Aussie Open draw released
Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:07
British No.1 Andy Murray will face Andrei Pavel of Romania in the first round of the Australian Open after the draws were made in Melbourne on Friday.
Murray will begin the event as bookies’ favourite after beating the top two players in the world, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, in the last few days.
“It’s a good draw,” Murray said. “He didn’t play a lot last year through injury, he’s probably only going to play one or two more years and he’s coming towards the end of his career.
“But I need to make sure I’m ready for the start – you don’t want to have too many long matches early in the tournament if you want to go well here and go deep into the tournament.
“From the first set you need to be really focused.”
A first round victory in Melbourne would see Murray take on Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia or Spain’s Marcel Granollers in round two, with talented Japanese Kei Nishikori or Austrian 31st seed Jurgen Melzer likely to be waiting in round three.
Top seed Nadal joins Murray in the top half while Federer and defending champion Novak Djokovic are the big names in the bottom half of the draw.
Federer will be attempting to equal Pete Sampras record of 14 Grand Slam titles over the next fortnight and will face Italian Andreas Seppi in his opening match.
Nadal has been drawn against Christophe Rochus of Belgium while out-of-form Djokovic faces a qualifier. Home favourite Lleyton Hewitt also faces a qualifier.
In the womens draw, top seed Jelena Jankovic takes on Austrias Yvonne Meusberger. The Serb will be hoping to land her first grand slam title in Melbourne.
Second seed Serena Williams, who beat Jankovic in the 2008 US Open final, will face Yuan Meng of China as she looks for a fourth Australian Open title.
The American has a tough draw as she could run into 2006 champion Amelie Mauresmo in the fourth round, before a possible semi-final showdown with sister Venus.
In-form Elena Dementieva, who warmed up by winning the Medibank International in Sydney this week, begins her campaign against Kristina Barrois of Germany.
British No.1 and tennishead blogger Anne Keothavong will kick things off against 17th seed Anna Chakvatadze.
The Russian world No.18 may be ranked significantly higher than the Brit but Chakvatadze has been struggling for form of late – she lost in the first round in Hobart this week.
The other Brit in the main draw, Surrey’s Mel South, will take on 16th seed and 2007 Wimbledon runner-up Marian Bartoli of France.