MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Top seed Serena Williams will meet Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round of the Australian Open as she bids for her sixth title at Melbourne Park.
Second seed Maria Sharapova will take on a qualifier as she aims for her second trophy at the year's first grand slam after her 2008 triumph.
Simona Halep of Romania, ranked third and rated a dark horse to clinch her maiden grand slam, will take on Italian Karin Knapp while twice champion Victoria Azarenka, unseeded after her 2014 season was all but wiped out by injury, looms as a dangerous floater in the draw.
She will clash with American Sloane Stephens in the first round and could meet Williams in the quarter-finals.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)