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Opportunity beckons at Mildura

February 18th 2013 09:44
ONE word springs to mind in regards to the Mildura International men’s draw: opportunity.
None of this year’s three Australian Pro Tour winners – John Millman, Matt Barton and Stephane Robert – are in the draw.
And the last direct entrant boasts a ranking on the wrong side of 1000.
An overseas player is the top seed, Japan’s Hiroki Moriya, and he will be looking for a deeper run than his first round exit at West Lakes, where he won just three games.
None of the top four seeds, including West Australian Brydan Klein (two), Victoria’s Sam Groth (three) and Queenslander John-Patrick Smith (four), have hit top form this year.
The draw has not been kind to Klein.
He faces world No. 1 junior Nick Kyrgios, who made the West Lakes semi-finals – beating Klein in his opener – and Melbourne quarter-finals, in his first match.
Klein’s quarter also includes Melbourne semi-finalist and eighth seed Alex Bolt, of South Australia.

Queenslander John-Patrick Smith is the No. 4 seed in the men's singles draw at the Mildura International.

Bolt won’t have it all his own way in his opener against 15-year-old Victorian qualifier Omar Jasika, who made the second round in Melbourne last week as a wildcard.
Groth and Smith take on wildcard Daniel Guccione and hard-hitting qualifier Daniel Byrnes, respectively.
Moriya starts against NSW teenager Jordan Thompson, who meets the top seed first up for the second straight tournament after benefiting from Canadian Peter Polansky’s retirement at Melbourne.
Indian No. 5 seed Sanam Singh and Italian No. 7 seed Andrea Arnaboldi have had their moments at this level in recent weeks.
But No. 6 seed Luke Saville, of Adelaide, has been out of sorts since returning from being part of the Australian Davis Cup team this month.
Among the interesting floaters are Victorians Chris Guccione and James Lemke, world doubles No. 121 Colin Ebelthite and South Australian teenager Brad Mousley, who was one half of last month’s Australian Open boys’ doubles champions.
Jack Schipanski and Jay Andrijic, who qualified, clash in an all-teenager first round match.

See Mildura International men's 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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