Murray sixth seed in Melbourne

Murray is a three-time Melbourne finalist but officials for the opening Grand Slam event of the season have taken the world rankings as their guide for the seeding process.

That means Novak Djokovic at the top of the men’s seedings and Serena Williams as No 1 seed for the women’s singles.

Four-time winner Djokovic will be looking to make up for last season’s disappointment when he crashed out at the quarter-final stage to eventual champion Stanislas Wawrinka, who is seeded four for the defence of his title.

Roger Federer is seeded two ahead of Rafael Nadal, who is a possible quarter-final opponent for Murray – the draw for the singles events will be made on Friday.

Spain’s David Ferrer is the ninth seed following the withdrawal of US Open champion Marin Cilic with a shoulder injury, while 2008 Australian Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is also ruled out through injury.

The top 32-ranked women make up the 32 seeds in Melbourne, with 2008 winner Maria Sharapova seeded second ahead of Romania’s Simona Halep and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

Halep is confident she will be able to play in Melbourne after being forced to withdraw from this week’s Sydney International because of illness.

That means no seeding for two-time champion Victoria Azarenka, who ended 2014 ranked 32 in the world but dropped to 41 when she was knocked out in the first round in Brisbane last week.