0-1 Djokovic Takes Sydney Wildcard

Posted on January 11, 2009

No. 3-ranked Novak Djokovic is playing a number of tournaments early in an effort to gain some ground on world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, but the Serb was stunned in the first round last week in his 2009 debut at Brisbane by young gun Ernests Gulbis.

This week Djokovic looks to get some wins under his belt entering the Australian Open, hoping to improve on his 0-1 win-loss record as the top seed at the Medibank International in Sydney.

After a bye, Djokovic will start against the winner of Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu and Italian Andreas Seppi.

Also seeded are new Top 10ers Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in addition to David Nalbandian, Igor Andreev, Tomas Berdych, Tommy Robredo and Mardy Fish.

Robredo opens with a tester against Austrian veteran Jurgen "Tuna" Melzer, with the winner to face the victor of the meeting between qualifier Xavier "X-Man" Malisse and Mario "Baby Goran" Ancic.

Berdych and Fish will also be tested, with the Czech facing local favorite and wildcard Chris "Penthouse" Guccione, and the American (0-1 on the season) squaring off against the cagey Serb Janko Tipsarevic.

Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt is unseeded after missing much of last year with injury, and opens against France's Julien Benneteau.

The No. 2-seeded Simon also has a bye but has received an unfavorable draw against the winner of Richard "Baby Fed" Gasquet and Russian Dmitry Tursunov.