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Melbourne next on agenda

February 11th 2013 10:44
We take a step back in standard as the Australian Pro Tour circus hits Melbourne Park tomorrow.
Many of the same players who competed in Challenger events in Burnie, Tasmania, and West Lakes, South Australia, the last two weeks are back for more.
But the likes of title winners John Millman and Matt Barton, Great Britain No. 2 James Ward and Japan’s Yuichi Sugita are not part of the Melbourne F1 Futures main draw.
There are two main reasons: the lesser prizemoney and ranking points.
A whopping 80 points were available to the winner at Burnie and West Lakes, but a victory earns just 27 this week in Melbourne.
There is still plenty of motivation for the players in the draw.
Australians Brydan Klein, the second seed, James Duckworth, the fourth seed, and Ben Mitchell will be keen to atone for underwhelming performances in Burnie and West Lakes.

West Australian Brydan Klein will look to kick-start his 2013 campaign at this week's Melbourne Park International.

Duckworth lost in the first round to Ward at both events, but starts against a player he has never competed against, Italian world No. 304 Luca Vanni, this time.
Klein and Mitchell face Melbourne-based American Sean Berman and wildcard Jack Schipanski in respective clashes they should take out.
Canadian Peter Polansky, the world No. 184, is the top seed and his first-round opponent is Sydney 18-year-old Jordan Thompson, who made the second round at Burnie as a qualifier.
Thompson is a wildcard at this tournament, joining fellow promising teenage Australians Nick Kyrgios, Luke Saville, Schipanski, Jacob Grills, Jay Andrijic and Omar Jasika in the draw.
Junior world No. 1 Krygios, 17, leaped 267 places up the rankings to 576 thanks to his semi-final run at West Lakes last week.
Andrijic and Grills had to qualify.
Jasika, who is ranked 46 in the world at junior level, is the interesting one at just 15 years of age.
He meets 20-year-old countryman Simon Ede, a qualifier, in a winnable match first up.
A scan of the draw also finds two particularly intriguing opening-round contests between Australians: Samuel Groth against Greg Jones, and Adam Feeney versus Alex Bolt.
Jones has won all three of his outings with fellow big server Groth, while Bolt is 2-1 up on Feeney.
Bolt exited at the first hurdle at Burnie and West Lakes to Matt Reid, who locks horns with fellow New South Welshman Dane Propoggia in Melbourne.
Frenchman Stephane Robert, a finalist at Burnie and quarter-finalist at West Lakes, is the thrid seed and one of the favourites.
The women take a break from competition in Australia this week.

See Melbourne Park International singles draw here

I am the Shepparton News' sports editor and hope to start a tennis website this year. Follow me on Twitter at @Marc_tennis and/or @marcmcgowan84.

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