`Rebel` Somdev to begin campaign against Bjorn Phau
Melbourne: Somdev Devvarman, who is demanding better playing conditions in Davis Cup from AITA, was on Sunday drawn against Germany`s Bjorn Phau for his opening match in the men`s singles event of the Australian Open, here.
It will be the first meeting between Somdev, whose ranking has plummeted to 551, and Phau, who is ranked 78.
If Somdev puts up a good show, it will do a world of good to his rankings, which has gone down due to his absence from the circuit following a shoulder surgery.
In the men`s doubles, defending champions Leander Paes and Czech Radek Stepanek are seeded second and they start their title defence against South Africa`s Kevin Anderson and Jonathan Erlich of Israel.
The pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Canadian Daniel Nestor is seeded fifth and will take on Spaniards, Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, in their first round.
Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram are seeded 12th and will meet local pair of Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios first up.
The teams of Bhupathi and Bopanna could meet in the third round if the draw goes as per seedings.
In the women`s doubles, Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, seeded 10th, have been drawn against the Spanish team of Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suarez Navarro.