Six of the WTA's Top 10 are heading to the Apia International Sydney for last-minute Australian Open preparations. Here's a rundown of what Angelique Kerber and Agnieszka Radwanska are up against.
WTA Staff

SYDNEY, Australia - With the Australian Open just around the corner, six of the WTA's Top 10 players are heading to the Apia International Sydney to fine-tune their preparations for the year's first major.

The Sydney draw is out and Angelique Kerber, Agnieszka Radwanska, Dominika Cibulkova and Karolina Pliskova are all in action at the Premier-level event - here's a rundown of what they're up against this week.

Click here for the complete Sydney singles and doubles draws.


[1] Angelique Kerber vs [6] Johanna Konta
[3] Dominika Cibulkova vs [5] Svetlana Kuznetsova
[7] Elina Svitolina vs [4] Karolina Pliskova
[8] Elena Vesnina vs [2] Agnieszka Radwanska


Sloane Stephens vs [4] Karolina Pliskova: Stephens is back in action for the first time since August after a left foot injury ended her season after the Olympic tennis event. But it won't be an easy welcome back to the WTA as she's drawn Brisbane champion Pliskova in the first round. Stephens leads their head-to-head record 2-0, but the pair haven't played since late 2015.

[7] Elina Svitolina vs Monica Puig: Svitolina and Puig are set to meet for the second time in as many weeks, and this time it's at a tournament where the Puerto Rican reached the final last year and is defending valuable points. Svitolina leads their head-to-head 2-1 after last week's win in Brisbane.

As the top two seeds, Kerber and Radwanska received a bye into the second round. Kerber awaits the winner between Daria Kasatkina and Timea Babos, while Radwanska will face either Roberta Vinci or a qualifier in her first match.


Should World No.1 Kerber make it past her tricky second-round battle, she could face British No1 Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals. Precedent would be on her side, though, as Kerber's won both of their previous two encounters in straight sets - including their semifinal clash at the 2016 Australian Open.

It doesn't get any easier from there, with WTA Finals champ Dominika Cibulkova and defending Sydney champion Svetlana Kuznetsova potentially looming in the semifinals.

For 2013 champion Radwanska, it's a more straightforward road to the final but it's littered with dangerous floaters.

A battle against longtime nemesis Caroline Wozniacki could await in the quarterfinals - though she trails their head-to-head 6-9, Radwanska's come out on top in their last two matches in Wuhan and Beijing. After that, she could get the big-hitting Pliskova in the semifinals.