2010 Australian Open: Picking the First Two Rounds

Jordan SchwartzSenior Writer IJanuary 17, 2010

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 17:  Rafael Nadal of Spain and of the Blue Team and Roger Federer of Switzerland and of the Red Team watch the 'Hit For Haiti' charity exhibition match ahead of the 2010 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images


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.


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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 jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com