Stosur handed tricky draw in Sydney
Sam Stosur has drawn fiesty Zheng Jie in her opening match and landed in Li Na's quarter at the Apia International Sydney, while Olivia Rogowska faces Maria Kirilenko.
Sam Stosur will take on China’s Jie Zheng in the opening round of the Sydney International as the world No.9 attempts to get her Australian Open preparations back on track.
Stosur’s quest to win her home grand slam got off on the wrong foot this week when she went out in the first round of the Brisbane International with a straight sets loss to Swede Sofia Arvidsson.
She was then dealt a tricky path for her final lead-up tournament in Sydney, which gets underway on Sunday.
World No.17 Lucie Safarova looms as a likely opponent in the second round with a possible quarterfinal date with former French Open champion Li Na should she get past world No.26 Zheng.
Stosur has a 3-1 career record against Zheng, having won both of their last two encounters which were both in 2011.
Fellow Aussie Casey Dellacqua will face a qualifier in the opening round, with her reward for winning that match being a second round meeting with top seed and world No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who has a first-round bye.
Australian Olivia Rogowska, who along with Dellacqua was granted a wildcard, will meet world No.14 Maria Kirilenko in the opening round.
After a shock loss to the little known Victorian in the 2009 French Open the Russian has revenge on her mind.
“The last time I played her I lost to her in the French Open – it was first round and she was a wildcard,” Kirilenko said following Friday’s draw.
“It was three or four years ago – I remember it.
“Since that time I haven’t really seen how she’s been playing, but I’m sure she’s also improved.”
Despite jetting in from icy Russia on Thursday, Kirilenko said she wasn’t too daunted by the expected heatwave set to grip Sydney over the coming week.