2010 Australian Open: Picking the First Two Rounds
Roger Federer (1) def. Igor Andreev
Andreev took Federer to five sets at the 2008 U.S. Open, so this isn't an easy opening draw for the world's No. 1, but Federer is 2-0 vs. the Russian and has never lost before the third round at a hard court Grand Slam event.
Victor Hanescu def. Juan Ignacio Chela
Hanescu beat Chela at the '03 Wimbledon and the '05 French. He'll look to complete the third leg Down Under.
Potito Starace def. Stephane Robert
Starace is 0-4 at this event, but Robert is playing only his second Grand Slam match and his first since since losing in the first round at the '04 French Open.
Albert Montanes (31) def. Oscar Hernandez
These two Spaniards are no strangers. They've met four times on Tour since '07, with the younger Montanes winning three matches, including the last two.
Lleyton Hewitt (22) def. Ricardo Hocevar
The '05 finalist will look to make amends for his first round exit last year, and he should be able to do so against the qualifier.
Christophe Rochus def. Donald Young
Rochus has dropped his last 12 Grand Slam hard court matches, but he beat Young 6-4, 6-3 in Memphis last year.
Marcos Baghdatis def. Paolo Lorenzi
Lorenzi is making his Grand Slam debut against an '06 finalist.
David Ferrer (17) def. Frederico Gil
Ferrer moves to the top half of the draw after 15 seed Gilles Simon had to withdraw with a knee injury. Ferrer's straight sets victory over Gil at last year's French Open contributed to Gil's 0-6 record at majors.
Fernando Verdasco (9) def. Carsten Ball
Verdasco had never reached the quarterfinals of a major during his first six seasons on Tour until breaking through for two appearances last year, including a semi-finals exit at the Australian. Ball, meanwhile, is 1-3 at Grand Slams, but he will have the home crowd on his side.
Dudi Sela def. Ivan Sergeyev
Sela is 3-0 in the first round of this event, so he should be able to get past the qualifier.
Stefan Koubek def. Rajeev Ram
Good draw for a qualifier. The veteran Koubek gets to play a guy who is 0-5 in majors.
Juan Carlos Ferrero (23) def. Ivan Dodig
Last year, Ferrero lost in the opening round here for the first time in nine tries. I don't expect it to happen again vs. the qualifier, whom Ferrero beat in a hard court qualifier last year.
Ernests Gulbis def. Juan Monaco (30)
Gulbis led Monaco 6-3, 4-1 before the Argentine retired from their hard court match in Tokyo last year.
Michael Llodra def. Martin Vassallo Arguello
Neither of these players have had any success at this event (Vassallo Arguello 0-3, Llodra 1-8), but at least the Frenchman has won a few hard court Grand Slam matches.
Carlos Moya def. Illya Marchenko
Moya hasn't won a match at the Australian since '03, but he has a great deal more experience than the qualifier, who is playing in his first Grand Slam.
Nikolay Davydenko (6) def. Dieter Kindlmann
For the second consecutive major, these two will meet in the first round. Davydenko swept Kindlmann at the U.S. Open.
Novak Djokovic (3) def. Daniel Gimeno-Traver
Gimeno-Traver actually holds a 1-0 lifetime advantage on Djokovic, having defeated the Serbian in three sets on the clay of Barcelona in '06. But the No. 3 player in the world is a master on the hard courts, a surface on which the Spaniard is 0-5 in his career.
Marco Chiudinelli def. Marinko Matosevic
Chiudinelli got to the third round at last year's U.S. Open, while the Australian wild card is playing in his first major.
Kristof Vliegen def. Michael Berrer
Vliegen beat Berrer 6-4, 6-4 on the hard courts of Besancon, France last year.
Denis Istomin def. Jeremy Chardy (32)
In one of the biggest toss-ups of the opening round, I give the edge to Istomin because he just reached the third round in Flushing Meadows, while Chardy lost in the first round.
Richard Gasquet def. Mikhail Youzhny (20)
This figures to be another tight first-round match, but Gasquet appears to be playing slightly better right now, having reached the quarterfinals at Brisbane this month before bowing out in a tough match against Andy Roddick.
