Meanwhile, 13-time Slam champion Rafael Nadal and 17-time major winner Serena Williams will enter Melbourne Park as the No. 1 seeds in the men's and women's draw, respectively. Nadal has only won the Australian Open once in 2009 while Williams, a five-time winner Down Under, last won in 2010.
Wimbledon champion and 2013 finalist Andy Murray is the No. 4 seed in the men's draw while four-time Aussie Open champ Roger Federer will be seeded sixth, setting up a potential quarterfinal matchup between the two stars.
Here's a breakdown of the 32 seeded players in both singles draws via the tournament's official website:
|Seed||Men's Draw||Women's Draw|
|1||Rafael Nadal||Serena Williams|
|2||Novak Djokovic||Victoria Azarenka|
|3||David Ferrer||Maria Sharapova|
|4||Andy Murray||Li Na|
|5||Juan Martin del Potro||Agnieszka Radwanska|
|6||Roger Federer||Petra Kvitova|
|7||Tomas Berdych||Sara Errani|
|8||Stanislas Wawrinka||Jelena Jankovic|
|9||Richard Gasquet||Angelique Kerber|
|10||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||Caroline Wozniacki|
|11||Milos Raonic||Simona Halep|
|12||Tommy Haas||Roberta Vinci|
|13||John Isner||Sloane Stephens|
|14||Mikhail Youzhny||Ana Ivanovic|
|15||Fabio Fognini||Sabine Lisicki|
|16||Kei Nishikori||Carla Suarez Navarro|
|17||Tommy Robredo||Samantha Stosur|
|18||Gilles Simon||Kirsten Flipkens|
|19||Kevin Anderson||Svetlana Kuznetsova|
|20||Jerzy Janowicz||Dominika Cibulkova|
|21||Philipp Kohlschreiber||Simona Cirstea|
|22||Grigor Dimitrov||Ekaterina Makarova|
|23||Ernests Gulbis||Elena Vesnina|
|24||Andreas Seppi||Kaia Kanepi|
|25||Gael Monfils||Alize Cornet|
|26||Feliciano Lopez||Lucie Safarova|
|27||Benoit Paire||Jamie Hampton|
|28||Vasek Pospisil||Flavia Pennetta|
|29||Jeremy Chardy||Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova|
|30||Dmitry Tursunov||Eugenie Bouchard|
|31||Fernando Verdasco||Daniela Hantuchova|
|32||Ivan Dodig||Magdalena Rybarikova|
Djokovic, Nadal Poised to Renew Epic Rivalry
With Andy Murray still recovering from last fall's back surgery and Roger Federer having failed to reach a Slam final for the first time in over a decade in 2013, three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic and arch rival Rafael Nadal appear on course to meet in the Australian Open men's final for the second time in three years.
Having watched Nadal steal his No. 1 ranking last year, Djokovic certainly won't be lacking any motivation to win, per AusOpen.com:
To be also mentioned in the history aspect, you know, and winning three in a row, it's a huge achievement. So I'm always motivated in every match that I play on. But of course Grand Slam finals are always bringing something new, something special to every player, and that's where you want to perform your best.
As expected, Djokovic enters with 1-1 odds to claim his fifth Aussie title, according to bet365.com. Still, it would be silly to call Nadal an underdog given just how dominant he was on hard courts in 2013.
Thankfully, both players are on opposite ends of the draw and therefore on schedule to meet for the championship. Djokovic and Nadal have met in two Grand Slam finals over the past 20 months, but neither has come close to their epic five-set, nearly six-hour showdown in the 2012 Australian Open final.
While it's unlikely the duo could reproduce that unforgettable display, fans will certainly be cheering for a rematch this January.
Click here to view complete men's singles draw courtesy of AusOpen.com.
Serena, Vika and the Field
Unsurprisingly, current world No. 1 Serena Williams is the odds-on favorite to claim her 18th career major title this January in Melbourne.
New year, same Serena Williams. She takes Brisbane title, beating Azarenka and Sharapova in the process.— BBC Tennis (@bbctennis) January 4, 2014
The 32-year-old enters the season's first Slam with impressive 8-11 odds to win it all, according to bet365.com. However, winning a sixth title Down Under will be no easy task for Williams, especially with two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka having won 14 straight singles matches at this event.
Who will win the women's title Down Under?
According to bet365.com, the second-seeded Belarusian comes in with 9-2 odds of winning a third straight crown. With a title in 2014, Azarenka would join Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong Cawley as the only women to win three straight Aussie Opens in the Open era.
2008 champion and women's No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova is another contender to keep an eye on. She's reached the semifinals in each of her past two tries at the Australian Open and is no stranger to Grand Slam finals, having played in eight over the course of her career.
If you're looking for a dark-horse contender in the women's draw, look no further than No. 4 Li Na, who has reached the final in Melbourne in two of the past three years, pushing Azarenka to the brink in the 2013 final.
Click here to view complete women's singles draw courtesy of AusOpen.com.
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