January 15, 2009 – The 2009 Australian Open women’s singles main draw was announced on Friday at Melbourne Park. With Sharapova unable to defend her crown, the field is wide open.
World number one Jelena Jankovic, who just recovered from a virus that forced her to withdraw from Sydney, is in the same half of the draw as her compatriot Ana Ivanovic as well as Dinara Safina and Vera Zvonareva.
After a stellar six month spell that seen her propel up the rankings to a career high of world No.2, Safina is now a genuine Grand Slam contender. She is currently the highest-ranked Russian from their army of players, which should give her added confidence.
Second seed Serena Williams could potentially face Beijing gold medalist and Sydney finalist Elena Dementieva, 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams along the way to her fourth championship AO match. The earliest the Williams sisters could meet is in the semifinals.
Toughest of the women’s first round matches sees No.11 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark play 2007 quarterfinalist Shahar Peer of Israel.
View the complete Women’s Singles draw at the Australian Open website.