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ATP Adelaide Preview

01-04-2004, 05:29 PM
JANUARY 4, 2004
Adelaide Preview: Ferreira, Spadea Headline Field

Wayne Ferreira returns to Adelaide as top seed after losing first round last year to Argentine Franco Squillari. A solid 2003 saw Ferreira defeat Lleyton Hewitt in the Los Angeles final to win his 15th career title.

Ferreira meets young Australian Wild Card Todd Reid. If Ferreira stays on track through to the quarterfinals, he could meet Greg Rusdeski, who missed most of the 2003 season due to injury, one of America's rising stars Robby Ginepri or Alberto Martin who is back in Adelaide for his fifth consecutive year, having reached the quarterfinals or better in all attempts.

In the bottom half of the draw, American veteran Vincent Spadea is seeded No. 2 after clawing his way back from obscurity in 2000 to finish 2003 ranked 29. Also in the bottom half is another young American star Taylor Dent, the colorful Frenchman Arnaud Clement and former Australian Open champ Thomas Johansson, playing in his first event since the Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai.

Johnasson underwent knee surgery on Feb 11 last year to repair damaged tissue above his knee and missed the entire 2003 season.

In the doubles draw, all eyes will be on the wild card pairing of Patrick Rafter and Joshua Eagle, who are pitted to play the American pairing of Mark Merklein and Spadea. The No. 1 team for 2003, identical twins Bob & Mike Bryan are back in town as the No. 1 doubles seeds and will be keen to make a successful start to 2004 after such an inspired 2003 season.