By Ros Satar
Preview – Men
Murray started the season defending his title in Brisbane but had to work hard for it.
With big wins over Federer in their last big-ticket encounters, a run to the final looks good for the US Open 2012 and Olympic Gold medallist.
Aussie Bernard Tomic seems to have put aside some of his personal trials and tribulations and scored a victory over Djokovic in the recent Hopman Cup Invitational event, and will relish another chance to face Federer in front of a home crowd.
Preview – Women
With only one victory against Williams in 12 meetings, an early look at Azarenka’s form was delayed when she had to withdraw from the Brisbane semi-final, earlier this month.
Williams, on the other hand, looked in imperious form in Brisbane, beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets for just the loss of three games.
On the other side of the draw, Maria Sharapova starts as the number 2 seed, but an ongoing injury to her right collarbone saw her pull out of the season opener in Brisbane.
If fully recovered and playing to form, Sharapova looks likely to meet Venus Williams in the third round.
Radwanska, seeded fourth, made her first Slam final in New York, only to be dominated by Serena Williams, but comes to Australia after winning the Sydney Apia International, delivering a double bagel to Dominika Cibulkova in the process.
The Australian Open starts in Melbourne on Monday 14th January.