Wellington - Top seed Caroline Wozniacki faces a difficult assignment in the opening round of the ASB Classic in Auckland on Monday after being drawn against unpredictable American Madison Brengle, as the Danish player tunes up for the Australian Open next month.
Although Brengle is only ranked 85th in the world, she has been as high as 35th and her successes include making the fourth round of the 2015 Australian Open and beating Serena Williams in the second round of the Auckland Classic last year.
Wozniacki, the world number three, won the 2017 season-ending WTA championship in Singapore and wants to start the new year with a win in New Zealand.
"I was so happy with the way I managed to finish the year off," Wozniacki said on arrival in New Zealand.
"I love starting my year here so it's great to be back and hopefully it's going to be a good one. I've never won the tournament before so it would be great to do that this year."
If she gets past Brengle in the opening round, she is likely to face fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals.
In the draw made Saturday, second seed Julia Goerges clashes with Olympic champion Monica Puig in the first round, third-seed Barbora Strycova plays former French Open finalist Sara Errani and Radwanska was drawn against Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.