Hewitt has tough draw in Australian Open

Jan. 10, 2002 at 11:04 PM
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MELBOURNE, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- If Leyton Hewitt thought chicken pox were bad, he should see his draw at the Australian Open.

The world's top-ranked men's player and the first Australian seeded No. 1 at the tournament since Ken Rosewall in 1976 faces a stacked draw that includes two-time defending champion Andre Agassi and two-time winner Pete Sampras.

When play gets under way next week, the 20-year-old Hewitt, who is recovering from chicken pox, will open with Alberto Martin of Spain.

Sampras, the eight seed, faces Jarkko Nieminen in the opening round while Agassi, the third seed, meets a qualifier.

Jennifer Capriati, the defending women's champion and top seed, kicks off her tournament against Silvija Talaja of Croatia. She has the Belgian duo of Kim Clijsters (seeded fourth) and Justine

Henin (sixth) in her half of the draw.

The bottom half of the women's bracket is loaded, with second-seeded Venus Williams, her sister Serena Williams and three-time champion and former world No. 1 Martina Hingis of Switzerland. American Monica Seles, a four-time champion here,

also is in the bottom half of the draw.

This is the first time the Australian Open will use 32 seeds, a practice that started last year at Wimbledon.


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