Elena Rybakina believes she can become the best player in the world if she performs as she did in the first week of the Australian Open after beating Iga Swiatek.

Wimbledon champion Rybakina claimed the scalp of the top seed on Sunday, winning 6-4 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena to reach the quarter-finals.

Swiatek was in a class of her own last year, winning eight titles – including the French Open and the US Open – to firmly establish herself as the best player in the world.

The Pole was the favourite to win the Australian Open for the first time, but the 25-ranked Rybakina sent her packing to set up a showdown with Jelena Ostapenko.

Rybakina made history with her fourth-round win, becoming the first woman representing Kazakhstan to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The 23-year-old knows she has plenty to work on, but feels she can rise to the top of the rankings if she continues to improve and consistently match the high standards she has set at Melbourne Park.

Asked if she can be the best in the world when she's at her best: "Every opponent is really tough, and for sure for me I think there are still many things to improve.

"If I perform like I did this week and consistently, I will say that I can be number one, I can beat anyone. For now, I need to find my consistency."

Rybakina felt she was rewarded for taking such a positive approach against Swiatek.

"For sure when you play against the number one player, I think you have really nothing to lose. I knew that I had to be aggressive from the first ball because she's a great mover, and she defends really well.

"So I was trying to just attack her from the first ball, and it really worked well."

Top seed Iga Swiatek says the pressure of not wanting to lose at the Australian Open got to her and believes she needs a change of mindset after her fourth-round loss to Elena Rybakina.

The three-time grand slam champion had come into the Australian Open as the title favourite but was bundled out by 2022 Wimbledon champion Rybakina 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 30 minutes on Sunday.

The Kazakh's power was too much for Swiatek, with Rybakina outstanding on serve, leading to apparent frustration from the world number one as the match slipped away.

"I felt the pressure, and I felt that I don't want to lose instead of I want to win," Swiatek told reporters. "So that's a base of what I should focus on in next couple of weeks.

"It was just tough. But for sure I need to work on my kind of mindset and fight a little bit more as I did last season.

"So, for sure I'm going to take time right now to kind of reset."

Swiatek won both the US Open and French Open titles in 2022, while she went on a 37-match winning streak that ended during Wimbledon.

The 21-year-old Pole denied that the pressure of being the world number one played a part in her exit.

"I don't think that matters," she said. "I experience it differently because I felt differently.

"But I was number one on Roland Garros, I was number one on Wimbledon, and US Open. I was able to - maybe not on Wimbledon - but I was able to play well and compete. I don't think that matters."

Swiatek was able to bounce back from her third-round Wimbledon loss to Alize Cornet quickly by triumphing at Flushing Meadows only two months later but she would not draw an parallels with Sunday's defeat.

"I don't see that many similarities, honestly," Swiatek said. "I feel like it's pretty easy. I just wasted too much energy before the tournament and during the first days of the tournament to worry.

"It's just different period of time for me. Before the US Open I was actually able to kind of let it go because I played pretty bad in Toronto and Cincinnati, and that helped me kind of to reset and just start the US Open without actually expecting much from myself.

"Here was different, so I'm not connecting the US Open with the streak at all. I'm not comparing this situation to my Wimbledon loss."

Swiatek praised Rybakina, who will face Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter-finals, for her play on Sunday, stating she was tactically composed and focused.

World number one Iga Swiatek was knocked out of the Australian Open in straight sets in the fourth round by Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on Sunday.

The reigning US Open and French Open winner could not handle Rybakina's outstanding serve, with the Kazakh triumphing 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 30 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Rybakina won 80 per cent of first-serve points, including sending down six aces, while she broke Swiatek four times throughout the match.

Swiatek's elimination means the top-two seeds in both the women's and men's singles are out, with Ons Jabeur losing in the second round.

Title favourite Swiatek had routed Cristina Bucsa in 55 minutes in Friday's third-round win but she was broken immediately on Sunday by 23-year-old Rykabina, who offered a different threat.

"It was a really tough match," Rybakina said during her on-court interview after the match. "I really respect Iga. Today I think I was serving so good. In the end, I think in the important moments I played really well. I think that was the difference."

Swiatek did respond after Rybakina's early break by squaring up the first set at 2-2, but the Kazakh re-claimed her lead for 4-3, before serving to love to clinch the opening frame.

The 21-year-old Pole seemed outclassed in the 42-minute first set, but responded immediately in the second, racing to a 3-0 lead, only for Rybakina to hit back again to get it back on serve.