Robby Ginepri def. Jan Hajek
Ginepri didn't have a great '09 season, but he has a great deal more experience than Hajek, who will be playing in his first Grand Slam since '07.
Lukasz Kubot def. Mischa Zverev
In a battle of two relative unknowns, I give the edge to Kubot, who is off to a better start in '10, having reached the quarters at Doha before losing a third set tiebreaker to No. 29 Viktor Troicki.
Tommy Robredo (16) def. Santiago Giraldo
Robredo reached the fourth round last year, while Giraldo is playing in his first Grand Slam held outside of Rolan Garros.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10) def. Sergiy Stakhovsky
Tsonga has won his last eight first round matches at majors, while Stakhovsky is 1-4 at Grand Slams.
Taylor Dent def. Fabio Fognini
Dent is the better hard court player and just lost a tight match to No. 13 Gael Monfils.
Janko Tipsarevic def. Ryan Harrison
Tipsarevic hasn't had a ton of success in the majors, but he's going up against a 17-year-old wild card playing in his first overseas Grand Slam.
Tommy Haas (18) def. Simon Greul
Haas is coming off a great comeback year during which he reached at least the third round at every major, including a semi-final appearance at Wimbledon. His fellow countryman, meanwhile, is 0-1 at the Australian and hasn't played here since '07.
Nicolas Almagro (26) def. Xavier Malisse
Almagro draws one of the most experienced qualifiers, but the Spaniard should be alright. He finally won his first match at this event last year and proceeded to get to the third round at each of the Grand Slams.
Grega Zemlja def. Benjamin Becker
Becker is 0-2 at the Australian and hasn't won a hard court Grand Slam match since his coming out party at the '06 U.S. Open.
Alejandro Falla def. Marcos Daniel
Daniel is 1-13 at majors.
Robin Soderling (8) def. Marcel Granollers
Soderling beat Granollers three times last year.
Andy Roddick (7) def. Thiemo de Bakker
Roddick has never lost in the first round here, while de Bakker is making his debut.
Thomaz Bellucci def. Teimuraz Gabashvili
Neither has had much success in majors, but Bellucci is off to a better start this year, getting to the quarterfinals at Brisbane before losing a third set tiebreaker to No. 20 Tomas Berdych.
Feliciano Lopez def. Pablo Cuevas
Lopez is 5-2 in first round matches here, while Cuevas has never played this event before.
Sam Querrey (25) def. Rainer Schuettler
Since reaching the finals at the '03 Australian and making the fourth round at each of the other Grand Slams that year, Schuettler has not had played well at majors other than a semi-final appearance at the '08 Wimbledon. Querrey has had a little more recent success.
Tomas Berdych (21) def. Robin Haase
Haase defeated Berdych in straight sets at a hard court event in '07, but the Dutchman was ranked much higher three years ago than his current No. 392 in the world. In addition, the Czech has reached the fourth round the past three years at the Australian and just got to the semis at Brisbane.
Evgeny Korolev def. Daniel Brands
These two played a pair of tightly contested Futures matches in '06, with Korolev winning both.
Sebastien Grosjean def. Marsel Ilhan
It's kind of strange for Grosjean to need a wild card to gain entry into a Grand Slam, but with his ranking slipping all the way to 675, the 31-year-old needed the special invite. Still, he hasn't lost a first round match here since '99, so he should be able to get past the Turkish qualifier.
Fernando Gonzalez (11) def. Olivier Rochus
Gonzalez has dropped just nine games in two career hard court wins over Rochus.
Marin Cilic (14) def. Fabrice Santoro
Santoro is about to play in his fourth decade on Tour, while Cilic is one of the hottest players in the world, having won a tune-up event in Chennai, India.
Bernard Tomic def. Guillaume Rufin
Tomic is just a wild card, but he won in his Grand Slam debut here last year.
Jose Acasuso def. Igor Kunitsyn
Acasuso beat Kunitsyn last year at New Haven.
Stanislas Wawrinka (19) def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
Garcia-Lopez beat Wawrinka rather easily on clay last year, but Wawrinka is playing the better tennis right now, having just reached the finals at Chennai, while the Spaniard lost in the first round of his tune-up.
