Swiss tennis stars head for Sydney
With just one week to go until the start of the Australian Open, four of Switzerland's top players are making their final preparations at the men's and women's tournaments in Sydney.
Martina Hingis will be hoping to continue her winning start to the season following last week's success with Roger Federer at the Hopman Cup mixed doubles tournament in Perth.
The women's world number one last won the Sydney title in 1997, before going on to capture the first of her three Australian Open titles.
Federer is also in Sydney for the $400,000 ATP tour event. The Basel teenager, who finished 29th in last season's world rankings, has been given the chance for some speedy revenge against South Africa's Wayne Ferreira.
Ferreira, ranked 13th in the world, was responsible for Federer's only singles defeat during the Hopman Cup.
Swiss number one Marc Rosset is ranked 18 places higher than his first round opponent, Vladimir Voltchkov. But the Belarusian, who reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last season, could be in a confident mood after making it to the final of last week's tournament in Doha.
George Bastl is the fourth member of Switzerland's delegation to Sydney, having reached the main draw via the qualifying stages.
Bastl has been rewarded with a challenging first round tie against the Geneva-based Spaniard, Carlos Moya. The former French Open winner reached the final in Sydney four years ago and is currently 41st in the world rankings.
Patty Schnyder and Miroslava Vavrinec are also entered in Australian competitions this week. Schnyder is seeded sixth at the WTA event in Canberra, where she has been drawn against Sweden's Asa Carlsson in the first round.
Vavrinec began her latest campaign on Sunday with a straight sets win over Russia's Alina Jidkova in the first round of the WTA competition in Tasmania. The Swiss women's number three will now face the winner of the match between top seeded American Amy Frazier and Germany's Marlene Weingartner.
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