The draw for Maria’s first tournament of 2016 has been released at the Brisbane International in Brisbane, Australia and Maria is the No.3 seed and will face world No.23 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the first round.
Maria has played the 27-year-old six times before and leads the series 6-0. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
2011 Madrid R2: Maria won 6-3 3-6 6-1
2011 Rome R2: Maria won 6-1 6-1
2012 Australian Open QF: Maria won 6-2 6-3
2012 Miami R4: Maria won 6-4 7-6
2013 Australian Open QF: Maria won 6-2 6-2
2015 Australian Open SF: Maria won 6-3 6-2
In the second round, Maria will play either Andrea Petkovic of Germany or Teliana Pereira of Brazil
The first seed Maria can meet is No.7 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the quarters.
Maria has played Brisbane twice before and her best result was winning the title last year. Brisbane is played on hard courts and is Maria’s only warm-up before the first Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open.