Australian Open Andy Murray To Play Qualifier In First Round As He Faces Tough Route To Final

Australian Open: Andy Murray to play qualifier in first round as he faces tough route to final

Australian Open: Andy Murray to play qualifier in first round as he faces tough route to final

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Andy Murray will face a qualifier in the first round of the Australian Open, but has been handed a tough draw if he is to reach the final in Melbourne for the fourth time.

The British number onehas been drawn in the same half of the draw as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and could also face his Wimbledon conquerer from last summer, Grigor Dimitrov, in the last-16.

Sixth seed Murray has made a sprightly start to 2015, easily seeing off Nadal in an exhibition match and winning three matches in the Hopman Cup.

Fellow Brits Kyle Edmund and Liam Broady are Saturday”s final qualifying round and could be drawn against Murray, should they progress into the main draw.

Meanwhile, James Ward has qualified directly for the year”s first Grand Slam and will play Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, while Heather Watson is the only British woman in the singles draw and will will take on Bulgaria”s Tsvetana Pironkova.

Four-time winner Djokovic will also face a qualifier, while Federer meets Yen-Hsun Lu and Nadal will play Mikhail Youzhny.

The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion said he sees Djokovic as the man to beat.

"I definitely don”t think it”s an easy draw, there are a lot of good players and people that can have a great run, but I agree that Djokovic is the favourite," said Federer.

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