Henin obstacle to Wozniacki''s Slam quest

Posted By: Pti

Melbourne, Jan 14 (AFP) World number one CarolineWozniacki faces a likely early test against seven-time majorschampion Justine Henin if she is to go on to break her GrandSlam drought at the Australian Open.

In the official draw made today, Wozniacki is projectedto meet the former world number one and last year''s finalistin the quarter-finals.

The 20-year-old Dane reached the top ranking in Octoberlast year with the consistency of her performances outweighingher failure to win a major trophy.

She gets her big chance at the season-opening major, with13-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams missing with afoot injury after dominating the Australian Open with fivetitles in the last eight years.

Wozniacki has begun the season disastrously with astraight sets loss in her first official match to Slovakia''s32nd-ranked Dominika Cibulkova in Sydney, after losing toworld number two Vera Zvonareva and Open favourite KimClijsters at exhibition events in Hong Kong and Thailand.

Wozniacki will launch her fourth Australian Open campaignagainst the world''s top doubles player Gisela Dulko ofArgentina, and could face Belgian Yanina Wickmayer in thefourth round.

US Open champion Kim Clijsters was placed in the bottomhalf of the women''s singles draw away from Wozniacki in theofficial draw.

Third seed Clijsters, the 2004 finalist, will openagainst another former Australian Open finalist, Dinara Safinaof Russia.

Clijsters leads Safina -- who has returned to the tourafter prolonged back problems -- 7-2.

Clijsters was to face China''s Li Na in the final of theSydney International on Friday, playing for her 41st careertitle.

Russian Zvonareva, who reached the final at last year''sWimbledon and US Opens, begins her Australian quest againstAustrian Sybille Bammer.

American fourth seed Venus Williams, who has made justone final appearance in her past 11 Australian Opens, wasdrawn in Wozniacki''s top half of the draw and will take onItalian Sara Errani in the first round.

Li Na, a surprise semi-finalist at last year''s AustralianOpen, will play Sweden''s Sofia Ardvisson first up, and is inthe same quarter of the draw as Venus Williams.

Australia''s big hope Samantha Stosur -- last year''sFrench Open finalist and the fifth seed -- is targeting asemi-final against Zvonareva.

But she first has to negotiate American wild card LaurenDavis and possibly 25th-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova, a winnerof the Brisbane International this month, in the third round.


Story first published: Friday, January 14, 2011, 14:00 [IST]
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