Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Five-time champion Serena Williams will play Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium in her first-round match at the Australian Open, which will commence Monday in Melbourne.
Williams is seeking her first Aussie title in five years. From 2003 to 2010, she won five crowns, beating five former No. 1 stars in all of those finals (Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova, Dinara Safina and Justine Henin, respectively).
But Serena Williams hasn't gotten past the quarters in Melbourne since the '10 championship, including a fourth-round loss a year ago. She is looking for her 19th Grand Slam singles title.
The world No. 1 great could meet former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the semifinals following Friday's release of the draw.
Wozniacki, the No. 8 seed, faces American Taylor Townsend in the opening round, while Kvitova, seeded fourth, goes against a qualifier.
Last year's Aussie runner-up Dominika Cibulkova, Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Venus Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska are also in the top half of the draw.
In the bottom half, reigning French Open titlist Sharapova, who plays a qualifier in the first round, could meet last year's Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard in the quarterfinals and former Aussie runner-up Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals.
Bouchard, seeded seventh, plays German Anna-Lena Friedsam in the first round, while Ivanovic goes against a qualifier.
Simona Halep, Ekaterina Makarova and Angelique Kerber are also in the bottom half of the draw.
Li Na, the defending champion, retired toward the end of last season, opening the way for a new Aussie champ in 2015.