Melbourne, Australia, 19 January 2013 |

The Australian Open Junior Championships kick off today, with the world’s most promising junior talent battling it out at Melbourne Park for the next eight days.

World No.3 and Canberra local Nick Kyrgios will head the Australian field, fresh from a win at the AGL Loy Yang Traralgon International this week.

The 2012 Optus 18s Australian Championships winner and local hope will face competition from world No.1 Nikola Milojevic (SRB), [2] Gianluigi Quinzi (ITA) and [4] Laslo Djere (SRB).

The following juniors will round out the top eight seeds in the boys’ draw [5] Elias Ymer (SWE), [6] Hyeon Chung (KOR), Traralgon International runner-up [7] Wayne Montgomery (RSA) and [8] Filippo Baldi (ITA).

Australian’s Harry Bourchier (Tas), Jay Andrijic (NSW), Omar Jasika (Vic) and Bradley Mousley (SA) will also contest the boys’ event.

In the girls’ draw, [2] Katerina Siniakova (CZE) will be the one to beat after top seed Yulia Putinseva (RUS) withdrew from the event.

Siniakova will have to overcome the remaining seeds [3] Ana Konjuh (CRO), [4] Antonia Lottner (GER), [5] Ching-Wen Hsu (TPE), [6] Carol Zhao (CAN), [7] Anna Danilina (KAZ) and [8] Elise Mertens (BEL).

Lizette Cabrera (Qld) will lead the Aussie field with three others including Danielle Wagland, Stefani Stojic and Eliza Long winning through qualifying to advance to the main draw. Brooke Rischbieth also gains direct entry as a lucky loser.

The following Australian boys have been awarded wildcards into the event and will aim to take out the boys’ singles trophy, repeating compatriot Luke Saville’s feat from last year’s tournament:

Boys’ singles wildcards

Thanasi Kokkinakis

Jacob Grills

Blake Mott

Marc Polmans

Daniel Guccione

Akira Santillan

Oliver Anderson

Jake Delaney

Eight girls have been given wildcard entries, vying to be the first Australian to win the girls’ event since Siobhan Drake-Brockman in 1995:

Girls’ singles wildcards

Zoe Hives

Ellen Perez

Naiktha Bains

Priscilla Hon

Sara Tomic

Olivia Tjandramulia

Kimberly Birrell

Belinda Woolcock