Robson to face seed Flipkens

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: January 10 2014, 9:54 GMT

British number one Laura Robson will play Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens in the first round of next week's Australian Open.

Laura Robson: Drawn to face Kirsten Flipkens in the first round
Laura Robson: Drawn to face Kirsten Flipkens in the first round

Robson was drawn against the 18th seed in Melbourne on Friday.

The British star, who made the third round of last year's tournament, is currently nursing a wrist injury and is not yet certain to take up her place in the draw although she has been practising in Melbourne.

The pair have never played each other before.

Both starred at Wimbledon last year, Robson reaching the last 16 and Flipkens the last four. However, after upsetting Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals, the Belgian then lost to eventual champion Marion Bartoli.

Flipkens has already shown some good form this season, reaching the semis in Auckland last week.

Whoever wins could meet former world number two Vera Zvonareva in the second round. The Russian faces Australia's Casey Dellacqua first.

Meanwhile, top seed and title favourite Serena Williams will open her tournament against Aussie teenager Ashleigh Barty. She has been drawn in the same half of the draw as Li Na, who is her potential semi-final opponent.

Before then, Williams is seeded to play Ana Ivanovic in the last 16 and Sara Errani in the quarter-finals. Li is in Petra Kvitova's quarter.

The other half of the draw sees defending champion Victoria Azarenka placed on course for a semi-final clash with Maria Sharapova.

Azarenka will open her title defence against Sweden's Johanna Larsson and could face a tricky quarter-final against fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Sharapova is seeded to face Jelena Jankovic in the last eight but will first have to overcome Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the first round, the American who upset Radwanska in Sydney earlier this week.

The tournament gets under way on Monday.

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