Serena Williams, Sharapova in same quarter at Aussie Open

Serena Williams of the US hits a forehand return during a practice session on Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016.(AP Photo/Mark Baker)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Defending champion Serena Williams and No. 5-ranked Maria Sharapova were drawn into the same section for the Australian Open on Friday, meaning last year's finalists could meet in the quarterfinals.

Six-time champion Williams has a tough draw starting in the opening round against Camila Giorgi of Italy, who finished 2015 at No. 34 and was the highest-ranked player who was not seeded for the season's first major.

Williams could also meet former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round.