Tough draw for Andy Murray

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: January 10 2014, 9:53 GMT

Andy Murray has been handed a tough Australian Open draw and could have to beat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal just to reach the final.

Andy Murray: Could face Federer in QF and Nadal in SF
Andy Murray: Could face Federer in QF and Nadal in SF

When the draw was made in Melbourne on Friday, Murray, seeded fourth, was placed in the same quarter as sixth seed Federer and the same half as top seed Nadal.

First up for Murray will be Japan's Go Soeda. He has never played the world number 112 before. The winner will play a qualifier in round two. Other potential seeded foes for the Wimbledon champion, who only recently returned to action following back surgery, are Feliciano Lopez in the third round and big-serving American John Isner in the last 16.

There will be real intrigue if Murray and Federer both make it through to the last eight. Federer beat Murray in the 2010 Australian Open final but the Scot took revenge by defeating the Swiss in last year's semi-finals.

Federer opens against Australian wild card James Duckworth and could meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in round four.

Nadal also has a tough draw. He will open against another Australian, Bernard Tomic, who was always going to be one of the most dangerous 'floaters' in the draw. That is the pick of the first-round matches.

Nadal could also have to beat Gael Monfils in round three in what would beat a repeat of last week's Qatar Open final won by the Spaniard. Nadal's scheduled last-eight opponent is another dangerman, Juan Martin Del Potro.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic certainly seems to have had the better of things when it comes to the draw.

He is in the same half as David Ferrer. Stanislas Wawrinka is seeded to meet the four-time winner in the quarter-finals, while Tomas Berdych is the big name in Ferrer's quarter.

Djokovic, who recently hired Boris Becker as his new coach, will open his title defence against Lukas Lacko.

The tournament gets under way on Monday.

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