Viktor Troicki (29) def. Nicolas Lapentti
Troicki was crushing Lapentti 6-3, 4-0 before the Ecuadorian retired in the first round at the '08 Wimbledon.
Florian Mayer def. Philipp Petzschner
Mayer easily dispatched of Petzschner 6-3, 6-2 in Shanghai last year.
James Blake def. Arnaud Clement
Blake is 7-0 vs. Clement.
Juan Martin Del Potro (4) def. Michael Russell
Not only did Del Potro just pull out of an exhibition tournament with a wrist injury, but he also lost his last meeting with Russell on the hard courts of Adelaide in '08. But Del Potro is the reigning U.S. Open champion and he's won his last 10 Grand Slam first round matches.
Andy Murray (5) def. Kevin Anderson
Over the past four years, Murray has lost in the first round, the fourth, the first and the fourth. Does the pattern continue with an early exit Down Under this time? Not against a qualifier.
Marc Gicquel def. Simone Bolelli
Gicquel defeated Bolelli in straight sets at last year's Indian Wells event.
Jarkko Nieminen def. Nick Lindahl
The '08 quarter-finalist should be able to beat the wild card.
Florent Serra def. Jurgen Melzer (28)
Serra ousted Melzer 6-4, 6-3 from the round of 16 at Brisbane last year.
John Isner (33) def. Andreas Seppi
Seppi caught a break when Simon pulled out and Ferrer moved to the top half of the draw. Ferrer hasn't dropped a set in three career meetings vs. Seppi, who should have a much better chance against Isner. I'm still picking the American to win, however, on the strength of his fourth round finish at the U.S. Open.
Yen-Hsun Lu def. Louk Sorensen
Lu reached the third round last year, so he should be able to bounce the qualifier.
Daniel Koellerer def. Antonio Veic
Koellerer is an Australian rookie, but he won two matches at the U.S. Open.
Gael Monfils (12) def. Matthew Ebden
Monfils hasn't missed a third round at a major he's played in since '06.
Radek Stepanek (13) def. Ivo Karlovic
Stepanek is 3-0 in his career against Karlovic.
Julien Benneteau def. David Guez
Benneteau is looking for his first win at the Australian since '06 and he should get it against the qualifier.
Mardy Fish def. Andrey Golubev
Fish has reached at least the third round the past three years, while the wild card has never won here.
Ivan Ljubicic (24) def. Jason Kubler
Ljubicic has slipped a bit since '06, when he reached the quarters at this event, but I don't see him losing in the first round to a 16-year-old wild card.
Philipp Kohlschreiber (27) def. Horacio Zeballos
Zeballos is another Aussie Open rookie, while Kohlschreiber is 5-0 in first round matches here.
Blaz Kavcic def. Wayne Odesnik
Odesnik was supposed to play Isner, but now gets to play a qualifier thanks to the re-draw that took place following Simon's injury. I still don't like the American's chances, as he is 0-2 at this event and has lost his last five Grand Slam matches.
Leonardo Mayer def. Lukas Lacko
These two up-and-comers have eached played in three majors. Lacko has never won a first round match; Mayer has never lost one.
Rafael Nadal (2) def. Peter Luczak
This is actually the only Grand Slam at which Luczak has won a match, but I don't see him upsetting the defending champion.
Roger Federer (1) def. Victor Hanescu
Federer is 3-0 vs. Hanescu and all of those matches have come on clay, which we all know is Federer's weakest surface.
Albert Montanes (31) def. Potito Starace
Montanes is undefeated in three efforts against Starace, including two wins last year.
Lleyton Hewitt (22) def. Christophe Rochus
Hewitt crushed Rochus 6-2, 6-3 at the '09 Memphis quarters.
David Ferrer (17) def. Marcos Baghdatis
Ferrer is 2-0 vs. Baghdatis, including a straight sets win on the hard courts of Johannesburg in '09.
Fernando Verdasco (9) def. Dudi Sela
Verdasco beat Sela 6-4, 6-4 at New Haven in '08.
