Tennis: Locals handed tough Australian Open draws

Bernard Tomic will face Rafael Nadal in the opening round in Melbourne. Photo / Getty
Bernard Tomic will face Rafael Nadal in the opening round in Melbourne. Photo / Getty

Australian youngster Ashleigh Barty will face world No.1 Serena Williams in the opening round of the Australian Open.

In the men's draw, Australia's Bernard Tomic also received a horrow draw, up against world No.1 Rafael Nadal.

Nadal missed last year's Open with a knee injury, but the 2009 champion finished 2013 in superb form, amassing 10 titles for the season.

In-form veteran Lleyton Hewitt didn't fare quite as badly as Tomic, but still faces a tough first-round match against Italian 24th seed Andreas Seppi.

Australian wildcard entrant James Duckworth also has an extremely tough opening encounter, facing 17-time grand slam title winner Roger Federer.

While its a tough task for Barty, other Australian women fared better in Friday's draw.

Australia's only women's seeded player, Samantha Stosur, the 17th seed, will meet Czech Klara Zakopalova - the same player she faces in the Hobart International semi-finals on Friday.

Stosur is drawn to potentially meet Serb 14th seed Ana Ivanovic in the third round, if she wins her first two matches.

Fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua will start her tournament against Russian Vera Zvonareva, a former world No.2 on the comeback trail from a long injury absence.

Jarmila Gajdosova plays German ninth seed Angelique Kerber, while Storm Sanders meets Italian Camila Giorgi and Olivia Rogowska will take on Colombian Mariana Duque-Marino

- AAP

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