Melbourne, 17 January 2012 | AAP

Australia’s top-ranked tennis player, Samantha Stosur, is among a group of Aussies, including Lleyton Hewitt, who will play their 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 at Rod Laver Arena.

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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 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.