Samantha Stosur and Hopman Cup winners Daria Gavrilova and Nick Kyrgios will spearhead the local assault on the Australian Open when the season’s first grand slam gets underway on Monday.
Stosur, Gavrilova and Kyrgios are among five Australians in action on the opening day at Melbourne Park after officials announced the top half of the women’s and men’s draws would be played.
That leaves retiring great Lleyton Hewitt and national No.1 Bernard Tomic to headline a bumper second day featuring at least 13 Australians in singles action.
Stosur, the 25th seed in the women’s event faces a qualifier first up, with the 36th-ranked Gavrilova up against world No.57 Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic in her opener.
Kyrgios, the men’s 29th seed, takes on Spain’s world No.67 Pablo Carreno as the Aussie looks to back up his memorable run to last year’s quarter-finals.
Teenage wildcard Omar Jasika, the 2014 US Open junior champion, will make his grand slam main-draw debut on Monday against Ilya Marchenko, while Ajla Tomljanovic also plays a Ukrainian in Kateryna Bondarenko.
Lining up for his record 20th straight – and last – Open campaign, Hewitt has drawn James Duckworth, one of his Sydney summer hitting partners, in the first round.
The marquee match is almost certain to be fought out under lights on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night.
Tomic, seeded 16th, launches his Open quest against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin on Tuesday.
Sam Groth, John Millman, Matt Ebden, Jordan Thompson, Jarmila Wolfe, Storm Sanders, Priscilla Hon, Maddison Inglis, Kimberley Birrell and Tammi Patterson also commence their campaigns on day two.
Arina Rodionova could boost Australia’s representation to 19 players in the singles if she wins her final-round qualifying match on Saturday.
AUSTRALIANS IN ACTION AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN ON MONDAY
Women’s singles, first round
25-Samantha Stosur v qualifier
Daria Gavrilova v Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
Ajla Tomljanovic v Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR)
Men’s singles, first round
29-Nick Kyrgios v Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)
Omar Jasika v Ilya Marchenko (UKR)