Federer starts bid for 16th grand slam against Andreev

World number one Roger Federer will start his bid for a 16th grand slam title against 36th-ranked Russian Igor Andreev in the first round of the Australian Open next week.

Second seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal of Spain, who beat the Swiss maestro in the final last year, was paired with local hope Peter Luczak when the draw was made on Friday.

In the women’s draw, four-times champion and top seed Serena Williams has drawn Poland’s 71st-ranked Urszula Radwanska in the first round.

Russian world number two Dinara Safina, still bidding for her first grand slam, will face Slovakia’s 44th-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova.

The 2008 men’s champion Novak Djokovic—seeded third — will play Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, the world number 73, while U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina, the fourth seed, drew 79th-ranked American Michael Russell.

Fifth seed Andy Murray, who carries Britain’s hopes of ending a 74-year wait for a men’s grand slam champion, will play a qualifier in the first round but faces a potential quarter-final showdown with Nadal.

Women’s third seed and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia will also play an Australian in world number 95 Anastasia Rodionova.

U.S. Open finalist and fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark has drawn her Canadian near-namesake Aleksandra Wozniak.

Russian fifth seed Elena Dementieva, a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park last year, will play 43rd-ranked compatriot Vera Dushevina but faces the ominous prospect of a second-round match-up against former world number one Justine Henin.

Wildcard Henin, who made the final of the Brisbane International earlier this month in her first tournament back from retirement, has drawn compatriot Kirsten Flipkens.

Belgian 15th seed Kim Clijsters, who has netted two titles including the U.S. Open since her come-back from retirement last year, has drawn a qualifier for her first round.

The former world number one faces a potential fourth round encounter with Kuznetsova.

The Australian Open starts on Monday.

Date: 14.01.2010, Source: Reuters


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