Roger Federer Switzerland
Roger Federer is set to start his 2015 Australian Open campaign later tonightReuters

Two of the most popular players in the men's and women's tennis circuit, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova respectively will kick off their 2015 Australian Open campaign at the Rod Laver Arena during the night session.

The Swiss star is set to face Chinese Yen-Hsun Lu from Taipei, while the Russian will lock horns with Croatian player, Petra Martic in the first round of the competition.

Federer would undoubtedly go into the match as favourite, with the Swiss ace having a cent per cent record against the Chinese player. This is the third time that the two would play against one another.

Yen-Hsun Lu turned pro in 2001 and is currently ranked 47th in the ATP circuit, though he reached his highest ranking of 33 in 2010.

The player has not won a single career title, but has won 19 challengers title. Yen-Hsun Lu's best performance in the Australian Open has been a third round finish in 2009 and 2012.

But, he knows the task that lies ahead of him in facing the in-form Swiss player, who is coming into the tournament with a victory in Brisbane International. So getting past the first round for Yen-Hsun could prove to be a herculean task.

On the other hand, Federer has had an impressive record in the Australian Open, which he has won in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010. With his recent form, one would have to consider the star player as one of the favourites to lift aloft the title for the fifth time.

Meanwhile, with Maria Sharapova playing Petra Martic, the Russian would be an obvious favourite. This is the second time the two will meet one another, as Sharapova beat Martic at the Miami Masters, four years ago.

The Croatian might have turned pro in 2008, but does not have anything to show as far as her WTA titles are concerned. She won three ITF titles.

Her rankings have taken a serious dip -- she was ranked in the top 50 in 2012 -- and her current ranking reads 184.

To the contrary, Sharapova is current ranked number two in the WTA circuit and like Federer, she must be high on confidence defeating Ana Ivanovic in the finals of the Brisbane International.

An uphill task lies ahead for Petra Martic in the first round of the competition.

Where to Watch Live

Federer 's opening round match against the Chinese player is scheduled for 7 pm local time (2.30 pm IST), which would then be followed by Sharapova's game against Petra Martic with live coverage in India on Sony Six and Sony Six HD. Catch all the action via live streaming online on

Also read