Australia's top-ranked tennis player Samantha Stosur will try to improve some worrying recent form when she plays her first round Australian Open match today.
Stosur, the reigning US Open champion and the tournament's sixth seed, will meet Romania's Sorana Cirstea in today's third match at Rod Laver Arena.
In Stosur's two previous tournaments this year, she bombed out in the second round in Brisbane and the opening round in Sydney, suffering straight sets defeats on both occasions.
Helping the Australian's cause, she has won her two previous meetings with Cirstea, both in straight sets, and both in 2009.
Fellow Australian Lleyton Hewitt will be trying to avoid his second straight first-round defeat at his home grand slam, when he meets unseeded German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night.
The former world number ones ranking now sits at a lowly 181.
Hewitt last year lost to David Nalbandian in the first round.
Other Australians in action on Tuesday include Jarmila Gajdosova, who will be seeking her first Australian Open win in seven attempts, when she meets Russian 27th seed Maria Kirilenko.
Jelena Dokic will play her first-round match against Russia's Anna Chakvetadze, before Marinko Matosevic takes on French 14th seed Gael Monfils.
Fellow Australians James Duckworth, Matthew Ebden, Bojana Bobusic and Isabella Holland will also play their first round matches.
Men's world number one Novak Djokovic will begin his Australian Open defence in the day's second match on Rod Laver Arena against Italy's Paolo Lorenzi.
Earlier, women's world number two Petra Kvitova will play Russian Vera Dushevina.
Five-time winner Serena Williams will play her first-round match on Tuesday night against Austria's Tamira Paszek, with Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova other stars in action on Tuesday.
AAPTags: australian-open, tennis, sport, melbourne-3000, vic, australia First posted January 17, 2012 08:15:57