Australian Open 2013: Which Top-10 Seeds Are in the Most Danger?
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All but one of the top-10 players in the world are still alive at the 2013 Australian Open. Don't expect that to last much longer.
Save for Sara Errani, tennis' best emerged from the first round unscathed in Melbourne. The seventh-seeded Erani fell early, sharing sixth-seed Samantha Stosur's unenviable fate from the 2012 Open.
However, the upsets are sure to start in the second round; Mardy Fish and Francesca Schiavone both dropped their second Australian matches last year.
Some top-10 player is about to go down in the year's first major. It's not a matter of if, but when and who.
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Last year's biggest dud is at risk of falling early again in 2013.
Samantha Stosur, now ranked ninth in the world, is struggling to erase the memory of her debacle in 2012. The native Australian beat Kai-Chen Chang of Taiwan 7-6, 7-3, 6-3 in the first round, but she was imprecise in her service game, hitting on just 54 percent of her first serves and getting broken five times.
That kind of play isn't going to cut it against Zheng Jie. The 40th-ranked woman in the world actually has had more career success in Melbourne than Stosur. Zheng made the Australian Open semifinals in 2010, while Stosur has not advanced past the fourth round.
Unless Stosur can get herself right, the veteran Zheng may dispatch her early yet again.
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The ninth-ranked men's tennis player has never played as such in Melbourne.
Janko Tipsarevic is one of the most talented players in the world, but he has a long history of going down early at the Australian Open. In eight tries, the Serbian man has never made it past the third round, and he has won just nine matches in that time.
Lukas Lacko is not the toughest opponent Tipsarevic could have drawn in the second round, but Lacko is playing the best tennis of his life. He is one year removed from his strongest Australian showing, also a third-round exit, and he is currently ranked 44th in the world, a personal best for Lacko.
If Tipsarevic goes down, it will be because he lost the match, not because Lacko won it. Nevertheless, it is possible that Tipsarevic will fall to a clearly inferior opponent in Australia.
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Coming off such a strong showing last year in Melbourne, Petra Kvitova is not your usual upset pick.
Though Kvitova has fallen from second to eighth in the world rankings, this is still a woman who made the semis in two majors last year, including the Australian Open.
However, according to Margie McDonald of The Australian, the Czech player suffers from asthma, which is especially difficult for her when playing in the Australian summer.
That will give her problems against Laura Robson. The Brit just picked up a silver medal in doubles at the London Olympics and is the reigning WTA Newcomer of the Year.
Though this is her first time getting past the first round in Australia, Robson will be a handful for her more experienced opponent. Kvitova needs to get her medical issue under control if she wants to get past Robson.
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