Stosur, Tomic handed tough Brisbane draws
It's Australia's best versus Spanish threats at the Brisbane International, where Sam Stosur tackles Garbine Muguruza while Bernard Tomic faces David Ferrer.
Australia’s leading hopes at the Brisbane International, Sam Stosur and Bernard Tomic, have both received unfriendly draws to start their 2017 season.
Stosur will face intense pressure in the form of world No.7 Garbine Muguruza in the first round.
It will be a replay of their 2016 Roland Garros semifinal, where the Spaniard beat the Queenslander before going on to upset Serena Williams in the final to win her first major title.
Muguruza enters the first tournament of the Australian summer as the fourth seed, while Stosur, ranked 21st, is unseeded in a high-quality field which features five top-10 players.
The victor would set themselves on path for a likely quarterfinal against world No.9 Svetlana Kutznetsova.
The other Australian in the 30-strong women’s draw, comeback kid Ash Barty, will play a qualifier – yet victory would pit her against world No.1 Angelique Kerber in the second round.
Tomic will lead a charge of three Australians in the men’s field, which also features five from the top 10.
But he must be on song from the word go after drawing eighth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer.
Ferrer, the 2013 French Open finalist, would start slight favourite but the Gold Coaster has a fine record in Brisbane, making the semifinals earlier this year before falling to eventual champion Milos Raonic.
Canadian world No.3 Raonic is back as the No.1 seed and is on track to meet drawcard Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.
Nadal, who is currently playing impressively in Abu Dhabi, has a tricky opening encounter with heavy-hitting Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.
If world No.26 Tomic prevails over Ferrer he could set up an all-Australian second-round match with wildcard Jordan Thompson, who has drawn Swede Elias Ymer first.
Fellow wildcard and Olympian Sam Groth will play Frenchamn Pierre-Hughes Herbert in his opening round clash where victory would see him play fourth seed Dominic Thiem.
For all tournament information, visit brisbaneinternational.com.au.