Reigning US Open champion and world No. 6 Sam Stosur will begin her Apia International Sydney campaign against former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.
The official draw, conducted today at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, produced a number of outstanding matches in both the men’s and women’s draws.
Stosur and Schiavone, who met in the 2010 final at Roland Garros, have been drawn in the same quarter as Wimbledon champion and world No. 2 Petra Kvitova, who has a first round bye.
World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki also has a bye in the first round and could face Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, who defeated her in the second round at last year’s event.
Fourth seed and defending champion Li Na, who participated in the draw, will face a qualifier, as will No. 3 seed Victoria Azarenka.
Serbian Ana Ivanovic takes on Czech Lucie Safarova while an all-Russian affair will see world No. 7 Vera Zvonareva facing two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Australian wildcards Jelena Dokic and Isabella Holland have also been drawn to meet in the first round.
In the men’s draw, four-time Apia International Sydney champion Lleyton Hewitt drew No. 3 seed and last year’s finalist Viktor Troicki of Serbia.
Former champions Marcos Baghdatis and Dmitry Tursunov will meet in the first round, with the winner set to meet either Australian wildcard Matt Ebden or Marcel Granollers of Spain.
James Duckworth, who received the tournament’s final wildcard yesterday, plays a qualifier in his opening match.
The top four seeds –- Juan Martin Del Potro, John Isner, Richard Gasquet and Feliciano Lopez — all received first round byes.
Tournament Director Craig Watson said the draw had produced matches certainly worthy of Grand Slam finals.
“There will be some tremendous matches over the next couple of days, with a number of Grand Slam champions and finalists set to meet in the first round,” Watson said.
“To have Stosur and Schiavone meet in a re-match of French Open final in the opening round will be a real treat for the fans, as will the matches between Zvonareva and Kuznetsova, Hewitt and Troicki, and Baghdatis and Tursunov.”
Tickets to the Apia International Sydney 2012 are on sale through Ticketek and can be purchased online at www.ticketek.com.au or 1300 888 104.
The Apia International Sydney will be held at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre from Sunday 8 to Saturday 14 January 2012.