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Tomic to face Matosevic as Tsonga pulls out of Sydney International

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Photo: Getty Images

Unheralded Australian No.1 Marinko Matosevic has drawn rising compatriot Bernard Tomic in a blockbuster first-round encounter at the Sydney International.

Having already been rocked by the withdrawal of the tournament’s top two seeds, French duo Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet, officials could scarcely believe their wretched luck at Saturday’s draw.

They had been hoping both world No.49 Matosevic, the ATP’s most improved player in 2012, and the in-form 52nd-ranked Tomic would both make a run at the Australian Open lead-up event.

Instead one will crash out on Monday.

Tsonga, meanwhile, was to be top seed at Sydney Olympic Park, but suffered a hamstring injury while representing France in the Hopman Cup on Friday night.

‘‘Unfortunately Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sustained an injury in Perth and has been forced to pull out of the Apia International Sydney with a left hamstring injury,’’ tournament director Craig Watson said.

‘‘We wish him a speedy recovery and all the best for a successful Australian Open.’’

Tsonga - the 2008 Australian Open finalist - was to have been replaced as top seed by Gasquet before the world No.10 pulled out on Saturday citing personal reasons.

Aside from Matosevic and Tomic, who went unbeaten at the Hopman Cup and shocked world No.1 Novak Djokovic, the other Australians in the men’s draw fared quite well.

James Duckworth meets Denis Istomin, the Uzbeki who ousted Lleyton Hewitt from the Brisbane International, while fellow wildcard John Millman faces Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo.

Matthew Ebden plays Spanish eighth seed Marcel Granollers.

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