Palmer to play Shabana in first round
Australia’s David Palmer will have to get past world number five Amr Shabana of Egypt in the first round of the Australian Open if he is to have any chance of adding a second title to the one he claimed in 2008.
All four Australian men who qualified directly for the main draw of the August tournament have tough openers, highlighting the quality of the elite field.Cameron Pilley takes on world number six Gregory Gaultier of France while Aaron Frankcomb is up against seventh seeded Englishman Peter Barker.
Four-time Australian Open champion Stewart Boswell will take on Indian number one Saurav Ghosal, and if he wins that clash he will most likely face second seed Ramy Ashour of Egypt in the second round.
Top seeded Englishman Nick Matthew opens his title defence with a testing clash against South African Stephen Coppinger, who won Brisbane’s Hibiscus Gardens Open in April, ahead of a probable second round clash against Malaysia’s Ong Beng Hee.
Ashour plays a qualifier in the first round, as does third seed and fellow Egyptian Karim Ashour, while fourth ranked Englishman James Willstrop plays fellow countryman Chris Ryder.
Australia’s women have received far more favourable draws, with third seed Rachael Grinham taking on Lucie Fialova of the Czech Republic, while fifth seed Kasey Brown and seventh ranked Donna Urquhart are up against qualifiers.
Lisa Camilleri will play training partner Sarah Cardwell and Canberra’s Christine Nunn takes on Hong Kong’s Joey Chan.
In-form Victorian Melody Francis faces former Australian and 10th seed Natalie Grinham, who now plays for the Netherlands.
Malaysian world number one Nicol David, who is playing her first ever Australian Open, will face New Zealand’s Kylie Lindsay in the first round, while second seed Jenny Duncalf of England takes on a qualifier.
Along with both Grinham’s and Brown, there are three other Australian Open winners in the field.
Defending champion Madeline Perry of Northern Ireland takes on Malaysia’s Siti Munirah Jusoh, Hong Kong’s Annie Au plays a qualifier and New Zealand’s Joelle King faces Gaby Huber of Switzerland.
The Australian Open will be played on the all-glass court at Canberra’s Royal Theatre from August 8-14.
First round draw – prefix denotes seeding:
1-Nick Matthew (ENG) v Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) v Qualifier
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Julian Illingworth (USA)
8-Thierry Lincou (FRA) v Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
5-Amr Shabana (EGY) v David Palmer (AUS)
Azlan Iskandar (MAS) v Tom Richards (ENG)
Qualfier v Qualifier
3-Karim Darwish (EGY) v Qualifier
4-James Willstrop (ENG) v Chris Ryder (ENG)
Qualfier v Qualifier
Adrian Grant (ENG) v Simon Rosner (GER)
6-Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
7-Peter Barker (ENG) v Aaron Frankcomb (AUS)
Wael El Hindi (EGY) v Qualifier
Stewart Boswell (AUS) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
2-Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Qualifier
1-Nicol David (MAS) v Kylie Lindsay (NZL)
14-Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) v Emily Whitlock (ENG)
6-Annie Au (HKG) v Qualifier
15-Line Hansen (DEN) v Milou van der Heijden (NED)
3-Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Lucie Fialova (CZE)
9-Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Qualifier
7-Donna Urquhart (AUS) v Qualifier
13-Dipika Pallikal (IND) v Qualifier
12-Delia Arnold (MAS) v Olga Ertlova (CZE)
8-Joelle King (NZL) v Gaby Huber (SUI)
11-Joey Chan (HKG) v Christine Nunn (AUS)
4-Madeline Perry (IRL) v Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS)
10-Natalie Grinham (NED) v Melody Francis (AUS)
5- Kasey Brown (AUS) v Qualifier
16- Lisa Camilleri (AUS) v Sarah Cardwell (AUS)
2-Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Qualifier