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Murray opens against Haase as big two lie in wait

At a draw ceremony on the banks of the Yarra river early this morning, the US Open champion and No.3 seed was placed in the same half as Federer.

The Scot will take on Dutchman Robin Haase in the first round and could face Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarter-finals, with 17-times grand slam champion Federer likely to be waiting in the semi-finals.

Murray opened the season well by winning the title in Brisbane but having lost to Haase once before, he knows he cannot take anything for granted.

"The win in Brisbane was a great start to the year," the Scot said. "I didn't always play my best tennis but I found a way to win and I was pleased with how I performed on the big points.

"It sounds a cliche but I don't really ever look beyond the first round of the draws. The strength of the men's game right now means it's dangerous to look too far ahead, so I'm happy taking it match by match."

Murray's path to the last eight looks fairly smooth, with Florian Mayer the seed in his section set to make it through to the third round.

Only two men in the past 20 years – Roger Federer in 2006 and Petr Korda in 1998 – have won ATP events in the two weeks before winning the Australian Open.

But after a winter's work in Miami, Murray knows he could not be better prepared as he tries to add to his grand slam tally.

When I'm able to put in all the hard work in Miami, it gives me confidence when I step out on to the court and know I've put myself in the best position I can to win a match and have left no stone unturned with preparation," he said.

In the women's event, Britain's two direct entrants, Heather Watson and Laura Robson, both avoided seeded opposition in the first round. Watson will play the world No.89 Alexandra Cadantu of Romania and could meet fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the third.

Robson takes on American world No.82 Melanie Oudin, who she beat in the qualifying event last year. The former Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova, is likely to be waiting in round two.

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