Unseeded Estonian Kanepi knocked Halep out of the first round at Flushing Meadows a year ago, making the Romanian the first top seed to lose at that tournament's earliest stage.
Djokovic, who like Federer is bidding for a record seventh title in Melbourne, will play a qualifier in round one. Murray is playing in Australia under his protected ranking of world number two, which is used to help players who have suffered long-term injuries.
"If I had a chance to do it as well I'd be happy to try and go there as well".
Three-time grand slam victor Andy Murray has a tough clash with 22nd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut as he returns from a hip injury. "If I made 100 at the Australian I'd take it, I'd gladly accept it - and I'll give it all I have".
Australian Nick Kyrgios takes on 16th seed Milos Raonic in arguably the biggest first-round match-up in the men's draw. The 26-year-old has achieved a career breakthrough last season as she qualified for two straight semifinals in Wuhan and China Open.
Eurosport pundit John McEnroe sees the changing of the guard coming in 2019, saying: "I believe this year will be the year that you are going to see one of these young kids break through".
The three-time grand slam champion then offered a kind gesture by saying: 'If you'd like to come along and watch my match on Monday or Tuesday I'll sort you a ticket'.
All the active grand slam winners in the men's game are over 30 and one of the most intriguing storylines will be whether the new generation can finally break the stranglehold. Among those looking to halt Serena's charge: world number one Simona Halep, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki and US Open victor Naomi Osaka. Murray opens against No. 22-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut. For me it's just taking it day by day, doing the right things, taking even better care of my body. "I feel like these courts are suited for me, so it's incredible to be back".