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Andy Murray has been drawn against Japan's 112th-ranked Go Soeda in the first round of the Australian Open. The Scot will face the 29-year-old for the first time on Tuesday. A qualifier awaits in round two.
For Murray, not long returned from back surgery, it amounts to a dream draw as he eases his way back into circuit life. Since his lay-off began in September, Murray has played just two ATP matches, one of which was a non-event against a wildcard ranked outside the top 2000.
Murray did, however, grab a little more court time with an exhibition match against Lleyton Hewitt this Friday, which he lost in two tiebreaks. The three-time Melbourne finalist has said it would be ‘unrealistic’ to expect him to win the title this year in the wake of his operation.
If the Scot negotiates the opening rounds, the fourth seed can expect to face Roger Federer in the quarters and Rafael Nadal in the semis. Murray's potential route to glory:
R1: Go Soeda
R3: Feliciano Lopez
R4: John Isner
QF: Roger Federer
SF: Rafael Nadal
Final: Novak Djokovic