Sharapova vs Kirilenko clash set to kick off Australian Open

15:56, January 17, 2010      

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An all-Russian, all-Maria clash will kick off action at Rod Laver Arena for the first day of Australian Open 2010 on Monday, with a host of other top 10 players on display on Day 1 at Melbourne Park.


Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return during her training for 2010 Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park, Australia, Jan.17, 2010. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)

Fourteenth-seed Maria Sharapova and compatriot Maria Kirilenko get proceedings underway from 11am at Rod Laver Arena, while Kim Clijsters and Andy Murray will also step out for their opening matches on center court.

Day 1 also features an all-Chinese clash when Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie, a semifinalist at Wimbledon 2007, fight for a second-round spot on Court 8.

The night session is headlined by three Australian players hoping for a dream start to the tournament.

Peter Luczak faces on one of the biggest matches of his career at Rod Laver Arena when he faces second seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal from 7pm.

That match will be followed by Jelena Dokic's first round clashagainst 27th seed Alisa Kleybanova of Russia.

In a night session at Margaret Court Arena, Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden gets his moment in the spotlight as he faces French 12th seed Gael Monfils.

Hisense Arena also starts the tournament with a star-studded line-up on Day 1.

Women's second seed Dinara Safina is first on court at 11am, and is followed by matches featuring Andy Roddick, Juan Martin delPotro and Justine Henin, who battles fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens.

Tomas Berdych, John Isner, Nadia Petrova, and Philipp Kohlschreiber are among the seeded players taking to the outside courts, while unseeded big-name players James Blake and Medibank Sydney International semifinalist Mardy Fish will also be in action.


Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return during her training for 2010 Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park, Australia, Jan.17, 2010. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)

Source: Xinhua
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