Rybakina failed to convert two break points at 15-40 in the ninth game but capitalised on her third opportunity, before serving out for victory, including another big ace at 30-0.

Data slam: Swiatek's grand slam dominance halted

Swiatek had not dropped a set all tournament, prior to losing the opening frame to Rybakina. In fact, the Pole had lost only two sets in her past 10 grand slam matches, dating back to her 2022 US Open triumph. Including her 2022 French Open title, she had only dropped five sets in her previous 19 grand slam matches.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 15/14
Rybakina – 24/25

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 2/1
Rybakina – 6/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 2/4
Rybakina – 4/6

Magda Linette made it through to the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time after she beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-4 at the Australian Open.

The result, paired with Iga Swiatek's third-round win on Friday, also means that two Polish female players are through to a grand slam fourth round for the first time in the Open Era since 2008, when Marta Domachowska and Agnieszka Radwanska both reached the same stage of the same tournament.

Indeed, Linette also became just the fourth female Polish player to reach the last 16 at a grand slam in the Open Era after Domachowska, Radwanska and the current world number one Swiatek.

Linette – who had lost each of her previous six grand slam third-round matches – recovered from a break down in the first set against the number 19 seed, while the second went very differently.

The world number 45 raced out to a 4-0 lead and seemed on course to finish the job quickly, before Alexandrova fought back to 5-4.

Linette kept her nerve to serve out the win and set up a fourth-round clash against fourth seed Caroline Garcia, who came from a set down to defeat Laura Siegemund.

Iga Swiatek is growing in confidence by the day after she blew Cristina Bucsa to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The world number one ruthlessly dispatched the Spanish qualifier 6-0 6-1 in just 55 minutes on Margaret Court Arena on Friday.

Swiatek won the French Open for a second time last year before claiming her first US Open title and the 21-year-old is the favourite to be crowned champion at Melbourne Park.

Reflecting on her progress through the draw so far, the Pole believes she is making great strides in her quest for a fourth grand slam triumph.

"I feel I'm more and more confident since day one here," she said. "I feel like I've done so much work to feel more confident, more relaxed on court.

"I'm pretty happy I did it because it's just a little bit easier. Whe you actually play those matches, you can feel the rhythm a little bit more.

"I don't feel like the tournament is going to start now, because first rounds are always challenging.

"I'm trying to treat every match separately. I always try to have the same mindset. I can just say that I feel more confident because I'm played a couple of matches here."

Swiatek will do battle with Elena Rybakina in the fourth round and will ensure she does her homework before facing the Wimbledon champion.

"Tactically, I'm not prepared yet. We played an exhibition in Dubai, [but] it's hard kind of to take a lot from that match," she said.

"I'm pretty sure my coach is going to be ready to give me some tips. We'll see [but] I'm not really thinking about that today."

World number one Iga Swiatek made an emphatic statement with a 54-minute rout of Spanish qualifier Cristina Bucsa to seal her progression to the Australian Open fourth round on Friday.

Swiatek dropped only six points in a 22-minute first set, before completing a 6-0 6-1 demolition over her 25-year-old opponent at Margaret Court Arena.

The Pole led 6-0 5-0, prompting a crowd member to shout "open the bakery", before Bucsa held her serve to avoid a dreaded double bagel.

Swiatek's victory sets up a fourth-round clash with 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, as the Pole chases her fourth major triumph, including the French Open and US Open crowns last year.

The 21-year-old completely outclassed her opponent, winning 82 per cent of serve points, along with 65 per cent on return, including 71 per cent on Bucsa's second serve. The Spaniard only won 19 of 71 points for the match.

Despite an unconvincing first-serve percentage of 59 per cent, Swiatek never offered up a break point, hitting 15 winners throughout the lopsided contest.

Swiatek has not dropped a set in her three matches at the tournament, giving up only six games in her past two matches.

Data slam: Swiatek demolition falls short of Barty mark

Swiatek's swift victory coincidentally came on the afternoon after Andy Murray and Thanasi Kokkinakis battled until 4am local time in a five-hour-and-50-minute epic in the men's singles.

However, the Pole's 54-minute win was not as brief as last year's champion Ash Barty who disposed of Danka Kovinic 6-0 6-0 in 44 minutes at the 2021 Australian Open.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 15/6
Bucsa – 4/21

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 3/0
Bucsa – 1/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 5/10
Bucsa – 0/0

World number one and tournament favourite Iga Swiatek feels second-round opponent Camila Osorio did not do much wrong despite going down 6-2 6-3 on Wednesday.

