Australian Open: Andy Murray set for Melbourne opener

Last Updated: 14/01/14 7:31am

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Andy Murray: Faces Go Soeda in his opening match

Andy Murray: Faces Go Soeda in his opening match

Sky Bet

All eyes will be on Andy Murray on Tuesday when he gets his bid for Australian Open glory underway against Go Soeda.

Murray is - almost predictably - the last Brit standing once again after Laura Robson and Heather Watson bowed out on the first day.

However how long Murray remains on his feet is the big question. The British No 1 has looked in indifferent form on his return to action after back surgery brought a premature end to his 2013 season.

Murray, though, has the confidence of having already won two grand slams - including at Wimbledon last year - while he was a beaten finalist in Melbourne in 2013.

Soeda shouldn't pose too many problems for the Scot on Hisense Arena either, with the 29-year-old currently 112 in the world rankings.

Soeda has never made it past the second round of a grand slam event - with just three wins in the main draws in 15 matches.

Tougher challenges will await Murray, though, with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the same half of the draw - and both are in action on Tuesday.

Federer, the sixth seed and potential quarter-final opponent for Murray, tackles home hope James Duckworth on Rod Laver Arena, while top seed Nadal has a tricky opener against the erratic Bernard Tomic.

No 5 seed Juan Martin Del Potro, a dark horse for the title, kicks off his challenge against American Rhyne Williams, while 10th seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be wary of Filippo Volandri, a former top-30 player.

Victoria Azarenka practices ahead of her opening match

Tougher task

In the women's draw, defending champion Victoria Azarenka gets Tuesday's action on Rod Laver Arena underway when she faces Johanna Larsson.

The second seed, who beat Li Na in three sets to win the title 12 months ago, beat the world No 91 from Sweden 6-1 6-3 in their only other meeting - and similar result looks likely.

Maria Sharapova, the No 3 seed, has a tougher-looking task on her hands, with the in-form Bethanie Mattek-Sands her opening opponent.

World No 41 Mattek-Sands reached the quarter-finals at the Sydney International before injury ended her challenge.

Sharapova, though, has never lost to the American - winning all five of their previous encounters and dropping just 18 games in the process.

Fellow top-tenners Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska will both be in action on Hisense Arena, while Jelena Jankovic plays on Margaret Court Arena.

Former world No 1 Wozniacki, the No 10 seed, takes on world No 72 Lourdes Dominguez Lino, while fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska will look for a repeat of her previous performance against Yulia Putintseva - the Pole having beaten the world No 112 in straight sets in Dubai last year.

Jankovic takes on Misaki Doi - with the eighth seed having registered a 6-3 6-3 win over the Japanese in 2012.

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