The first few rounds of the Australian Open have already shown that no one is safe from an upset. Things are only going to get harder going forward.
No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro is the highest seed to lose to this point as he could not handle Roberto Bautista Agut at the end of Day 4. However, he is not alone as far as players not reaching expectations.
Heading into the bulk of the third round, at least 10 seeded players have been eliminated in both the men's and women's draws.
Unsurprisingly, this number is going to increase in a hurry in the upcoming days. These players especially should be on alert for potential upsets on Friday.
No. 15 Fabio Fognini vs. Sam Querrey
Fabio Fognini has steadily climbed up the rankings due to his success in smaller tournaments. However, he has never shown much at Grand Slams, only reaching one quarterfinal in 23 starts.
The Italian has been especially bad at the Australian Open, winning only one match in six appearances heading into this year. While he finally reached the third round, it will not necessarily lead to more success at Melbourne.
Fognini certainly has a challenge in front of him in the form of Sam Querrey, who is coming off a dominant performance in Round 2. The American defeated No. 23 Ernests Gulbis in straight sets while totaling 19 aces in a short match.
Querrey is rejuvenated after some personal problems, as noted by Matt Cronin of TennisReporters.net:
Querrey says breakup w/ his fiancee which happened at start of summer affected him for 5-6 months but feels good now. Sees top 10— Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) December 30, 2013
He will be looking for revenge after losing to Fognini in a first-round doubles match, and he certainly has the skill to pull it off.
No. 9 Richard Gasquet vs. No. 17 Tommy Robredo
This would not be considered too large of an upset based on the solid play of Tommy Robredo over the past year. The veteran missed most of 2012, and it seemed like his career was over, but he came back with two titles in 2013 and strong performances in some of the bigger tournaments of the year.
Of course, Richard Gasquet does not want to end his run in the Australia Open early, either. The French star has shown that he can hang with the best in the world, and he has a chance to prove it once again in the later rounds.
However, he might not be ready for the challenge that Robredo will provide after cruising through his first two matches.
On the other hand, the No. 17 seed is already battle-tested with two wins over top-50 opponents. Each match deserved the praise of ESPN Tennis for how exciting they were:
This Robredo vs Rosol match is still going strong. Robredo is up 7-6 in the fifth set and will serve for the win. What a match! #ESPNAO— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) January 13, 2014
Another epic match taking place on the outer courts is finished. Robredo wins 63, 67(4), 61, 76(6). Close 4th set tiebreak to finish it off.— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) January 15, 2014
Although he is probably fatigued, Robredo had a day off to recover and prepare for his next matchup. This one will likely go the distance as well, but the Spanish veteran will know how to pull out a win.
No. 20 Jerzy Janowicz vs. Florian Mayer
The 23-year-old Jerzy Janowicz is on his way toward being one of the biggest stars in tennis thanks to his meteoric rise over the past year. However, he is still relatively new to Grand Slams and is capable of overlooking an unseeded opponent.
That would be a mistake against Florian Mayer, a man who has become somewhat of a giant-killer in recent weeks. The German defeated Andy Murray at Doha to start the year in a match that even astonished himself.
According to BBC Sport, all he could say after the match was, "It was amazing. He was up 6-3 3-0 and the match seemed almost finished. I don't know how I came back."
Still, Mayer was able to back it up with another win over a big name as he defeated No. 14 Mikhail Youzhny in five sets in Round 2.
The 30-year-old veteran has been excellent with his serve to start the tournament, winning over 75 percent of his first-serve points in each of his first two matches. This could be a problem for the 6'8" Janowicz, who does not move around too well defensively.
This match will be a server's paradise, but Mayer's experience could help him pull out a win.
Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.