Andy Murray faces Karol Beck in Australian Open first round
British No1 set to play 28-year-old Slovakian, who is currently ranked 104 in the world, for the first time
British No1 Andy Murray will play Slovakia’s Karol Beck in the first round of the Australian Open after the draw was made on Thursday.
The 23-year-old fifth seed, who is in the same half of the draw as world No1 Rafael Nadal, will meet Beck for the first time when the first grand slam of the year gets under way in Melbourne next week.
Beck, 28, returned to the sport in 2007 after serving a two-year drugs ban after he tested positive for clenbuterol in the 2005 Davis Cup.
Murray is seeded to meet Robin Soderling, the man who this week replaced him as world No4, in the quarter-finals and the 26-year-old Swede will present a formidable challenge for last year’s beaten finalist in Melbourne.
Should Murray reach the semi-finals he would likely face Nadal. The Scot could not meet defending champion Roger Federer until the final as he is on the other side of the draw.
Meanwhile, Federer will play Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko and could meet 12th seed Gael Monfils in the fourth round.
Nadal faces Brazilian world No96 Marcos Daniel in the first round, with last year’s semi-finalist Marin Cilic possibly waiting in the last 16.