Australian Open favourites Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams open their campaigns on Monday as the first Grand Slam of 2014 kicks off in Melbourne.
Where to Watch Live
Day one is scheduled for an 11 am local time (5.30 am IST) start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2. The action can be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. ESPN will be providing coverage in the US and the matches can be live streamed HERE. UK viewers can catch the action in the BBC with live streaming options HERE or HERE.
All eyes will be on Djokovic, the defending champion, when the Serbian plays his first round match at the Rod Laver Arena in the first match of the night session against Solvakian Lukas Lacko.
"I don't change anything in particular in my approach," Djokovic said, when asked about his preparations for hot conditions expected at Melbourne. "Everything is more or less the same. I am expecting to play in a big heat.
"You always have to expect because you can't really predict Melbourne's weather. I've been working of course, a lot with my team, making sure I'm fit and ready to play best-of-five conditions.
"For me the court, Rod Laver Arena, is the same like last year," he said. "Last year it was slightly faster comparing to the years before, but no major difference."
Djokovic, perhaps taking a leaf out of Andy Murray's book in hiring a former tennis great, has brought in the German legend Boris Becker into his coaching staff, and the Serbian revealed it was due to long-time mentor Marian Vajda asking for more time to spend with his family.
"He [Vajda] had the initiative of recommending somebody that has been in similar situations and has similar mindset, knows what I'm going through, and could help me from that mental point of view," the 26-year-old added. "Boris came to our mind. We contacted him last September.
"Whenever you make a change in life, it's a potential risk, right? But I don't want to think from that perspective. I'm really excited about this partnership that I have with Boris that also has been approved and supported by Marian, who is still in the team. He's still going to travel with me on certain tournaments that Boris is not going to be there. We're going to spend a lot of time on preparations.
"We look forward to working with each other. It's just the beginning," he said, revealing that he and Boris haven't actually had the opportunity to hit together yet, Becker's recent ankle surgery proving to be the limiting factor.
"I have the utmost respect for what he has achieved in his career. But tennis has evolved in a way because of the technology. Now the game is based on the baseline, longer rallies and so forth. Well I believe with his great volleys, that aggressive kind of mindset also, from that point of view he can help me."
Following Djokovic is Serena Williams, the women's favourite at the Australian Open, with the world number one up against local favourite Ashley Barty.
Williams, after a career-best year, picked up from where she had left off with victory at the Brisbane International, and if the American continued to be at her best in Melbourne, there really is little that anybody will be able to do, even defending champ Victoria Azarenka.
Schedule of Play (11 am local time, 5.30 am IST onwards): Rod Laver Arena: 9-Angelique Kerber (Ger) vs Jarmila Gajdosova (Aus), Alejandro Gonzalez (Col) vs 3-David Ferrer (Esp), 17-Samantha Stosur (Aus) vs Klara Zakopalova (Cze). 7 pm local time, 1.30 pm IST: Lukas Lacko (Svk) vs 2-Novak Djokovic (Ser), 1-Serena Williams (US) vs Ashleigh Barty (Aus).
Hisense Arena: 8-Stanislas Wawrinka (Sui) vs Andrey Golubev (Kaz), 4-Li Na (Chn) vs Ana Konjuh (Cro), Kiki Bertens (Ned) vs 14-Ana Ivanovic (Ser), Jordan Thompson (Aus) vs 20-Jerzy Janowicz (Pol).
Margaret Court Arena: 22-Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) vs Venus Williams (US), 7-Tomas Berdych (Cze) vs Aleksandr Nedovyesov (Kazakhstan), Julia Goerges (Ger) vs 7-Sara Errani (Ita), Luksika Kumkhum (Tha) vs 6-Petra Kvitova (Cze), Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp) vs Denis Istomin (Uzb).