x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Five to watch in Melbourne

Victoria Azarenka has already demonstrated her promise this year as she won the Brisbane title last week.

The teenager from Belarus has already demonstrated her promise this year as she won the Brisbane title last week. Azarenka, 18, is a possible fourth round opponent for the three-times champion Serena Williams and the 13th seed, if she can recapture her Melbourne form, certainly has a chance of upsetting the world No 2.

Zheng had a superb 2008 as she roared back up the rankings after recovering from an ankle injury, making up 141 places in all to end last year at No 22 in the world. The 22th seed has a decent draw and could be a factor in the second week of the tournament.

The Russian is one of the most consistent players on the WTA Tour, and her solid game should see her put in a strong showing. Away from the Williams sisters in the top half of the draw she will fancy her chances of making an impact and at the very least reaching the last eight.

The Slovakian, 18, has not been on the Tour long, but showed great promise last year with wins over Jelena Jankovic and Elena Demenieva. It may be too early for her to make a big impact, but she is an exciting talent.

Dokic, 25, has just returned to the sport after overcoming injury and family problems. The Australian world No 4 is looking to rise up the rankings again, and while this may be too soon for the return of her best form, it will be fascinating to see if she can recapture her past glories.