Dellacqua faces tough Davenport opener - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dellacqua faces tough Davenport opener

By Sam Lienert 16/01/2006 05:40:50 AM Comments (0)

Australian wildcard Casey Dellacqua faces a daunting task taking on world No.1 Lindsay Davenport in the opening match in Rod Laver Arena when the Australian Open starts from 11am (AEDT).

World No.180 Dellacqua is one of five Australians in singles action on the first day of the year's opening tennis grand slam.

Much of the local interest will centre on Jelena Dokic, who will play her first match in the Australian Open since 2001.

Dokic stormed out of the country after losing to Davenport in the opening round that year after her father Damir claimed the draw had been rigged against the former world No.4.

But, after representing Serbia and Montenegro for the past five years, she recently decided to return to Australia.

She will meet Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

Other Australians in singles action are Sophie Ferguson, Lauren Breadmore and Marc Kimmich.

Former world No.1 Serena Williams, whose fitness has been under scrutiny in the lead-up to the tournament, will get the chance to try to prove her doubters wrong when she plays her first match against China's Li Na.

Fellow American, men's second seed Andy Roddick, will also play in the night session, taking on Swiss Michael Lammer.

While the women's tournament is regarded as wide open, Swiss world No.1 Roger Federer is clear favourite in the men's tournament, something he said suits him perfectly.

"I always said I prefer the situation to be the favourite than the contender," Federer said.

"I always feel the contenders need to do their work and all this, where the favourite, he can sort of see what the other guys do.

"I obviously have to make sure that I win my matches, but mentally I'm that tough that I don't have a problem with that."

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