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Sharapova meets Makarova

Brisbane, Australia – Maria Sharapova will open her Australian campaign with a match against Ekaterina Makarova following Friday’s draw for the Brisbane International.

Defending champion and third seed Sharapova will play world number 23 Makarova in a rematch from last year’s Australian Open semi-final.

“This was a grand slam semi-final last year in Australia,” five-time grand slam champion Sharapova told reporters.

“For a first match, it’s a pretty high-quality match against a pretty tough opponent.”

World number four Sharapova, 28, who beat Ana Ivanovic in last year’s Brisbane final, leads Makarova 6-0 in their past meetings.

World number two and top seed Simona Halep has drawn a bye for her opening round but could face two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka in the second round.