This will be one of our first indicators as to his health this season because he even pulled out of an exhibition a couple weeks ago with an injury. He did win his doubles match earlier in 3 sets, but I really hope he makes a good run here and doesn't injure himself before the Australian open where he's got a lot of points to protect.
Yup. If he makes semis here and Wawrinka loses before semis in Chennai, Kei will be #16 seed in Australia, which would give him a 25% chance of drawing Ferrer in R16, which would be great. A #17 seed has its potential advantages too (he could draw some mug like Monaco or Gasquet in R3 and then a 5-8 guy in R4), but it'd be better to go far here to get some confidence ahead of AO.