Draw favours Murray with injury-prone Pavel first up

Andy Murray's odds on winning the Australian Open have been falling ever since the start of the year and the 21-year-old Scot is likely to be an even shorter price after the draw was made here early today.

Murray's first opponent is the 34-year-old Romanian, Andrei Pavel, who has not played since last February because of a back injury and has not won a match since November 2007. They have met once before, Murray winning in five sets in the US Open four years ago after a gruelling match during which the British No 1 vomited spectacularly on court.

The winner will meet the Georgian Teimuraz Gabashvili or the Spaniard Marcel Granollers. In the third round Murray, the No 4 seed, is scheduled to meet Austria's Jürgen Melzer, who went within two points of beating him in last year's US Open after winning the first two sets.

Thereafter Murray could meet Fernando Verdasco or Radek Stepanek in the fourth round and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat the Scot in last year's opening round, or James Blake in the quarter-finals. Tsonga, however, pulled out of the Sydney International yesterday after the recurrence of a back problem and may well not make the start line here.

Rafael Nadal, the world No 1, is Murray's scheduled semi-final opponent. In the other half of the draw Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are seeded to face one another in the semi-finals – a repeat of their meeting in the last four 12 months ago. Djokovic won and went on to beat Tsonga to claim his first Grand Slam title.

Anne Keothavong and Mel South, the two British women who have secured direct entry to the tournament through their world ranking, were not so lucky, both drawing seeded opponents in the first round. Keothavong faces Anna Chakvetadze, the No 17 seed, while South plays Marion Bartoli, the No 16 seed. South played the 2007 Wimbledon runner-up in Sydney earlier this week, but Bartoli withdrew after only two games with a calf muscle injury.

Three more British women, Elena Baltacha, Georgie Stoop and Katie O'Brien, made winning starts in their attempts to qualify for a place in the main draw. Baltacha, who beat Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-4, last played in the tournament four years ago, when she reached the third round. Stoop beat America's Alexa Glatch 6-0, 7-5, while O'Brien beat the Czech Republic's Sandra Zahlavova 7-5, 6-3.

Alex Bogdanovic was the only British man who made it past the first round of qualifying, but lost 6-3, 6-2 to Sebastien de Chaunac in the second.

Serena Williams has not been in her best form in Sydney this week and went down to a resounding defeat, losing 6-3, 6-1 to Elena Dementieva, the Olympic champion. However, the winner here in 2003, 2005 and 2007 believes she can claim the title again. "I don't think anyone is better than me," Williams said. "It was good to have a few matches under my belt getting ready for Melbourne. I feel like I'm going to play a lot better than I did this week."

FULL DRAW

Men's Singles Draw (Seedings in brackets):



Rafael Nadal (Spa) (1) v Christophe Rochus (Bel)



Florent Serra (Fra) v Roko Karanusic (Cro)



Eduardo Schwank (Arg) v Tommy Haas (Ger)



QUALIFIER v Dmitry Tursunov (Rus) (29)



Richard Gasquet (Fra) (24) v Diego Junqueira (Arg)



Vincent Spadea (USA) v Denis Istomin (Uzb)



Guillermo Canas (Arg) v Nicolas Kiefer (Ger)



Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) v Fernando Gonzalez (Chi) (13)



Gael Monfils (Fra) (12) v Martin Vassalo Arguello (Arg)



Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) v Stefan Koubek (Aut)



Andrey Golubev (KAZ) v Fabio Fognini (Ita)



Nicolas Massu (Chi) v Nicolas Almagro (Spa) (17)



Ivo Karlovic (Cro) (25) v Daniel Gimeno-Traver (Spa)



Filippo Volandri (Ita) v Mario Ancic (Cro)



Chris Guccione (Aus) v Nicolas Devilder (Fra)



Pablo Andujar (Spa) v Gilles Simon (Fra) (6)



Andy Murray (Gbr) (4) v Andrei Pavel (Rom)



