United States, 29 July 2013 | tennis.com.au

A large contingent of Australian players will be action this week as they continue to hone their hardcourt games ahead of the US Open.

Six Aussie men will take to the courts in Washington DC for the Citi Open, a prestigious ATP 500-level event on the men’s calendar.

Leading the way is our No.1 player Bernard Tomic, the 14th seed in the US capital and who as a result enjoys a first round bye.

In the second round, the 20-year-old will face the winner of the match between Belgian David Goffin and Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu, with a projected third-round battle looming against top seed Juan Martin del Potro.

Yet the Argentine’s path could be blocked by another Australian in Lleyton Hewitt, who is positioned to face del Potro in the second round should he get past young American talent Ryan Harrison.

Hewitt will be confident in his hardcourt form thanks to a semifinal run last week at the ATP Atlanta Open,  where he fell in a nail-biter to eventual champion John Isner.

Loaded with Australians, the top half of the draw also contains Matthew Ebden and James Duckworth.

Ebden successfully qualified for his second straight tournament – having done the same in Atlanta – and in his opening match will face local Mardy Fish, who is taking tentative steps back onto the men’s tour after several months away from the game due to heart complications.

Duckworth, a wildcard, takes on Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita in his first round match; the winner faces a second round showdown against No.7 seed Kevin Anderson, last week’s Atlanta finalist.

In the bottom half, Marinko Matosevic has drawn American veteran James Blake, a former world No.4 who tends to bring out his best tennis during the US summer hardcourt season.

No.15 seed Nikolay Davydenko, once ranked as high as No.3, awaits the winner in the second round.

Also in Matosevic’s immediate section is compatriot Sam Groth, a qualifier into the main draw. Groth faces American wildcard Denis Kudla in round one, and should he progress, will tackle fourth seed Milos Raonic.

In the women’s draw – the Citi Open is an International-level event on the WTA Tour – Anastasia Rodionova is Australia’s lone female representative.

The world No.123 faces American Melanie Oudin in her first round match, with a likely second round battle against top seed Angelique Kerber looming in round two for the winner.

Stosur accepts WTA Carlsbad wildcard

Across the country on the west coast, Sam Stosur has added to her pre-US Open schedule by accepting a wildcard into the WTA Southern California Open in Carlsbad.

The Australian, seeded fifth, will battle American Varvara Lepchenko in her first round match, a player she defeated handily in the third round on her way to last year’s quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.

Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska is Stosur’s projected quarterfinal opponent, should she make it that far.

Other top-tenners in the WTA Premier-level event are top seed Victoria Azarenka and world No.7 Petra Kvitova.