Rod Laver Arena is littered with top players on Day 2 as Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka and Roger Federer headline matches on Tuesday in Melbourne. These are three names who are certainly capable of bringing home hardware from this tournament.
For Azarenka, it appears there are no lingering effects to her toe infection that caused her to pull out of a tournament the week prior. With Federer, the question lately seems to be the same. Has his age finally caught up with him and does he have enough left to take down a Djokovic or Murray? And for Murray, is he still riding high after finally breaking through in 2012 with Olympic Gold and a U.S. Open title?
A couple matches to keep an eye on include 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki who is seeded 10th but has seen her game slip in the last couple of seasons. She faces a tough Sabine Lisicki of Germany. Lisicki is 36th in the World and made it to the 4th round in the 2012 Australian Open. Her best Major's showing was a quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon in 2012.
Another tough first round match on the Women's Side is veteran Francesca Schiavone of Italy facing Petra Kvitova. Kvitova is seeded 8th in the tournament but Schiavone is a fighter who has the potential of a first round upset. Now into her 30s, Schiavone has slipped to 48th in the World, but she still has a lot of fight in her when she is on the court in a Major. It is clear that her game has fallen some but Schiavone is only two years removed from a Championship at Roland Garros and made it to the quarters at the U.S Open the same year.
On the Men's Side, one match jumps off the page for a first round match. 18th seed Alexandr Dolgopolov drew the unfortunate task of facing Gael Monfils in the first round. Monfils, whose rankings fell dramatically due to injury, is a much better player than his current 86th position in the World. Monfils' last Major was last years Australian Open in a season washed out due to a knee injury. Monfils recently claimed his knee is 100 percent which makes this first round match that much more intriguing.
(photo of Roger Federer courtesy of Arvedui89)