Australia’s Jarmila Groth will play the opening night match of this year’s Australian Open on Rod Laver Arena, after Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki take centre stage during the day. Groth, the world No.40, who won the Hobart international today, faces 21st-seeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer on Monday night. Earlier, 2008 Open champion Sharapova will play the first match of the tournament on the main showcase court, against Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn. Danish world No.1 Wozniacki will meet Argentina’s Gisela Dulko in the following match, before Federer begins his title defence against Slovak Lukas Lacko.
Men’s world No.1 Rafael Nadal will not start his quest for a fourth consecutive grand slam title until Tuesday, which should benefit the Spanish star, who is recovering from illness. Along with Groth, Australians in action on Monday include Jelena Dokic, who will meet Czech Zuzana Ondraskova on Margaret Court Arena, before Peter Luczak takes on Croatian 17th seed Ivan Ljubicic. Australia’s top singles hope, Samantha Stosur, and top men’s singles hope, Lleyton Hewitt, will both begin their campaigns on Tuesday.