Swiatek is seeking her fourth career grand slam singles title, and the 21-year-old is yet to drop a set through two rounds at the Australian Open.

She was nearly flawless in her service game against Osorio, landing 80 per cent of her first serves fair while also committing zero double faults, and she was just as impressive when on the return.

Osorio was able to win just 31 per cent of her service points in the opening set (eight-of-26), and for the match she only held serve on two occasions from eight attempts.

Despite Swiatek's clear advantage in both phases, Osorio managed to break her serve three times, and the Polish superstar said she was made to earn every point.

"It was much tougher than this score says – it was really intense physically and Camila was really running to every ball," she said. "She didn’t give up. She didn’t give me many points for free. 

"So I needed to really work for each of them and it was tough, but I’m happy that I was proactive and trying to just play a little bit to put pressure [on her]. I’m pretty happy that I won and I can play next round."

Swiatek also shared a story about when the rain started pouring on Tuesday night in the midst of her walk, urging spectators in jest to come to her aid if a similar situation arises in the future.

"In Melbourne it’s usually sunny, except today and yesterday," she said. "So I need to change my plans. 

"Yesterday I actually went for a walk at 7[pm] and it started raining, and I was just hiding under the tree, waiting for like 30 minutes.

"So if there’s anybody who’s going to see me tonight walking in the rain, please save me, give me an umbrella or something."

Swiatek's march to what would be her first Australian Open final continues when she takes on the winner between Cristina Bucsa and Bianca Andreescu in the third round.

World number one Iga Swiatek had no problem dealing with Camila Osorio during Wednesday's second round, advancing with a 6-2 6-3 victory.

Swiatek, 21, is seeking her fourth grand slam title and her first at the Australian Open, having already won the French Open twice before claiming her first US Open crown this past season.

Against Osorio, it was Swiatek's ability to consistently return that was the difference, holding the Colombian to just a 31 per cent success rate on her service points in the opening set (eight-of-26).

It resulted in a lightning-quick start for the Polish superstar, winning the first four games of the match, and despite giving back a couple breaks of serve, Swiatek did not allow Osorio to hold serve a single time in the opening frame.

Osorio was able to finally hold serve to begin the second set, before Swiatek again rattled off four consecutive games to collect a double-break and a winning lead.

In a remarkably clean performance from the tournament favourite, Swiatek landed 80 per cent of her first serves fair while committing no double faults, and both players finished with more winners than unforced errors.

With the victory, Swiatek will now face the winner between Cristina Bucsa and Bianca Andreescu in the third round.

Data Slam: Swiatek in legendary company

Swiatek has now won 53 of her first 65 grand slam matches – the sixth-best total through 65 attempts in the Open Era.

She trails only Margaret Court (61), Monica Seles (60), Chris Evert (57), Martina Hingis (56), Billie Jean King (56) and Tracy Austin (54).

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 19/16

Osorio – 16/14

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 0/0

Osorio – 0/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 6/8

Osorio – 3/5

Iga Swiatek believes people sometimes treat her like a "robot who has to win all the time" and are focused too much on "numbers and statistics."

Swiatek came through her first-round match at the Australian Open on Monday as she beat Jule Niemeier 6-4 7-5, though she trailed 5-3 in the second set before winning four-straight games.

The world number one will face Camila Osorio in the second round on Wednesday, and admitted she had needed to find another gear to overcome her German opponent.

"I knew that I could get my focus up a little bit, [increase] the intensity a little bit more. So I did that," she said.

"But my goal for my next matches is not being in those situations and not starting the set with losing a break, but it happens. I'm happy that I was able to come back. It wasn't like I needed to really change a lot. I just needed to have more intensity."

After an impressive 2022 season, that saw her win the French Open and US Open, expectations have risen around Swiatek, which the 21-year-old has noticed.

"For sure, I feel like people are really focused on the numbers and on the statistics," she said. "I feel like they're looking at those matches not seeing that we are still people, and we have to really fight for it. 

"I know that I also put a lot of expectations on myself, but I'm working on that. It just feels like sometimes they're not treating you still as a human, but more like a robot who has to win."

Swiatek has now won the first round in a grand slam tournament in 15 of her previous 16 appearances, but admitted she only developed confidence in playing on hard courts last year.

