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Venus handed Halep test

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Venus Williams has been given a first round match with Romanian World No.47 Simona Halep as she continues her return to the WTA Tour.

The American has been troubled with health problems and is playing only her fourth tournament in 2012 here in Rome. The 1999 winner could then play Italian Francesca Schiavone in an exciting second round in front of a partisan Roman crowd.

Sister Serena is up first against Galina Voskoboeva and then could play Caroline Wozniacki in the third round. Top seed Victoria Azareka will play either Shahar Peer or Shuai Peng first up and could go on to meet Wozniacki or Serena in the semi-finals.

There’s a potential re-match of last year’s final in the semi-finals with Samantha Stosur out for revenge over Maria Sharapova if all goes to plan. Marion Bartoli and Petra Kvitova, last year’s winner at Wimbledon, have also been put in the same quarter of the draw.

Potential quarter-finals:
Azarenka – Li
Radwanska – Wozniacki
Bartoli – Kvitova
Stosur – Sharapova

First Round Draw

[1] V Azarenka (BLR) d Bye
S Peer (ISR) vs. S Peng (CHN)
R Vinci (ITA) vs. [WC] K Knapp (ITA)
Qualifier vs. [14] D Cibulkova (SVK)
[11] S Lisicki (GER) vs. M Erakovic (NZL)
J Gajdosova (AUS) vs. C Scheepers (RSA)
I Benesova (CZE) vs. Y Wickmayer (BEL)
[8] N Li (CHN) d Bye
[3] A Radwanska (POL) d Bye
P Cetkovska (CZE) vs. Qualifier
Qualifier vs. Qualifier
F Pennetta (ITA) vs. [16] M Kirilenko (RUS)
[9] S Williams (USA) vs. G Voskoboeva (KAZ)
N Petrova (RUS) vs. Qualifier
A Medina Garrigues (ESP) vs. J Zheng (CHN)
[6] C Wozniacki (DEN) d Bye
[7] M Bartoli (FRA) d Bye
Qualifier vs. J Goerges (GER)
V King (USA) vs. T Pironkova (BUL)
Qualifier vs. [12] A Kerber (GER)
[15] J Jankovic (SRB) vs. S Cirstea (ROU)
S Arvidsson (SWE) vs. M Martinez Sanchez (ESP)
A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs. K Pervak (KAZ)
[4] P Kvitova (CZE) d Bye
[5] S Stosur (AUS) d Bye
T Bacsinszky (SUI) vs. S Errani (ITA)
[WC] V Williams (USA) vs. S Halep (ROU)
E Makarova (RUS) vs. [10] F Schiavone (ITA)
[13] A Ivanovic (SRB) vs. S Kuznetsova (RUS)
[WC] A Brianti (ITA) vs. Qualifier
C Mchale (USA) vs. M Niculescu (ROU)
[2] M Sharapova (RUS) d Bye

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