But Nadal faces a challenging path in his quest for a second Australian Open title after Wednesday’s draw ceremony. He opens against wily veteran Mikhail Youzhny and may face Lukas Rosol, who upset him at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, in the third round. Should he survive those tests, he is set to face 2014 semifinalist Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.
Like last year, Federer could meet Andy Murray in the quarters and may get a rematch against Nadal in the semis after falling to the Spaniard in straight sets in 2014. Federer, who is seeking his 18th career Grand Slam title, will kick off his campaign against Yen-Hsun Lu.
Murray, meantime, would have to beat Federer, Nadal and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to capture his first Australian Open title.