Aussies in action: America coast-to-coast
UPDATE: Sam Stosur kicks off her North American hardcourt campaign at the WTA event in Stanford, California while six of her compatriots will take to the courts in Washington DC.
Sam Stosur kicks off her North American hardcourt campaign at the WTA event in Stanford, California while six of her compatriots will take to the courts in Washington DC.
Stosur will tackle Japanese qualifier Naomi Osaka in the first round, and finds herself placed in a dense quarter of the draw headed by fourth seed Victoria Azarenka and also including Venus Williams and No.8 seed Andrea Petkovic.
Stosur has a history of performing strongly in California, having reached the semifinals in Stanford in 2009 and 2010, as well as winning the title last year at the Southern California Open in Carlsbad.
The Premier-level event in Stanford this year features four of the world’s top 10, and is headed by world No.1 Serena Williams.
Across the country in the United States capital, five Aussie men take their place in the draw at the ATP Citi Open, a 500-level event.
Four of them – Lleyton Hewitt, Marinko Matosevic, Bernard Tomic and James Duckworth – find themselves in the bottom half of the draw.
The other, Sam Groth, was awarded a late lucky loser entry into the top half of the draw, replacing No.3 seed Grigor Dimitrov who withdrew from the event due to illness; Groth will take on Israel’s Dudi Seli in round one.
Hewitt leads the Aussie contingent as the 14th seed, and thus receives a bye into the second round; there he will face the winner of the match between compatriot Matosevic and Ukrainian qualifier Illya Marchenko.
Tomic takes on Colombian Alejandro Falla, and should he win that battle he would face 15th seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
Duckworth, a wildcard into the main draw, comes up against American Steve Johnson in round one, with the winner going on to a second-round battle with last week’s Atlanta champion John Isner, the fifth seed.
Duckworth’s wildcard comes after the Australian 22-year-old won the ATP Challenger event in Lexington last week.
The men’s event in Washington DC is headed by top two seeds Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic.
In the women’s event, Australia will be represented by Olivia Rogowska, who won two matches in qualifying to take her place in the main draw.
There, the Victorian will face Bojana Jovanovski, the Serb who reached last week’s WTA final in Baku.
Rogowska currently sits at a career-high ranking of No.104, and a strong result in Washington could elevate her inside the top 100 where she would join compatriots Stosur and Casey Dellacqua.