By Mike McIntyre
Day one at the Australian Open is set to begin and here is a look at a few of the matches that I've got my eye on.
Featured Match: Justine Henin vs Kirsten Flipkens
This all-Belgian match features Justine Henin back in Grand Slam competition for the first time since the 2008 Aussie Open where she lost to Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals. Flipkens will be a mere foot-note in the history of Henin's return as she does not pose a true threat to the returning former champion. Still, there will be plenty of hype around this match which should lead up to an expected second round clash between Henin and Elena Dementieva.
Result: Henin in two sets.
Canadian Content: Valerie Tetreault vs Kim Clijsters
Being Canadian myself means that I get to throw this obscure category into my daily preview - for the first couple of rounds at least. There is not much to chose from in this first Grand Slam of the year as most Canadians fell during qualifying.
On the men's side there is only Daniel Nestor in the doubles draw as Frank Dancevic is missing from singles play while recovering from back surgery and on the women's we have Aleks Wozniak, Stephanie Dubois and Valerie Tetreault.
Tetreault's stay will be short as she has the misfortune of facing Kim Clijsters on day one. This is her first time playing in Australia and only her second ever appearance at a Grand Slam. At 22 years old Tetreault is flirting with a top one hundred ranking and can hopefully enjoy the moment on Rod Laver Arena while it lasts.
Result: Clijsters in two sets.
Upset of the Day: Rainer Schuettler vs Sam Querrey
Querrey had a break-out year in 2009 but had to end his season prematurely after a freak accident where he fell through a glass table in September. Querrey has lost two first-round matches in a row to start 2010 and just does not seem ready to roll at this point. Schuettler is a veteran nearing the end of his career and is savvy enough to take advantage of a struggling opponent.
Result: Schuettler in four.
Grizzled Veteran Special: Fabrice Santoro vs Marin Cilic
After "retiring" at the end of last season we all thought we had seen the last of the Magician - Fabrice Santoro. The allure of playing in his 70th Grand Slam tournament proved to be too much for the 37 year old Frenchman and he is back to face the 14th seeded Cilic.
While his prospect of winning is slim, Santoro becomes the only professional tennis player in ATP history to have played in four decades on tour. Not too shabby for a trickster like Santoro.
Result: Cilic in three.
Coin Toss: Radek Stepanek vs Ivo Karlovic
Despite leading their head-to-head encounters 3-0, Radek Stepanek will have his hands full with the monster-serving of "Dr." Ivo. Their last meeting in Davis Cup competition went five sets with Stepanek prevailing 16-14 in the fifth and this will be their first career meeting on hard courts. Your guess is as good as mine.
Result: Stepanek in five.