"At the beginning of last year I didn't have that much confidence that I can also win big titles on hard court because all of them basically happened last season," she said.

"Also before I think the media kind of described me as a clay court player. Maybe that got into me a little bit. But, yeah, for sure working with [coach] Tomasz [Wiktorowski], I just felt like I can be more aggressive on hard court. I don't have to be the baseline player. I really used that in my matches, then the results kind of showed me that I'm going right direction."

Iga Swiatek made it through to the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-4 7-5 win against Jule Niemeier, though was again tested by the German.

In a rematch of their US Open fourth-round match in which Swiatek had to recover from a set down before going on to ultimately win the tournament, Niemeier gave Swiatek problems again with her power and ability to utilise the fast conditions.

An even first set saw Swiatek unable to find a break point until she was 5-4 ahead, before forcing two set points, eventually taking the second as a strong forehand could only be returned into the net.

Niemeier came out in the second set determined to make amends, though, breaking Swiatek in the opening game as she looked to overwhelm the Pole.

The 23-year-old belied her status as the world number 69, causing the top seed problems as she mixed power hitting with some nice drop shots but, as she served for the set, Swiatek turned up the dial and forced the break to level at 5-5.

After holding her own serve it looked like the second set would head to a tie-break, but Swiatek's increase in intensity made the difference again as some expertly placed deep and wide shots caused another break as she sealed a straight-sets win.

"Honestly I wanted to be focused on myself because she can serve amazing," Swiatek said in her on-court interview. "She uses fast conditions so I just wanted to think what I could do to push her back.

"I'm pretty happy I got through this match because the fist round is always tricky and playing Jule is always tricky."

Data slam: Swiatek takes advantage of second serve

Niemeier's serve gave Swiatek problems throughout, but the Pole was ruthless when she was given rare opportunities.

Despite a success on her first serve of 71 per cent (32/45), Niemeier could only win 35 per cent on her second (9/26).

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 20/28

Niemeier – 18/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 0/3

Niemeier – 3/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 3/5

Niemeier – 1/3

Iga Swiatek had a reminder of the stellar rivalry that never was when she practised alongside Ash Barty on Saturday ahead of the Australian Open.

Australian Barty is the reigning women's singles champion at Melbourne Park, but she retired just weeks after lifting the trophy last year.

That shock decision from the then 25-year-old saw a figurehead of the WTA Tour make way, and Swiatek has taken her place as the undisputed world number one, saying Barty has inspired her to hit those heights.

The prospect of Barty and an ever-improving Swiatek fighting for the tour's biggest titles was dashed, and they only ever played twice, with Barty winning both times.

Barty announced on January 6 she is pregnant, and she appears to have no inclination to perform a retirement U-turn.

"For sure, when she retired, I felt like she still had the best tennis out there," Swiatek said after their light-hearted court session.

"So, I was pretty sad that I'm not going to be able to compete against her and maybe win.

"But on the other hand, she gave me a lot in terms of my motivation and my kind of willingness to practise even more and to have more variety on court.

"When I played against her, I felt like she just has all these different game styles and slice. Even in her book, she says she has five types of slice. I don't know how that's possible. I still haven't figured out only one type.

"I have huge respect for Ash. She really gave me huge motivation at the beginning of last season to get even better. I'm kind of grateful for that."

Swiatek will play the first night session match on Rod Laver Arena at this year's championships, taking on a familiar foe in Germany's Jule Niemeier.

At the US Open last September, the heavy-hitting Niemeier led by a set and a break against Swiatek in the fourth round, only to let the Pole back in and eventually surrender the third set 6-0. Swiatek went on to win the title, her third grand slam trophy success.

Niemeier also reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals, and Swiatek is wary of the opening test that awaits.

"We played at the US Open, and you saw how intense that match was, how tough," Swiatek said. "It's not going to be easy.

"But on the other hand, any match in a grand slam is always more intense and more stressful than other tournaments. I'll be ready for it.

"It's nice also that we played not so long ago, so I can take a lot from that match. Now I know how her ball feels on the racket. So, we'll see. But she has the same."

Iga Swiatek starts the Australian Open as almost as strong a favourite to win the women's singles as Novak Djokovic is for the men's event.

Considering Djokovic is a nine-time champion in Melbourne, and Swiatek has never reached the final, that is some going and indicative of the Polish player's dominance on the WTA Tour over the last 11 months.

