Men's Top Seeds
1 Roger Federer
It's a Grand Slam. It's not being held in Paris. Here's your winner.
2 Rafael Nadal
Spaniard has neither momentum nor a clean bill of health on his side. The draw gods treated him well, but it's hard to see him living up to his seeding.
3 Nikolay Davydenko
Well, he's playing a big tournament that everyone cares about. (The rare time the guy's been quoted it costs him a fine.) But the little-known Russian enters with a bum foot. His quadrant is wide open.
4 Ivan Ljubicic
Will get an early test from Mardy Fish
. But looks to be in form and ought to at least last through the middle weekend.
5 James Blake
The bad news is that he starts off against Carlos Moya
, who's back to being a formidable player. The good news is that if Blake wins, the draw opens up considerably.
6 Andy Roddick
Trained diligently in Hawaii, looked sharp in Kooyong, comes in with surprisingly little fanfare ? which may ultimately be to his advantage. Usually plays well in Australia, too. One question: how will the absence of Coach Connors affect him?
7 Tommy Rebredo
Everyone is looking for Robo to slip in 2007, but he started strong in Auckland tune-up and ought to at least win a few rounds Down Under.
8 David Nalbandian
We're calling his first rounder around the bespectacled Janko Tipsarevic
as our upset special.
9 Mario Ancic
We usually like Ancic in Slams, but he looked shaky last week. Do, however, notice his new adidas togs.
10 Fernando Gonzalez
"Gonzo" (an apt nickname if there ever were one) is always a player capable of damage. He's also a player capable of starting cold and getting upset by Kournikova cousin Evgeny Korolev
in round one.
11 Marcos Baghdatis
A lovable finalist last year, The Crampster was cursed with a lousy draw and continues to self-sabotage with lousy fitness.
12 Tommy Haas
A player to watch, not least because of his unimposing draw.
13 Thomas Berdych
The Ana Ivanovic
(also the 13th seed) of the men's tour. The breakthrough is a matter of time and little reason it can't happen at this event.
14 Novak Djokovic
A shame for him that he's in Federer's quadrant because otherwise he had real semifinal potential. By the French Open, he'll be a top eight seed.
15 Andy Murray
Marin County's adopted son has a real chance to make some noise. Comes in playing well and has the good fortune of landing in Nadal's quadrant.
16 David Ferrer
Stocky Spaniard is not the worst hard court player and he did reach the Auckland final.
Mr. Hingis is back in the fold. He'll be rusty, to be sure, but he was in the top 10 when he last played.
Davis Cup hero has a lot of game but we don't like his odds in a likely third rounder against Berdych.
A big-hitting Swede who ought to be better than he is.
Russian is coming off an injury, but he's often a tough out at a Major.
Perhaps not the steadiest player. But he has reached the A.O. final three times since 2002.
Dark Horse NationJoachim Johansson:
If he stays healthy (not a small if), easy to see this guy serving his way into week two.
With Hewitt gimpy and working with a new coach, the "Gooch" a hard-serving 21-year-old, is Australia's best hope.
We're getting impatient waiting for him to make that next career leap.
A shame he plays a top seed early because he enters playing his best tennis in recent memory.
Matches To Watch
Blake v. Moya:
Great first-rounder for the fans, terrible first rounder for the principals.
Nadal v. Robert Kendrick:
American had Nadal in trouble at Wimbledon and took his foot off his throat. Can he close the deal in Australia?
Guccione v. Olivier Rochus:
Huge-serving behemoth versus the best 5-5 player in the sport's history.
Monfils v. Baghdatis:
Okay, it's a (likely) second rounder but it's still a tasty match-up.
Ljubicic v. Fish:
Terrible draw for "forgotten American," who was coming in playing inspired tennis.
Xavier Malisse v. Arnie Clement:
An underachieving veteran versus and overachieving veteran.
Federer defeats JoJo Johansson, Berdych defeats Blake
Federer defeats Blake
Mark Knowles-Daniel Nestor