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  • Season begins with Australian Open seed battle

    12/17/12 6:14 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Season begins with Australian Open seed battle Australian Open seeding, as always, will be made after the first week of the season. The battle for a Top 32 spot will be on in Brisbane, Chennai, and Doha.

    With Mardy Fish already out of 2013's first Grand Slam, the battle is on for a Top 33 ranking after the opening week of next season. Here's how the picture looks:

    In position:

    No. 28 Florian Mayer - Mayer is a lock for a seed because he lost in the Brisbane first round in 2012. He's back in Brisbane for the upcoming season, so he can only gain points. The German could even snag a Top 24 seed if he somehow managed to win the tournament.

    No. 29 Jurgen Melzer - Melzer is in good shape for the same reason. The 31-year-old Austrian lost his Brisbane opener to his friend and doubles partner Philipp Petzschner, so he has nothing to defend.

    No. 30 - In the first week of this January, Klizan was ranked 117th in the world, unknown to almost everyone, and losing in the first round of Doha qualifying. The 23-year-old Slovak will be seeded in Brisbane next month and can only add to his point total. Klizan doesn't have much to worry about.

    No. 31 Radek Stepanek - The Davis Cup champion is at serious risk of losing his Australian Open seed. He reached the Brisbane quarterfinals in 2012 and will be unseeded in 2013, so he could have to play someone like Andy Murray in the first round. Even with an early exit, though, several players behind Stepanek would need to have big weeks.

    No. 32 Jeremy Chardy - It's no wonder Chardy is playing the first week of next season. He has 100 points to defend from a Challenger title, so a quick loss in Doha will mean no seed for him in Melbourne. If there's good news for the Frenchman, it's that he will be seeded in Doha--thus in line for a favorable draw.

    No. 33 Thomaz Bellucci - It won't be up to the Brazilian, because he isn't playing the first week. He didn't last year, either; so he won't lose any points, but he also won't gain any.

    Outside looking in:

    No. 34 Marcel Granollers - Granollers, like Bellucci, is idle; he won't lose any and he won't gain any. If nobody behind the Spaniard passes him, he will be seeded at the Australian Open if Chardy loses prior to the Doha semifinals.

    No. 35 Julien Benneteau - Benneteau finished runner-up in Sydney this year and those points will still be on the board. He lost in the Brisbane first round so he has a huge chance to gain points. If the Frenchman reaches the quarterfinals, he will at least pass Granollers.

    No. 36 Marcos Baghdatis - Having reached the Brisbane quarterfinals in 2012, Baghdatis needs at least a semifinal this time in order to have a chance. That could be enough if both Chardy and Benneteau lose right away, but Baghdatis would only be safe with a surprise trip to the title match.

    No. 38 Viktor Troicki - Troicki is in the exact same spot as Baghdatis; he has quarterfinal points to defend (from Doha) and needs at least a semifinal in Doha this time to stay alive. The Serb will have to hope he avoids Rafael Nadal's and David Ferrer's quarters of the draw.

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