Swiatek ended last year with eight titles to her name, winning the French Open and US Open among them, and the 21-year-old has accrued more than twice as many ranking points as the next player on the WTA list, Ons Jabeur.

Her ascent to become the dominant woman in tennis has been remarkable, and Swiatek has also earned admiration for her efforts to raise funds for children in war-hit Ukraine.

But is she such an outstanding favourite for the Melbourne Park title as the odds-makers have it?

Since the US Open, she has been a champion at just one – modest by her standards – of the four tournaments she has contested, including the United Cup team event.

Here, Stats Perform looks at five others who might have a say in the destination of the year's first major.

Jessica Pegula

Swiatek was reduced to tears after a 6-2 6-2 drubbing by Pegula on January 6 at the United Cup, her first loss of the year.

She later described Pegula's performance as "the perfect match", and will hope the American cannot always rise to that level.

"It's always hard when you lose, especially when you're playing for the team and your country," Swiatek said at the time, explaining her post-match tears.

Swiatek had won all four of the matches they contested in 2022, dropping only one set, with quarter-final wins on the way to her two grand slam triumphs included in that set.

The result in Sydney, therefore, might have been just a blip, but Pegula is number three in the world for a reason, and Swiatek will surely want to avoid her over the coming fortnight.

Coco Gauff

Is now Gauff's time? There's a question that has been buzzing around the tennis circuit for at least a couple of seasons, despite the American being just 18 years old.

Time, it should be clear, is firmly on her side. She soared to fourth in the rankings in October but has slipped a little since, while remaining firmly established in the top 10.

Given her great talent, Gauff should be resident in the top 10 for many years to come, so we can afford to wait before watching her fly. The sometimes-erratic forehand remains in need of fine-tuning, and Gauff began this year with just two career singles titles to her name after missing out on a trophy in the 2022 season.

However, she reached a first grand slam final last June, losing to Swiatek in Paris, and began 2023 by capturing a title in Auckland where, as top seed, she made light work of the field.

The victory made her the sixth American player to secure three or more WTA-level titles before turning 19 in the last 40 years, after slam winners Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, Venus and Serena Williams.

That is some company for Gauff, who will face Katerina Siniakova in the first rout in Melbourne, to be keeping, and her time will come. It might even come in Melbourne.

 

Ons Jabeur

After finishing runner-up to Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon and Swiatek at the US Open, Jabeur is targeting a third successive slam final.

The Tunisian would win most popularity contests on the Tour, but she wants one of the big trophies now, and has to be seen as a strong contender in Australia.

Her preparations took a knock with a loss to 18-year-old Czech Linda Noskova at Adelaide International 1, but that will only have made Jabeur work harder in the build-up to the major.

She was gutted to have to pull out of the Australian Open with a back injury last year, and a first-round loss at the French Open followed, but Jabeur came good at the next two majors, albeit falling at the final hurdle.

Aryna Sabalenka

At this time last year, Sabalenka was in crisis, her serve a massive weakness as she struggled to deliver the ball safely.

She recovered from going a set down in three consecutive matches at the Australian Open before losing a rollicking tussle in round four with Estonian veteran and upset specialist Kaia Kanepi.

Sabalenka served a wretched 15 double faults in that match, which was sadly more or less par for her in the early stages of the 2022 season, but the Belarusian got her act together, overcome those yips, and finished the year strongly.

A semi-final run at the US Open was followed by an appearance in the WTA Finals title match, where she lost a close encounter with Caroline Garcia.

Sabalenka began this year not with the serving jitters, but with the Adelaide International 1 title, not dropping a set all week.

She has a big game and with it growing confidence. At the age of 24, she should be entering her prime years, and 2023 could be a special 12 months for the woman with the tiger tattoo.

Zheng Qinwen

The WTA's 2022 Newcomer of the Year winner, Zheng is a 20-year-old Chinese player who could soon follow in the footsteps of compatriot Li Na and begin scooping the biggest prizes in tennis.

How soon? Well, probably not quite yet, but then again very few picked out the then 54th-ranked Swiatek to win the 2020 French Open, the moment that launched her to stardom.

Zheng has rocketed to 30th in the rankings, having begun last year at 126th on the WTA list, and should be considered capable of halving her ranking over this season.

She first came to major prominence at the French Open, when she defeated Simona Halep and for a while also had Swiatek's number in their fourth-round match, winning the first set before menstrual cramps and a leg problem caused her to lose momentum.

