murray and No. 3 seed Rafael Nadal. The second seed begins his tournament against Yen-Hsun Lu from Chinese Taipei.
Federer, whose last Australian Open success came in 2010, could meet Murray in the quarter-final and the Spaniard in the semi-finals.
Three-time runner-up Murray starts against a qualifier, so also world No. 1 Djokovic. The Serb could face Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in the third round.
Nadal, runner-up in 2013 and winner in 2009, will have to bury last season’s injury bug once and for all so as to survive a tricky first round matchup with Russian Mikhail Youzhny. Much has been said about the Majorcan’s readiness for the first Grand Slam of the year after he lost to little-known German Michael Berrer in Doha. But should he make his way into the fourth round, he could face Czech Lukas Rosol who knocked him out of Wimbledon in the first round in 2012.
In the women’s draw, two-time Australian Open women’s singles champion (2012, 2013) Victoria Azarenka will be up against USA’s Sloane Stephens in a first-round tie that promises to be explosive.
Azarenka on her own part struggled with injury in 2014 and has dropped to No. 41. The Czech could face 8th-seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round.
Serena Williams will be bidding for her sixth Australian Open title and will be heaving a sigh of relieve after being paired with Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round. The American top seed could face a tricky third-round tie with Ukraine’s 26th seed Elina Svitolina and any of Jelena Jankovic or Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round.
Like Serena, second seed Maria Sharapova begins against a qualifier but could be up against last year’s revelation Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.
Last year’s runner-up Dominika Cibulkova begins her tournament against Belgian Kirsten Flipkens.
The explosive first round tie of 2015 has 2009 champion Juan Martin Del Potro (No. 338) looking to stage his Grand Slam comeback against Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz. The winner is likely to face France’s Gael Monfils in the second round.
Venus Williams, seeded 18th will be hoping for a repeat of her triumph over Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor in the first round of Wimbledon last year when both clash in Australia again.
Agniesza Radwanska will be counting on the know-how of her new coach Martina Navratilova against Japan’s Kurumi Nara, whom the Pole won in Cincinnati last year.
The Schedule of play for Monday;s opening round of matches will be released on Sunday while the announcement of which half of the men’s and women’s draws to feature on Day 1 will be made on Saturday.