Australian Open

Associated Press

Featured Matches

Selected first-round matches at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia


* Jurgen Melzer, Austria, vs. Paradorn Srichaphan (11), Thailand

* Brian Vahaly vs. Andre Agassi (2)

* Carlos Moya (5), Spain, vs. Dick Norman, Belgium

* Franco Squillari, Argentina, vs. Juan Carlos Ferrero (4), Spain


* Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia, vs. Venus Williams (2)

* Marlene Weingartner, Germany, vs. Jennifer Capriati (3)

* Justine Henin-Hardenne (5), Belgium, vs. Myriam Casanova, Switzerland

* Camille Pin, France, vs. Lindsay Davenport (9)



The 10 top-seeded women and men at the tournament, which begins today:

*--* WOMEN 1. SERENA WILLIAMS, U.S Grand Slam titles: 4 (1999, 2002 U.S. Open; '02 French Open, '02 Wimbledon). ... The most powerful hitter in women's game. ... Injured ankle in a tuneup tournament and missed Australian Open last year but won the next three majors, beating elder sister Venus in finals at the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open 2. VENUS WILLIAMS, U.S Grand Slam titles: 4 ('00, '01 Wimbledon; '00, '01 U.S. Open). ... Wouldn't face sister Serena until final. ... Her 24-match winning streak and bid for third consecutive major ended in a quarterfinal loss last year at Melbourne to Monica Seles 3. JENNIFER CAPRIATI, U.S Grand Slam titles: 3 ('01, '02 Australian Open; '01 French Open). ... Defended a Grand Slam for the first time at the Australian Open last year, saving four match points before defeating Martina Hingis. It was her first major in which she was seeded No. 1 4. KIM CLIJSTERS, BELGIUM Grand Slam titles: 0. ... Only the second woman to beat Venus and Serena Williams to end a tournament when she won the season-ending WTA Championships at Los Angeles in November 5. JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE, BELGIUM Grand Slam titles: 0. ... Reached Wimbledon final in 2001. ... Made quarterfinals at Australian and semis at Wimbledon and won two titles to move from No. 38 to No. 5 in 2002. ... Teamed with Clijsters to give Belgium its first Fed Cup title in 2001 6. MONICA SELES, U.S Grand Slam titles: 9 (1990, '91, '92 French Open, '91, '92, '93, '96 Australian Open, '91, '92 U.S. Open).... Reached quarterfinals or better at all four Grand Slam tournaments in 2002, including the semis at Melbourne 7. DANIELA HANTUCHOVA, SLOVAKIA Grand Slam titles: 0. ... Reached second round in Australia last year and quarterfinals at Wimbledon and U.S. Open. ... Won first title at Indian Wells with wins over Henin and Martina Hingis 8. ANASTASIA MYSKINA, RUSSIA Grand Slam titles: 0. ... Jumped 48 places to No. 11 in 2002 but has never gone beyond third round at a Grand Slam. ... Won her first title in three years at Brazil and made the finals at Birmingham, Eastbourne and Leipzig 9. LINDSAY DAVENPORT, U.S Grand Slam titles: 3 ('98 U.S. Open, '99 Wimbledon, 2000 Australian Open).... Was injured and missed first three Grand Slams last year after undergoing knee surgery and spending nine weeks on crutches.



*--* MEN 1. LLEYTON HEWITT, AUSTRALIA Grand Slam titles: 2 ('01 U.S. Open, '02 Wimbledon).... Spent every week at No. 1 in 2002. High expectations Down Under as no Australian has won the major at home since 1976.... Youngest rookie at Melbourne Park at 15 years, 11 months in '97 2. ANDRE AGASSI, U.S Grand Slam titles: 7 ('92 Wimbledon; '94, '99 U.S. Open; '95, '00, '01 Australian Open; '99 French Open).... Couldn't defend his Australian title last year, withdrawing with a wrist injury.... One of the best returners in tennis, also prides himself on peak physical condition 3. MARAT SAFIN, RUSSIA Grand Slam titles: 1 ('00 U.S. Open).... Has the full arsenal of shots but lapses in concentration can cost him.... Didn't win a title in 2002 until November at the Paris Masters. ... Helped Russia to 3-2 win over France to clinch the Davis Cup, also in Paris 4. JUAN CARLOS FERRERO, SPAIN Grand Slam titles: 0.... French Open runner-up last year. ... Five of seven career titles on clay, including at Monte Carlo in April. ... Runner-up to Hewitt in Shanghai, losing final in five sets. ... Finished in top five for second consecutive year 5. CARLOS MOYA, SPAIN Grand Slam titles: 1 ('98 French Open). ... Returned to the top 10 for the first time in three seasons with four titles from six finals and a career-high 59-21 singles record in 2002 6. ROGER FEDERER, SWITZERLAND Grand Slam titles: 0. ... All-court game took him to quarterfinals at both French Open and Wimbledon in '01 but hasn't gone beyond fourth round since then. ... Won in Sydney last year and made the fourth round at Melbourne 7. JIRI NOVAK, CZECH REPUBLIC Grand Slam titles: Made his biggest breakthrough here last year, reaching semifinals at a Grand Slam for the first and only time. ... Only top-10 player not to win a title in 2002 8. ALBERT COSTA, SPAIN Grand Slam titles: 1 ('02 French Open). ... French Open marked his first trip beyond quarterfinals at a Grand Slam 9. ANDY RODDICK, U.S Grand Slam titles: 0. ... Won titles at Memphis and Houston and made finals at Delray Beach and Toronto Masters in a 56-22 season 10. DAVID NALBANDIAN, ARGENTINA Grand Slam titles: 0. ... Surprise finalist in his first pro grass tournament at Wimbledon, making his debut on Centre Court in the championship match against Hewitt


-- Associated Press

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