The WTA Tour is a learning curve and slam-level success might not come immediately for Zheng, but that newcomer award came her way because she is a player shaping up to have a big say in the sport's future. Along with the likes of Gauff and Swiatek, she could still be a big factor in a decade's time.

Iga Swiatek has no interest in what people expect from her and the world number one will not be "living in the past" as she targets more success this season.

Swiatek was in a class of her own last year, winning a staggering eight titles to firmly establish herself as the best player in the world.

A second French Open title and a maiden US Open triumph were the highlights for the 21-year-old in a stellar 2022.

The Pole will start her quest to win the Australian Open with a first-round match against Germany's Jule Niemeier at Rod Laver Arena on Monday.

Swiatek is the favourite to be crowned champion at Melbourne Park, but will not be putting too much pressure on herself.

"When I don't care about what people think and what their expectations of me are, it's easier for me to succeed," Swiatek told BBC Sport.

"That was what I tried my best to do in 2022.

"Although I'm proud of them, I'm not going to try to match my previous achievements because it would not be constructive.

"A season like that is something amazing and rare. Sure, I would love to do it again, but it's not advantageous to live in the past."

Swiatek was beaten by Danielle Collins at the semi-final stage of the Australian Open 12 months ago.

Nine-time champion Novak Djokovic will make his return to the Australian Open against Spain's world number 75 Roberto Carballes Baena.

After being deported from Australia last year amid a row over his refusal of a COVID-19 vaccination, Djokovic is firmly back in favour and chasing history in Melbourne, with a record-equalling 22nd men's singles grand slam in his sights.

He begins against an opponent who in four previous main draw appearances has only ever won one singles match at Melbourne Park.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal, whose 22 slam titles Djokovic is seeking to match, has a tricky opener against rising British star Jack Draper, the world number 40.

Second seed Casper Ruud will tackle Czech Tomas Machac first up, with the 115th-ranked player unlikely to prove too daunting an obstacle for last season's French Open and US Open runner-up.

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev could face an awkward assignment against wildcard and former US Open winner Dominic Thiem, while Australia's Nick Kyrgios begins against Russian Roman Safiullin.

Neither 13th seed Matteo Berrettini nor five-time runner-up Andy Murray would have been delighted to be paired together, but that is what happened in Thursday's draw.

In the women's singles, top seed Iga Swiatek starts her bid for a first Australian Open title against Germany's Jule Niemeier, who caught the eye last year on a run to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

American seventh seed Coco Gauff starts against Czech Katerina Siniakova, while Jessica Pegula, Gauff's third-seeded compatriot who recently beat Swiatek in the United Cup, will face Belgian Jaqueline Cristian.

Gauff could face former US Open winner Emma Raducanu in the second round. Unseeded Briton Raducanu starts against Germany's Tamara Korpatsch.

Former champions Sofia Kenin and Victoria Azarenka go head to head in the first round, with American Kenin unseeded this year and Belarusian Azarenka the 24th seed.

Azarenka's compatriot Aryna Sabalenka is fancied to do well, having banished last year's serving yips, and the fifth seed starts against Czech Tereza Martincova.

Tunisian second seed Ons Jabeur, runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open, begins her latest quest for an elusive grand slam title against Slovenian world number 88 Tamara Zidansek.

Former US Open winner Bianca Andreescu is unseeded in Australia and Czech 25th seed Marie Bouzkova drew a possible short straw by getting the Canadian in round one.

Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open due to injury and Iga Swiatek's participation could be in doubt.

The American was given a wildcard for the first grand slam of the year, but suffered an injury setback at the ASB Classic this week.

Williams was beaten by Zhu Lin of China in the second round of the tournament in Auckland on Thursday and it was revealed on Saturday she will not play at Melbourne Park.

The 42-year-old, who has shown incredible longevity in her illustrious career, is a seven-time grand slams singles champion and winner of 14 major doubles titles.

Williams won four of her grand slam doubles crowns at the Australian Open and lost her two singles finals in 2003 and 2017.

Australian Kim Birrell has been awarded Williams' wildcard place nine days before the tournament gets under way.

Meanwhile, world number one Swiatek has withdrawn from the Adelaide International 2 next week due to a shoulder injury.

Swiatek was in tears after she was beaten by Jessica Pegula while representing Poland against the United States in the United Cup on Friday.

Page 1 of 13
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.