Also in the fray will be Britain’s Andy Murray. He ended Britain’s 77-year men’s Wimbledon title drought last year and will be keen on reaching his fourth Melbourne final. Following a back surgery in September last year, he returned to action towards the end of 2013 and has been in tentative form, with defeats to Florian Mayer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Though he has had a bad year, all-time Grand Slam record-holder Roger Federer will also be a force to recon with. With only one major title in the past three years, the Swiss will be fighting to reclaim honour. The draw is equally interesting on the women's side, with world number one Serena Williams the clear favourite to claim her 18th Grand Slam. She comes to Melbourne on a 22-match winning streak. Martina Navratilova has predicted Williams can equal her total of 18 Grand Slam singles titles by winning the Australian Open. Navratilova also believes if Williams stays healthy, she can eclipse Steffi Graf's 22 major titles in the Open era. Defending champion Victoria Azarenka, bowever, will be no pushover. The world number 2 might have started last year with a loss to Williams, but had a strong 2013. She made the semis at Roland Garros, and won titles in Doha and Cincinnati.Also interesting to watch will be the not-so-polite rivalry between Williams and world number 3 Maria Sharapova, a feud that has often enough spilled over off the court. Williams is 1-0 up in 2014, having beaten Sharapova in the Brisbane semi-finals. Sharapova would be itching to turn the tables at the Grand Slam. China's Li Na, the beaten finalist last year and in 2011, is hoping to land her second Grand Slam title. At her best, she can prove quite a handful. So here’s waiting for a hotly contested tournament.