Tennis: Stosur meets Schiavone in devilish Sydney draw

Australia's Samantha Stosur . Photo / Greg Bowker
Australia's Samantha Stosur . Photo / Greg Bowker

Samantha Stosur has copped a devilish draw for next week's Sydney International, striking her Italian nemesis Francesca Schiavone in the first round.

The 2010 French Open final rematch was the undoubted marquee match-up to emerge from Saturday's draw at the Olympic Park Tennis Centre.

With nine of the world's top 10 players competing, and boasting a direct entry cut-off mark of 25, the tournament was always going to throw up some mouth-watering first-round encounters.

Fifth-seeded Stosur, though, wouldn't have budgeted for an opener against the 11th-ranked Schiavone, who only missed a seeding by two spots.

Stosur leads Schiavone 6-3 head-to-head, but lost their most important meeting at Roland Garros two years ago.

If she negotiates a path past Schiavone, Australia's US Open champion will face either fellow Italian Roberta Vinci or Slovak Daniela Hantuchova for a quarter-final berth.

Second-seeded Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who has a first-round bye, also lurks in Stosur's bottom half of the draw.

Four-times men's champion Lleyton Hewitt also has a testing draw.

Hewitt faces Serbian fifth seed Viktor Troicki in the opening round and landed in the top half of the draw featuring the likes of No.1 seed Juan Martin del Potro, former champions Marcos Baghdatis and Dmitry Tursunov and fellow Australian wildcard Matt Ebden.

Ebden faces Spanish eighth seed Marcel Granollers in the first round.

Local teenage wildcard James Duckworth will play a qualifier.

In other interesting women's first-round clashes, Jelena Dokic and wildcard Isabella Holland square off in an all-Australian affair and sixth seed Vera Zvonareva squares of with Russian compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova.

- AAP

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