Roger Federer
File photo of Roger Federer.Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The year 2017 proved to be a remarkable one for veterans Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who shared four Grand Slam titles between them — winning two each.

At the start of the year, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were on top of the ATP charts. However, Federer and Nadal defied odds and climbed the ladder to finish the year on top.

Also read: Yuki Bhambri qualifies for main draw, Ramkumar Ramanathan misses out

Cut to January 2018, and the two seasoned campaigners, who share 35 Grand Slam titles between them, are once again starting favourites to win the Australian Open, the season's first major, starting Monday (January 15).

Doubts over Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka's fitness remain, and Murray has pulled out citing persistent hip issues.

Nadal, Federer eye another Grand Slam title

Nadal starts as the top seed and will open his campaign against 37-year-old Victor Estrella Burgos. The Spaniard though doesn't seem to be fully ready for the upcoming Melbourne test as he had pulled out of the season-opening Brisbane International citing a knee injury. He returned to action at a non-tour event — Kooyong Classic — and lost his first match there to Richard Gasquet on Tuesday, January 9.

On the other hand, Federer is looking set for the hunt of his 20th Grand Slam title after having won the Hopman Cup for Switzerland earlier this month.

Meanwhile, former world number one Djokovic, who starts as the 14th seed, returns to action after a six-month layoff. He is drawn in the same half as Federer and is likely to face Alexander Zverev in the quarter-final.

India's Yuki Bhambri has made the main draw of the competition for the third time in his career. The 25-year-old won the third and final qualifying match on Sunday.

Halep, Venus among top seeds

Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Simona Halep vs Karolina Pliskova, French Open, Roland Garros, French Open semi-finals
Simona Halep.Julian Finney/Getty Images.

In the women's singles field, Romania's Simona Halep starts as the top seed. She will face Destanee Aiava in the first round. In the absence of last year's winner Serena Williams, runner-up Venus starts her campaign against Belinda Bencic.

On the other hand, Maria Sharapova, who is still awaiting an impactful Grand Slam run following her return from a doping ban last year, takes on unseeded Tatjana Maria of Germany in her first-round outing.

Seeding information (Top 16 seeds)

Men's singles Women's singles
1. Rafael Nadal 1. Simona Halep
2. Roger Federer 2. Caroline Wozniacki
3. Grigor Dimitrov 3. Garbine Muguruza
4. Alexander Zverev 4. Elina Svitolina
5. Dominic Thiem 5. Venus Williams
6. Marin Cilic 6. Karolina Pliskova
7. David Goffin 7. Jelena Ostapenko
8. Jack Sock 8. Caroline Garcia
9. Stan Wawrinka 9. Johanna Konta
10. Pablo Carreno Busta 10. CoCo Vandeweghe
11. Kevin Anderson 11. Kristina Mladenovic
12. Juan Martin del Potro 12. Julia Goerges
13. Sam Querrey 13. Sloane Stephens
14. Novak Djokovic 14. Anastasija Sevastova
15. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 15. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
16. John Isner 16. Elena Vesnina

TV Listings and Live streaming

India: TV: Sony Six; Live streaming: Sony Liv

Australia: TV: Channel Seven; Live streaming: 7plus

US: TV: ESPN; Live streaming: Watch ESPN

UK: TV: Eurosport, BBC; Live streaming: Watch Eurosport

Switzerland: TV: SSR, SRG

Canada: TV: TSN

Africa: TV: BeIN Sports

Singapore and South East Asia: TV: Fox Sports

New Zealand: TV: Sky Sport