Champ Faces Early Test
ASB Classic singles and doubles first-round draws.
- Belgian Yannina Wickmayer celebrates her victory at the 2010 ASB Classic.
Belgian Yanina Wickmayer must overcome the imposing obstacle of former world number one Dinara Safina of Russia if she is to get her ASB Classic title defence off to a winning start.
The pair are set to meet in what looms as the best match-up of the opening round, somewhat belying their disparate rankings. On the back of her victory last year, second-seeded Wickmayer rose as high as 12 in WTA Tour rankings over the past 12 months and now settles at 23, but Safina suffered a wretched run of injuries to plummet to 62.
Meanwhile, top seed Maria Sharapova of Russia will begin her bid for glory with a tricky encounter against Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, ranked 57 in the world.
Kiwi wild cards Sacha Jones and Marina Erakovic have both struck seeded players in their opening rounds – Jones faces third-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, while Erakovic will take on another Russian, seventh seed Elena Vesnina.
In another quick of the draw, the first round will feature two matches between qualifiers.
1 Maria Sharapova (RUS) v Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) v Renata Voracova (CZE)
Zana Ondraskova (CZE) v Greta Arn (HUN)
Tamira Paszek (AUT) v 8 Sofia Arvidsson (SWE)
4 Julia Goerges (GER) v Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP)
Sandra Zahlavova (CZE) v Alize Cornet (FRA)
Anne Keothavong (GBR) v Edina Gallovits (ROU)
WC Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) v 6 Kimiko Datge-Krumm (JPN)
5 Anatasija Sevastova (LAT) v Romina Oprandi (ITA)
Qualifier v Qualifier
Johanna Larsson (SWE) v Shuai Peng (CHN)
WC Sacha Jones (NZL) v 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
7 Elena Vesnina (RUS) v WC Marina Erakovic (NZL)
Simon Halep (ROU) v Ayumi Morita (JPN)
Qualifier v Qualifier
Dinara Safina (RUS) v 2 Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
1 Kveta Peschke (CZE)/Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) v Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (THA)/Aiko Nakamura (JPN)
Maria Irigoyen (ARG)/Florencia Molinero (ARG) v Kurumi Nara (JPN)/Heather Watson (GBR)
3 Sania Mirza (IND)/Renata Voracova (CZE) v Sarah Borwell (GBR)/Marie-Eve Pelletier (CAN)
WC Leela Beattie (NZL)/Emily Fanning (NZL) v Johanna Larsson (SWE)/Jasmin Woehr (GER)
Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP)/Silvia Soler Espinosa (ESP) v Alize Cornet (FRA)/Edina Gallovits (ROU)
Eva Birnerova (CZE)/Anne Keothavang (GBR) v 4 Liga Dekmeijere (LAT)/Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)
Sofia Arvidsson (SWE)/Marina Erakovic (NZL) v Simona Halep (ROU)/Tamira Paszek (AUT)
Corinna Dentoni (ITA)/Liana Ungur (ROU) v 2 Natalie Grandin (RSA)/Vladimira Uhlirova (CZE)