Raducanu-Swiatek signs a blockbuster in the first round; Muguruza returns

Seven of the top 10 WTAs are in action at next week’s Sydney Tennis Classic, a WTA 500 event that begins Monday, January 10.

Led by world number one Ashleigh Barty, the Sydney squad includes a host of notable returns to action. Garbiñe Muguruza, 2021 WTA Finals champion, Barbora Krejcikova, 2021 Roland Garros champion and Anett Kontaveit, WTA Finals runner-up, are all set to kick off their season at Sydney Olympic Park. US Open champion Emma Raducanu, world No.10 Ons Jabeur and Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic are also set to play their first tournaments of the new season.

Week 2 Draws: Sydney (WTA 500) | Adelaide 2 (WTA 250)

All eyes are on the successful first-round match between Raducanu and world number 9 Iga Swiatek, which pits the tour’s last two great teenage champions against each other for the first time. Swiatek will arrive in Sydney after a strong start to the season in Adelaide, where she advanced to the semi-finals to face Barty.

As the two seeds in the draw, Barty and Muguruza have second-round passes. Barty, No.4 Kontaveit, No.6 Swiatek and No.7 Jabeur are the seeds in the top half of the draw, with Petra Kvitova, Raducanu and Jessica Pegula also floating around as unranked threats. Kontaveit, who ended the 2021 season with an incredible tear, will open her 2022 campaign against China’s Zhang Shuai. Jabeur faces Australian wildcard Astra Sharma.

The bottom half of the draw features a trio of marquee opener matches. No.3 seed Krejcikova will look for their first singles victory against Bencic after Switzerland went 2-0 against their last season at the Olympics and the Jean King Cup Ball. Indian Wells No.5 seed and champion Paula Badosa will face Jelena Ostapenko in the first round, with the winner facing either Ajla Tomljanovic or a qualifier in the second round. And No.8 seed Sofia Kenin continues to fight her way with a first round match against Daria Kasatkina.

Sydney 2019 highlights: Kvitova beats Barty

Aryna Sabalenka takes a joker in Adelaide 2

World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka leads the field at Adelaide International 2, a WTA 250 event that features No.2 seed Elina Svitolina and No.3 seed Coco Gauff.

Seeking to bounce back from a first-round loss to Anastasia Gasanova last week in Adelaide, Svitolina will face Madison Keys in the first round.

Gauff, who led Barty by a set and a break in Adelaide’s second round before losing in three sets, will face Katerina Siniakova in the first round.