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September 15, 2000
Paes-Bhupathi to meet Woodies in second roundLarry Fine
US Open champion Marat Safin was seeded first in the draw for the Olympic tennis tournament, while American duo Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams topped the women's seedings.
Australian Open champion Davenport, who fell to Williams in the US Open final, launches her Olympic gold medal defence against Paola Suarez of Argentina.
Second-seed Williams, who also won at Wimbledon, carries a 26-match winning streak to Sydney where she will be tested first by Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia.
Russia's Safin, coming off a straight-sets demolition of Pete Sampras in the US Open final, begins the tournament against France's Fabrice Santoro in a quarter of the draw that could match him against Briton Tim Henman, seeded seventh, in the quarter-finals.
French Ppen winner Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, who starts against wild card Christophe Pognon, is seeded second.
The formidable Australian men's contingent of Lleyton Hewitt, Patrick Rafter and Mark Philippoussis, meanwhile, were spread out in different sections of the draw, with fourth-seeded Hewitt and 11th seed Philippoussis facing serious first-round threats.
Hewitt, who won this year's Sydney international on the same Olympic Park courts, drew the dangerous, and most familiar, Max Mirnyi of Belarus. The 19-year-old Hewitt teamed up with Mirnyi to win the men's doubles crown at the US Open.
Philippoussis plays US Open quarter-finalist Thomas Johansson of Sweden, while two-time US champion Rafter appears to have won an easy passage into the second round of the 64-player event by drawing American Vince Spadea, winner of only two matches all year.
Other intriguing match-ups in Hewitt's quarter of the draw see sixth seed Alex Corretja of Spain play the explosive Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia, while Briton Greg Rusedski faces France's Arnaud Clement in a duel of two of the more dangerous unseeded players.
Australian hope Jelena Dokic, whose erratically-behaved father Damir will be closely monitored at the games, drew a first-round match against 14th seed Ai Sugiyama of Japan. The winner could face Davenport in the third round.
The doubles draw produced two interesting scenarios.
Top-seeded Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, the famed ''Woodies'', drew a first-round bye in the men's event, but the defending champions could face a stern test in the second round in Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes.
The Indians, who were in all four Grand Slam finals in 1999 and won the French and Wimbledon titles, play Romanians Andrei Pavel and Gabriel Trifu in their opener.
Women's top seeds Julie Halard-Decugis and Sandrine Testud of France were also given a bye but could run into the impressive Williams sisters in the quarters.
Venus and Serena, the Wimbledon champions, play Xanadians Sonya Jeyaseelan and Vanessa Webb in the first round.
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