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Radwanska Heads Strong Sydney Field

Agnieszka Radwanska tops a star-studded bill in Sydney next week as she puts the finishing touches to her Australian Open preparations.

Published January 05, 2013 09:26

Radwanska Heads Strong Sydney Field
Agnieszka Radwanska

SYDNEY & HOBART, Australia - After making the perfect start to the season with a title run in Auckland, Agnieszka Radwanska makes the three-hour trip across the Tasman Sea to finalize her preparations for the Australian Open at the Apia International Sydney next week.

In Auckland, Radwanska betrayed no signs of early season rustiness, not dropping a set all week and outfoxing an in-form Yanina Wickmayer in the final. As No.1 seed, the Pole has been granted a first round bye at the New South Wales Tennis Centre, with either a qualifier or wildcard Casey Dellacqua meeting her in the last 16.

In a strong top half of the draw, Radwanska is joined by seeds Li Na, Samantha Stosur and Nadia Petrova, as well as fellow Top 20 members Roberta Vinci and Lucie Safarova.

Stosur has often struggled to sparkle on home turf, and her first round defeat to Sofia Arvidsson in Brisbane last week was the latest disappointment to befall her in front of her adoring fans.

The draw has not been kind to her either, meeting former Australian Open semifinalist Zheng Jie in the opening round, with Safarova likely to be lying in wait should she prevail.

No less intriguing is the bottom half of the draw; No.2 seed Angelique Kerber faces a likely second round meeting against Wickmayer, while Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki are the remaining seeds.

The other tune-up event prior to Melbourne takes place in the Tasmanian capital, Hobart.

Like Sydney, there is no shortage of quality at the Moorilla Hobart International, with four of the Top 30 in attendance. Hsieh Su-Wei is top seed and kicks off her campaign with a tricky encounter against Peng Shuai, a semifinalist in the opening week of the season in Shenzhen.

The remaining seeds are Sorana CirsteaKlara Zakopalova, Yaroslava Shvedova, Carla Suárez Navarro, Francesca Schiavone, Sloane Stephens and defending champion Mona Barthel.

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