Teimuraz Gabashvili (Rus) v Marcel Granollers-Pujol (Spa)



QUALIFIER v Colin Ebelthite (Aus)



Kei Nishikori (Jpn) v Jurgen Melzer (Aut) (31)



Radek Stepanek (Cze) (22) v Nicolas Lapentti (Ecu)



QUALIFIER v Carsten Ball (Aus)



Sergiy Stakhovsky (Ukr) v Arnaud Clement (Fra)



Adrian Mannarino (Fra) v Fernando Verdasco (Spa) (14)



James Blake (USA) (9) v QUALIFIER



QUALIFIER v Steve Darcis (Bel)



Albert Montanes (Spa) v Ernest Gulbis (Lat)



QUALIFIER v Igor Andreev (Rus) (18)



Rainer Schuettler (Ger) (30) v QUALIFIER



Victor Hanescu (Rom) v Jan Hernych (Cze)



Ivan Ljubicic (Cro) v Igor Kunitsyn (Rus)



Juan Monaco (Arg) v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) (5)



Andy Roddick (USA) (7) v QUALIFIER



QUALIFIER v Michael Llodra (Fra)



Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spa) v Fabrice Santoro (Fra)



Sam Querrey (USA) v Phillip Kohlschreiber (Ger) (32)



Tommy Robredo (Spa) (21) v Bobby Reynolds (USA)



Alberto Martin (Spa) v Viktor Troicki (Ser)



Thomaz Bellucci (Bra) v Yen-Hsun Lu (Tpe)



Marc Gicquel (Fra) v David Nalbandian (Arg) (10)



Robin Soderling (Swe) (16) v Robert Kendrick (USA)



Julien Benneteau (Fra) v Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp)



Simone Bolelli (Ita) v Kristof Vliegen (Bel)



Samuel Groth (Aus) v Mardy Fish (USA) (23)



Paul-Henri Mathieu (Fra) (28) v Jarkko Nieminen (Fin)



Taylor Dent (USA) v QUALIFIER



Jeremy Chardy (Fra) v Marcos Daniel (Bra)



QUALIFIER v Novak Djokovic (Ser) (3)



Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg) (8) v Mischa Zverev (Ger)



QUALIFIER v QUALIFIER



Potito Starace (Ita) v Bernard Tomic (Aus)



Gilles Muller (Lux) v Feliciano Lopez (Spa) (27)



Marin Cilic (Cro) (19) v Kevin Anderson (Rsa)



Oscar Hernandez (Spa) v Janko Tipsarevic (Ser)



QUALIFIER v John Isner (USA)



Denis Gremelmayr (Ger) v David Ferrer (Spa) (11)



Stanislas Wawrinka (Swi) (15) v Ivo Minar (Cze)



QUALIFIER v Brydan Klein (Aus)



Brian Dabul (Arg) v Philipp Petzschner (Ger)



Robby Ginepri (USA) v Tomas Berdych (Cze) (20)



Marat Safin (Rus) (26) v Ivan Navarro Pastor (Spa)



Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Spa) v Agustin Calleri (Arg)



QUALIFIER v Carlos Moya (Spa)



Andreas Seppi (Ita) v Roger Federer (Swi) (2)



Women's Singles Draw (Seedings in brackets):

Jelena Jankovic (Ser) (1) v Yvonne Meusburger (Aut)



Kirsten Flipkens (Bel) v Rossana De Los Rios (Par)



Nathalie Dechy (Fra) v QUALIFIER



QUALIFIER v Ai Sugiyama (Jpn) (26)



Sybille Bammer (Aut) (24) v Lucie Safarova (Cze)



Petra Cetkovska (Cze) v Marina Erakovic (Nzl)



QUALIFIER v Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul)



Melanie South (Gbr) v Marion Bartoli (Fra) (16)



Nadia Petrova (Rus) (10) v Yaroslava Shvedova (Kaz)



