Sun, Jan 04, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Top seed Ivanovic to face Kvitova in Brisbane tomorrow

AP , BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Serbia’s world No. 5 Ana Ivanovic poses for a photograph in Brisbane, Australia, yesterday.

PHOTO: EPA

Top seed Ana Ivanovic will meet Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the first round of the Brisbane International.

The reigning French Open champion, who has been training in Australia for the past three weeks, was drawn yesterday to play Kvitova on center court at the new Pat Rafter Arena tomorrow.

Former world No. 1 Ivanovic, 21, lost to Maria Sharapova in last year’s Australian Open final.

“I really want to take it one step further this time and hopefully win it,”said Ivanovic, now ranked fifth. “It’s very important to start well and get your confidence. I’ve worked very hard and I believe I have the qualities to get back to No. 1. It’s going to be tough for sure, but I can do it.”

The Brisbane International, being played for the first time, is a joint ATP-WTA event and is one of several tune-up tournaments for the Australian Open that begins on Jan. 19.

Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic, the defending Australian Open champion, was drawn to play Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. He is 2-0 against Gulbis in previous matches.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, the No. 2 seed and losing finalist to Djokovic in Melbourne last year, will play Agustin Calleri of Argentina.

Australian wild card Jelena Dokic drew former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo. Dokic, who won an Australian Open wild card spot two weeks ago, has lost two of three career matches against Mauresmo, who is seeded fifth in Brisbane.

Mauresmo has looked strong in practice and believes she’s put a number of stalled comebacks behind her following an off-season of training in Europe under new coach Hugo Lecoq.

“I’m continuing to play tennis because I think I can still do well and win tournaments,” Mauresmo, 29, said after the draw. “It’s been almost two years since I’ve held a trophy and I kind of miss it, and I look forward to tournaments like here and Sydney before Melbourne. I haven’t seen [Dokic] play for a while, so it’s going to be a little bit of a surprise.”

Li Na of China has withdrawn from the tournament with a knee injury, allowing Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic into the main draw.

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