Melbourne, Australia, 7 February 2021 | Leigh Rogers

The last time Sam Stosur teamed with China’s Zhang Shuai at the Australian Open, they swept through the women’s doubles draw to win the title. Their stunning 2019 run included wins over the top two seeds.

Reuniting this season, Stosur is excited to be back on court with her good friend.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back on court with Shuai. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off,” Stosur told “She’s always fun to be around and always has a positive outlook.”

> READ: Stosur happy in tour return

Their Australian Open victory was the beginning of a stellar 2019 season for the duo, who also reached the Miami final, the semifinals at the WTA Finals and Roland Garros quarterfinals.

“If we can regain that form, that will be very exciting,” said Stosur, a former world No.1 doubles player who is currently ranked No.33.

They are one of 11 teams featuring Aussie players in this year’s Australian Open women’s doubles draw.

> VIEW: Full Australian Open 2021 women’s doubles draw

Ash Barty, Australia’s top-ranked doubles player at world No.14, is playing alongside American Jennifer Brady. They face Australian wildcards Abbie Myers and Ivana Popovic in the first round.

The new partners, who made the Yarra Valley Classic quarterfinals in their first tournament together last week, have quickly bonded over an iconic Australian food.

“I actually organised a jar of Bartymite for Jen, so she loved that. She’s a converted Vegemite fan, which is always good,” Barty said. “Now just got to get her to try it with avocado on toast and she’ll be fine.”

South Australian Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz, a 16-year-old making her Grand Slam doubles debut, is partnering two-time major champion Simona Halep. The wildcard pairing play Aussie duo Arina Rodionova and Storm Sanders in the opening round.

Destanee Aiava and Astra Sharma will face top seeds Su-wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova in the opening round, while Kimberly Birrell and Jaimee Fourlis have drawn US Open 2020 champions Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva.

Australian Open 2021
Women’s doubles, first round
[10] Sam Stosur (AUS)/Zhang Shuai (CHN) v Leylah Fernandez (CAN)/Heather Watson (GBR)
Ash Barty (AUS)/Jennifer Brady (USA) v [WC] Abbie Myers (AUS)/Ivana Popovic (AUS)
Arina Rodionova (AUS)/Storm Sanders (AUS) v [WC] Simona Halep (ROU)/Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz (AUS)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)/Alison Riske (USA) v Arantxa Rus (NED)/Tamara Zidansek (SLO)
[WC] Destanee Aiava (AUS)/Astra Sharma (AUS) v [1] Su-wei Hsieh (TPE)/Barbora Strycova (CZE)
[WC] Daria Gavrilova (AUS)/Ellen Perez (AUS) v Ons Jabeur (TUN)/Christina McHale (USA)
[WC] Olivia Gadecki (AUS)/Belinda Woolcock (AUS) v Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU)/Ankita Raina (IND)
[WC] Lizette Cabrera (AUS)/Maddison Inglis (AUS) v Renata Voracova (CZE)/Yafan Wang (CHN)
[WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS)/Jaimee Fourlis (AUS) v [16] Laura Siegemund (GER)/Vera Zvonareva (RUS)

> READ: Nine Aussie teams feature in AO 2021 men’s doubles field

Tickets for Australian Open 2021 are available through Ticketmaster.