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Djokovic, Williams, Stosur start Aus Open

By Chris Pike
13 January 2014 01:39AM EST

DAVID Ferrer, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Stanislas Wawrinka, Li Na and Ana Ivanovic are all in action on Day 1 of the Australian while Sam Stosur and Ashleigh Barty lead Australia's charge.

The 2014 Australian Open begins at Melbourne Park on Monday with a host of big names in action in the first Grand Slam of the year.

On the men's side, world No. 2 Djokovic, third-seed Ferrer, Tomas Berdych (7th seed), Wawrinka (8), Richard Gasquet (9), Tommy Haas (12) and unseeded former finalist Marcos Baghdatis will all be playing first round matches on Monday.

As will Australians Matt Ebden, Sam Groth and Jordan Thompson.

While in women's action, world No. 1 Serena Williams, Li Na (4th seed), Petra Kvitova (6), Angelique Kerber (9), Ivanovic (14) and the unseeded Venus Williams will all be taking to the court looking to win through to the second round.

Stosur, Jarmila Gajdosova, Barty and Casey Dellacqua will be the Australian women in action as well.

The Australian Open gets underway from 11am EST on Rod Laver Arena with ninth-seeded German Kerber taking on Australia's Gajdosova.

Up next in the main stadium will be Spanish world No. 3 Ferrer battling Columbia's Alejandro Gonzalez before the session on Rod Laver Arena finishes with Australia's top woman Stosur taking on Czech Klara Zakapalova who beat her only last week at the Hobart International.

The night session begins on Rod Laver Arena at 4pm with world No. 2 Djokovic returning to his favourite court to play Slovak Lukas Lacko.

Then to round out the night, Australian teenager Barty will put up her best fight against tournament favourite and world No. 1 Serena Williams in the biggest match of her young career to date.

Meanwhile, action on Hisense Arena begins in the morning with eighth-seeded Swiss Wawrinka facing a tricky first round match-up against talented but enigmatic Kazak Andrey Golubev.

Up next will be China's Li Na facing Croatia's Ana Konjuh before the day session ends with former world No. 1 Ivanovic facing Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens.

Play on Hisense will finish with 20th-seeded rising Polish star Jerzy Janowicz taking on Australia's Thompson.

Play begins on Margaret Court Arena with another former world No. 1 Venus Williams looking to continue on her comeback trail with a tough first round match-up against No. 22 seed Ekaterina Makarova from Russia.

Seventh-seed Berdych will then look to begin his charge towards trying to win a Grand Slam for the first time in 2014 taking on Kazakhstan's Aleksandr Nedovyesov.

Seventh-seed Italian Sara Errani and German Julia Goerges then face one another on Margaret Court Arena before the day session ends with sixth-seeded Czech Kvitova playing Thailand's Luksika Kumkhum.

There will be a night session on Margaret Court as well with the popular Baghdatis facing another veteran, Uzbekistani Denis Istomin in what could be a fascinating, marathon affair.

Other men's matches of note include West Australian Ebden playing Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, Groth taking on 28th-seeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil, No. 9 seed Frenchman Gasquet taking on compatriot David Guez, veteran Haas playing Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Latvia's Ernests Gulbis playing Argentina's Juan Monaco and 17th-seeded Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo facing Lukas Rosol.

There are plenty of fascinating women's matches as well including Italian veteran Flavia Pennetta facing Romanian Alexandra Cadantu, Russia's 23rd seed Elena Vesnina playing American Alison Riske, No. 12 seed Roberta Vinci facing Chinese veteran Jie Zheng and Australian Dellacqua facing returning Russian Vera Zvonareva.

British youngster Laura Robson is also facing 18th-seeded Belgian Kirsten Flipkens with German Sabine Lisicki playing Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Slovak Daniela Hantuchova facing Brit Heather Watson.

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