Sania Mirza (Ind) v Marta Domachowska (Pol)



Karin Knapp (Ita) v Monika Wejnert (Aus)



Galina Voskoboeva (Kaz) v Agnes Szavay (Hun) (23)



Maria Kirilenko (Rus) (27) v Sara Errani (Ita)



Monica Niculescu (Rom) v QUALIFIER



Maria Elena Camerin (Ita) v Edina Gallovits (Rom)



Magdalena Rybarikova (Svk) v Vera Zvonareva (Rus) (7)



Dinara Safina (Rus) (3) v Alla Kudryavtseva (Rus)



Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) v Aravane Rezai (Fra)



QUALIFIER v Patricia Mayr (Aut)



QUALIFIER v Kaia Kanepi (Est) (25)



Daniela Hantuchova (Svk) (19) v Casey Dellacqua (Aus)



Jill Craybas (USA) v Mathilde Johansson (Fra)



Andrea Petkovic (Ger) v QUALIFIER



Mariya Koryttseva (Ukr) v Alize Cornet (Fra) (15)



Caroline Wozniacki (Den) (11) v Shahar Peer (Isr)



Virginia Ruano Pascual (Spa) v Mariana Duque Marino (Col)



Jelena Dokic (Aus) v Tamira Paszek (Aut)



Anne Keothavong (Gbr) v Anna Chakvetadze (Rus) (17)



Alisa Kleybanova (Rus) (29) v Sofia Arvidsson (Swe)



Stephanie Cohen Aloro (Fra) v Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova (Cze)



Yanina Wickmayer (Bel) v QUALIFIER



Julia Goerges (Ger) v Ana Ivanovic (Ser) (5)



Venus Williams (USA) (6) v Angelique Kerber (Ger)



Carla Suarez-Navarro (Spa) v Roberta Vinci (Ita)



QUALIFIER v Akgul Amanmuradova (Uzb)



Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (Spa) v Tamarine Tanasugarn (Tha) (32)



Anabel Medina Garrigues (Spa) (21) v Isabella Holland (Aus)



Elena Vesnina (Rus) v Julie Coin (Fra)



Jessica Moore (Aus) v Christina Mchale (USA)



Mara Santangelo (Ita) v Flavia Pennetta (Ita) (12)



Patty Schnyder (Swi) (14) v Kristina Mladenovic (Fra)



Jarmila Gajdosova (Aus) v Virginie Razzano (Fra)



Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) v Yung-Jan Chan (Tpe)



QUALIFIER v Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) (18)



Aleksandra Wozniak (Can) (30) v Sabine Lisicki (Ger)



Samantha Stosur (Aus) v Klara Zakopalova (Cze)



Vera Dushevina (Rus) v Iveta Benesova (Cze)



Kristina Barrois (Ger) v Elena Dementieva (Rus) (4)



Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) (8) v Anastasia Rodionova (Aus)



Tatjana Malek (Ger) v Ayumi Morita (Jpn)



Nicole Vaidisova (Cze) v Severine Bremond (Fra)



Olivia Rogowska (Aus) v Alona Bondarenko (Ukr) (31)



Jie Zheng (Chn) (22) v Camille Pin (Fra)



Sorana-Mihaela Cirstea (Rom) v Melinda Czink (Hun)



Ekaterina Bychkova (Rus) v Lourdes Dominguez Lino (Spa)



Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukr) v Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) (9)



Victoria Azarenka (Blr) (13) v Petra Kvitova (Cze)



Tathiana Garbin (Ita) v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus)



QUALIFIER v Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Ger)



Olga Govortsova (Blr) v Amelie Mauresmo (Fra) (20)



Francesca Schiavone (Ita) (28) v Shuai Peng (Chn)



Nuria Llagostera Vives (Spa) v QUALIFIER



Anastasia Yakimova (Blr) v Gisela Dulko (Arg)



Meng Yuan (Chn) v Serena Williams (USA) (2)



Comments