Australian Open draw: Djokovic handed Verdasco opener, Federer to face qualifier
Novak Djokovic was handed a tricky draw in the Australian Open first round as Roger Federer avoided a potential third-round meeting with Rafael Nadal.
World number two and defending champion Djokovic faces Fernando Verdasco, who last year stunned Nadal in the opening round.
Verdasco and Djokovic met in the Qatar Open semi-finals, with the Serbian star saving five match points before beating the Spaniard.
Federer was far more fortunate, the Swiss maestro and 17th seed to face a qualifier.
The 17-time grand slam champion would meet Czech Tomas Berdych in the third round if results went as expected.
World number one Murray was given a favourable opener, facing Ukrainian Illya Marchenko at Melbourne Park.
However, the Brit has Federer, Berdych and Kei Nishikori in his quarter.
Nadal, the ninth seed, was drawn to face German Florian Mayer in the first round.
Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew from the tournament due to injury prior to Friday’s draw.
Notable first-round matches:
Andy Murray  v Illya Marchenko
Novak Djokovic  v Fernando Verdasco
Milos Raonic  v Dustin Brown
Stan Wawrinka  v Martin Klizan
Rafael Nadal  v Florian Mayer
Roger Federer  v Qualifier
Kei Nishikori  v Andrey Kuznetsov
Nick Kyrgios  v Gastao Elias
Marin Cilic  v Jerzy Janowicz