Roger Federer: Power Ranking His Australian Open 2012 Opponents

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Roger Federer: Power Ranking His Australian Open 2012 Opponents
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
If seeds hold to form, Fed will face American Mardy Fish in the quarters.

It's amazing how quickly a tennis draw can change.

Tennis fans spend days on end contemplating a potential matchup, playing it out in their minds, and all it takes is one hot server or sloppy performance to render the hypothetical face-off impossible.

For instance, it's likely that fans of Roger Federer spent at least one neurotic moment over the last few days thinking about a third-round match between their hero and 31st-seeded Jurgen Melzer. 

They probably thought about Melzer knocking Federer out of the Italian Open in Rome last year, or the Austrian posing a surprisingly stiff challenge for Federer at the 2010 U.S. Open, and said to themselves, "Jeez, that's a tough little third-rounder." 

Melzer has knocked Novak Djokovic out of the French Open, after all.

But just hours into the tournament, those paranoid thoughts were proven moot, as Melzer fell to huge-serving Ivo Karlovic in a mildly surprising straight-setter.

These things happen at events where the field is trimmed in half within the first 48 hours of play.

So, with the challengers dropping by the session, we rank the remaining opponents in Fed-Ex's draw while we still can.

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