Juan Carlos Ferrero (23) def. Stefan Koubek
Ferrero leads the all-time series 5-3 and has won the last two meetings.
Ernests Gulbis def. Michael Llodra
Gulbis defeated Llodra in straight sets at the '08 French.
Nikolay Davydenko (6) def. Carlos Moya
This is a tricky second round matchup for the six seed. Moya has beaten him in five of seven meetings, including their last match on hard courts in '08, but the Spaniard has slipped to 512th in the world, while Davydenko just beat Federer and Nadal to capture the Doha tune-up.
Novak Djokovic (3) def. Marco Chiudinelli
Djokovic has reached at least the third round at seven straight Grand Slams.
Denis Istomin def. Kristof Vliegen
While Vliegen has held pretty steady since he first turned pro in '01, Istomin has been climbing the ranks nicely over the past few years.
Richard Gasquet def. Robby Ginepri
Over the past three years at this event, Gasquet is 8-3, while Ginepri is just 2-2.
Tommy Robredo (16) def. Lukasz Kubot
Robredo's made the third round at the last five majors.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10) def. Taylor Dent
Since '06, Tsonga is 10-3 at the Australian, while Dent is 0-2.
Tommy Haas (18) def. Janko Tipsarevic
This should be one of the better second round matches. The last time these two played, Haas beat Tipsarevic 6-3 in the third at the ATP Masters Series Paris hard court event in '07.
Nicolas Almagro (26) def. Grega Zemlja
Almagro should make the third round for the sixth straight major.
Robin Soderling (8) def. Alejandro Falla
With the way Soderling played in the final three Grand Slams of '09, I'm thinking he should finally break through and reach the third round of this event for the first time.
Andy Roddick (7) def. Thomaz Bellucci
Roddick just won the warm-up tournament at Brisbane.
Feliciano Lopez def. Sam Querrey (25)
Lopez is 2-0 vs. Querrey, including a hard court victory in Miami last year.
Tomas Berdych (21) def. Evgeny Korolev
Berdych beat Korolev in five sets at the '08 Wimbledon and the Czech has reached the fourth round at the Australian the past three years.
Fernando Gonzalez (11) def. Sebastien Grosjean
Gonzalez was 2-0 against Grosjean in '04 and '05, when the Frenchman was ranked in the top 65. The Chilean should have no problem now that Grosjean has slipped to 675th in the world.
Marin Cilic (14) def. Bernard Tomic
Cilic has made the fourth round here in back to back years.
Stanislas Wawrinka (19) def. Jose Acasuso
Wawrinka is 2-0 lifetime vs. Acasuso.
Viktor Troicki (29) def. Florian Mayer
Troicki competed in a pair of Australian Open tune-ups, compiling four wins and two losses.
James Blake def. Juan Martin Del Potro (4)
This is a rough second round matchup for a four seed nursing a wrist injury. Blake reached the quarters at Brisbane and defeated Del Potro in their only meeting at a hard court tournament in Las Vegas three years ago.
Andy Murray (5) def. Marco Gicquel
Murray beat Gicquel on the hard courts of Rotterdam last year.
Florent Serra def. Jarkko Nieminen
Serra is 4-0 vs. Nieminen, including two hard court wins in '09.
John Isner (33) def. Yen-Hsun Lu
Isner is up to 28th in the world after winning the Auckland tune-up.
Gael Monfils (12) def. Daniel Koellerer
Monfils hasn't missed the fourth round of a Grand Slam since '07.
Radek Stepanek (13) def. Julien Benneteau
Stepanek is 2-1 against Benneteau, having won both hard court meetings, including the most recent one in '08.
Mardy Fish def. Ivan Ljubicic (24)
Ljubicic leads the all-time series 2-1, but Fish beat the Croatian at the '07 Australian and has started this year 3-2.
Philipp Kohlschreiber (27) def. Blaz Kavcic
Kohlschreiber should make his fourth straight third round at a major.
Rafael Nadal (2) def. Leonardo Mayer
Nadal has reached the third round every time he's played here.
Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison .
Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report's New York Yankees Community Leader. His book "Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man" is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.
Jordan can be reached at email@example.com
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