By Mike McIntyre
After one semi-completed day at the Australian Open we have already witnessed the shocking defeat of Maria Sharapova at the hands of 58th ranked Maria Kirilenko. What will day two have in store?
Featured Match: Roger Federer vs Igor Andreev
Why have I chosen this match as my feature for day two? Because Federer just happens to be the greatest tennis player that ever lived and we really need to put that into perspective on a more regular basis. I feel like we have all taken Roger's accomplishments for granted simply due to the fact that he makes it all look so darn easy. For the past six years this guy has dominated the sport like nobody else in such a short time span. Appearances in 22 straight Grand Slam semi-finals - are you kidding me??? Federer will turn 29 this year and we must realize that his reign will not last for an infinite period of time. Enjoy this guy while he is still hanging on to the top.
Federer is not going to be happy with the first round opponent he has drawn. Andreev can be tricky and pushed Roger to his limits the last time they met. Federer prevailed 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at the 2008 U.S. Open against Andreev. If Roger isn't on top of his game he could get hurt in this match.
Upset of the Day: Lucie Safarova vs Venus Williams
I'm not jumping on the upset bandwagon in the WTA draw after yesterday's Kirilenko over Sharapova result, but I truly feel this is the potential upset of the day.
We all know that Venus has been on a slide since Wimbledon and her results away from grass courts are really nothing to write home about. Safarova has never beaten Williams in three tries, but has pushed the American to a third set in their previous two encounters.
Will Venus likely win this match - yes. It is a match she certainly should win. Her track record has never been amazing in Australia though and all the right ingredients are there for a potential upset to occur.
If you're looking for a more probably upset I would look at veteran qualifier Xavier Malisse to knock off 26th seed and clay-court specialist Nicolas Almagro.
Welcome Back to the Slams: Alicia Molik
Molik returns to the Grand Slam singles stage for the first time since the Aussie Open in 2008. Once ranked as high as number eight in the world and the Bronze medalist from the 2004 Athens Olympics, Molik was a top-level player before injuries hit her big-time.
She was hit by an inner-ear infection in 2005 that sidelined her for several months and retired in September 2008 after struggling with leg and elbow issues. Molik then announced in July 2009 that she was injury-free and ready to return to the tour. She impressed last year at the challenger level and received a wild-card from her home country to participate here in Melbourne.
She takes on Julie Coin from France in the first round.
Coin Toss: Mikhail Youzhny vs Richard Gasquet
Youzhny is seeded 20th in the tournament while Gasquet should be ranked inside the top-twenty but isn't because of his doping suspension last year. This is a great first-round match which could go either way.
Youzhny leads their career head-to-head 2-1, but they have not played since 2007 where the Russian won in a tight five-setter during Davis Cup competition.
Gasquet has started 2010 playing well and made the finals in Sydney last week falling to Marcos Baghdatis in the finals. I'd give him the advantage in this one based on talent alone.
Grizzled Veteran Special: Carlos Moya vs Illya Marchenko
Moya missed most of 2009 due to injuries and at the age of 33 he is on his last legs on tour. He has played once so far this year losing in the first round in Chennai - one of his favorite tournaments - to Janko Tipsarevic.
He's coming in against an opponent who, despite his ranking of 119th in the world, has already won two qualifying matches on the courts in Melbourne. Bottom line - don't expect Moya's stay in Australia to last long.