REUTERS – Defending women’s champion Serena Williams resumes her pursuit of a seventh Australian Open singles title against Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei on Wednesday, after fifth-seed Maria Sharapova takes on Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the Rod Laver Arena.
Williams defeated Italian Camila Giorgi in the first round, dispelling doubts about her troublesome knee which forced her to retire mid-match during the Hopman Cup two weeks ago.
Switzerland’s Roger Federer meets world number 35 Alexandr Dolgopolov on centre court and defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic — on an unbeaten run stretching back to August — plays in the night session against France’s Quentin Halys.
The 19-year-old Halys, a wildcard entry, is looking to become the first teenager to beat a world number one at a grand slam since Nick Kyrgios defeated Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014.
Women’s fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska kicks of the night session against 2014 semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard from Canada while Japan’s Ken Nishikori, seeded 12th, starts things off at the Margaret Court Arena against American Austin Krajicek.
Three women’s seeds will be in action on Margaret Court, with number 12 Belinda Bencic facing Hungary’s Timea Babos and 10th-seed Carla Suarez Navarro up against Greece’s Maria Sakkari.
Sixth seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic will take on Australia’s Daria Gavrilova in the night session, after men’s ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga clashes with another home favourite, Omar Jasika.
Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, winner of last week’s Sydney International, faces Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko and big-serving Czech Tomas Berdych meets Bosnia’s Mirza Basic.
Local hope Kyrgios, seeded 29th, takes on Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas.
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)