Andy Murray to play Karol Beck at Australian Open
Australian Open, Melbourne
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 17-30 January
Coverage: Watch on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website & Eurosport; listen on BBC 5 live sports extra and online; text commentary online; full details
Murray has slipped to fifth in the world rankings this week
Andy Murray will play Karol Beck in the Australian Open first round and has avoided being drawn in the same quarter as Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer.
The 23-year-old Scot, seeded fifth, is in the same half of the draw as world number one Nadal.
Fellow British number one Elena Baltacha takes on a qualifier in her opening match in Melbourne.
Britons Anne Keothavong, Heather Watson and Katie O'Brien are still involved in the qualifying tournament.
Murray will play Beck for the first time, with the 28-year-old Slovakian currently ranked 104 in the world.
MURRAY'S POSSIBLE ROUTE
R1: Karol Beck (Ranked 104)
R2: Illya Marchenko (78)
R3: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (33)
R4: Jurgen Melzer (11)
Q/F: Robin Soderling (4)
S/F: Rafael Nadal (1)
F: Roger Federer (2)
Looking ahead, the Briton would play either Illya Marchenko or Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in the second round and he could meet world number four Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals.
Argentina's former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, making his way back after a serious wrist injury, takes on Israel's Dudi Sela in round one and could play Murray in the fourth round.
Nadal, who will hold all four Grand Slam titles if he wins the tournament, will first play Brazilian world number 96 Marcos Daniel, with Feliciano Lopez or John Isner possibly waiting in round three and last year's semi-finalist Marin Cilic in the last 16.
Defending champion Roger Federer, bidding for a record fifth Australian Open title, opens against Lukas Lacko of Slovakia and could meet 12th seed Gael Monfils in the fourth round.
The tie of the first round pits home favourite Lleyton Hewitt against Argentina's 27th seed David Nalbandian in a repeat of the 2002 Wimbledon final, which the Australian won.
Your thoughts on the draw
In the women's event, Denmark's world number one Caroline Wozniacki will begin against doubles number one Gisela Dulko from Argentina, while in the same half of the draw Justine Henin faces a qualifier, with Baltacha potentially waiting in round two.
Venus Williams faces Sara Eranni and Russia's Maria Sharapova, the champion in 2008, has been drawn to face Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.
In the bottom half of the draw, US Open champion Kim Clijsters will play former world number one Dinara Safina, now ranked 65, in the first round and second seed Vera Zvonareva meets Sybille Bammer.
Defending champion Serena Williams will be absent as she continues to recover from a foot injury.
Highlights - Federer triumphs at Aussie Open
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