DUBAI // Caroline Wozniacki, the world No 1 and top seed for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, faces the possibility of another showdown with Li Na, who beat the Dane in the semi-finals of the Australian Open last month.
If the matches go according to form, Wozniacki would meet the fifth-seeded Chinese in the quarter-finals of the US$2 million (Dh7.34m) event at the Dubai Aviation Club.
Wozniacki, who will hand over the No 1 ranking to Kim Clijsters tomorrow, the first day of the Dubai tournament, has a bye and will meet the winner of the match between Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Anna Chakvetadze of Russia.
Li will play the winner of the match between Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium and the Serbian Bojana Jovanovski, one of the three wild-card entries, along with Sania Mirza of India and Jelena Dokic of Australia.
Vera Zvonareva, the top seed in the bottom half of the draw, has a bye and will face the winner of the match between Roberta Vinci and Elena Vesnina.
One of the more intriguing first-round clashes features the former world No 1 Ana Ivanovic taking on Patty Schnyder, the Swiss who was once ranked as high as seventh in the world.
Marion Bartoli, the No 10 seed, will face Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm, 40, the oldest player in the tournament.
In attendance at last night's draw were Francesca Schiavone, the French Open winner, Samantha Stosur, the world No 5, Jelena Jankovic, world No 8, and Bartoli, a former Wimbledon finalist.
"I love being in Dubai and I'm going to try my hardest to get further than in previous years," Bartoli said. "I'm just really looking forward to getting started now."
Schiavone is also relishing the prospect of getting her Dubai campaign started. "It's been a great year for me and obviously I am always trying to improve. I'm looking forward to playing here and to having a good tournament," she said.
The Italian will have a bye in the first round and will then take on the winner of a clash between Yaroslava Shvedova and one of the tournament qualifiers.