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Capriati Wins Key Draw at Australian Open - 2002-01-12

Defending women's champion Jennifer Capriati of the United States could not have asked for a better draw for next week's Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. She will not have to confront the big-hitting Williams sisters or former number-one Martina Hingis of Switzerland before the final. That's because Venus and Serena Williams and Hingis are all in the other half of the draw.

On the other hand, defending men's champion, Andre Agassi of the United States will have a very tough road if he is to reach the title match again. He would likely have to beat compatriots Andy Roddick and Pete Sampras, the former number one, and current number-one Lleyton Hewitt of Australia. Another former number-one, Marat Safin of Russia, and up-and-coming American Jan-Michael Gambill, are also on Agassi's side of the draw.

The second-seeded Agassi should at least have an easy first round match, as he will face a qualifier. The top-seeded Hewitt is matched against Spain's Alberto Martin. Jennifer Capriati, the top women's seed in the absence of injured compatriot and world number-one Lindsay Davenport, opens against Silvia Talaja of Croatia.