Tennis: Stosur to start Aussie Open campaign

Sam Stosur will meet Romania's Sorana Cirstea in Tuesday's third match in Rod Laver Arena. Photo / Getty Images
Sam Stosur will meet Romania's Sorana Cirstea in Tuesday's third match in Rod Laver Arena. Photo / Getty Images

Australia's top-ranked tennis player, Samantha Stosur, will try to improve some worrying recent form when she plays her first round Australian Open match on Tuesday.

Stosur, the reigning US Open champion and the tournament's sixth seed, will meet Romania's Sorana Cirstea in Tuesday's third match in Rod Laver Arena.

In Stosur's two previous tournaments this year, she bombed out in the second round in Brisbane and the opening round in Sydney, suffering straight sets defeats on both occasions.

Helping the Australian's cause, she has won her two previous meetings with Cirstea, both in straight sets, both in 2009.

Fellow Australian Lleyton Hewitt will be trying to avoid his second straight first-round defeat at his home grand slam, when he meets unseeded German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night.

The former world No.1's ranking now sits at a lowly No.181.

Hewitt last year lost to David Nalbandian in the first round.

Other Australians in action on Tuesday include Jarmila Gajdosova, who will be seeking her first Australian Open win in seven attempts, when she meets Russian 27th seed Maria Kirilenko.

Jelena Dokic will play her first-round match against Russia's Anna Chakvetadze, before Marinko Matosevic takes on French 14th seed Gael Monfils.

Fellow Australians James Duckworth, Matthew Ebden, Bojana Bobusic and Isabella Holland will also play their first round matches.

Men's world No.1 Novak Djokovic will begin his Australian Open defence, in the day's second match on Rod Laver Arena, against Italy's Paolo Lorenzi.

Earlier, women's world No.2 Petra Kvitova will play Russian Vera Dushevina.

Five-time winner Serena Williams will play her first-round match on Tuesday night, against Austria's Tamira Paszek, with Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova other stars in action on Tuesday.

DAY ONE AT A GLANCE

ATTENDANCE: Day session: 45,361; Night session: 18,159; TOTAL: 63,520.

WINNERS:
Men: No. 2 Rafael Nadal, No. 3 Roger Federer, No. 7 Tomas Berdych, No. 8 Mardy Fish, No. 10 Nicolas Almagro, No. 11 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 13 Alexandr Dolgopolov, No. 16 John Isner, No. 18 Feliciano Lopez.

Women: No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 3 Victoria Azarenka, No. 5 Li Na, No. 8 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 10 Francesca Schiavone, No. 11 Kim Clijsters, No. 13 Jelena Jankovic, No. 16 Peng Shuai.

LOSERS:
Men: No. 22 Fernando Verdasco, No. 25 Juan Monaco, No. 28 Ivan Ljubicic, No. 31 Jurgen Melzer.

Women: No. 19 Flavia Pennetta, No. 23 Lucie Safarova, No. 28 Yanina Wickmayer.

STAT OF THE DAY: 81 number of winners hit by American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in her loss to Agnieszka Radwanska.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I'm completely cool and relaxed about it'' Roger Federer, commenting on his relationship with Rafael Nadal after Nadal criticized Federer's unwillingness to publicly back players in their scheduling and prize money issues with tennis hierarchy.

ON COURT TUESDAY: Defending men's champion and top-seeded Novak Djokovic, 2011 finalist Andy Murray, Andy Roddick; five-time champion Serena Williams, U.S. Open winner Sam Stosur, Maria Sharapova.

- AAP/AP

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