Friday January 15th, 2010's Jon Wertheim breaks down the men's and women's seeds at the Australian Open. Read on for the top first-round matchups, dark horses to watch and his predicted winners.

1. Serena Williams: In her first Major event, post-Bob-Knight-impersonation, Williams is likely to be on her best behavior. Foot fault? "Why, thanks for your solicitous line calling!" She is also likely to win. She's taken the title in Melbourne four times since 2003.

2. Dinara Safina: As with many players, you get the sense Safina had her chance to take a big prize and now with Justine Henin back, Kim Clijsters back and Maria Sharapova healthy, the "vacancies have been filled."

3. Svetlana Kuznetsova: We thought the French Open champion had proven to herself that she can still win big prizes. Then she regressed, losing frequently including an early loss to Dominika Cibulkova in the Sydney tune-up

4. Caroline Wozniacki: The Great Dane has been overshadowed by the return of Henin and Clijsters. But it's not hard to see her living up to her seeding. Pity the chair umpire assigned to her first match against....Aleksandra Wozniak.

5. Elena Dementieva: Comes in fresh off a straight-sets victory over Serena in the Sydney final and the surface should be to her liking. But still makes a habit of disappointing at Majors -- even when she doesn't have to start off against a tough opponent the likes of Vera Dushevina.

6. Venus Williams: You could go broke betting against the Williams sisters. But Venus, seldom at her best in Melbourne, is clearly on the downside of a Hall of Fame career. Dangerous first round opponent in Lucie Safarova.

7. Victoria Azarenka: The what-have-you-done-for-me-lately-meter is starting to beep a little bit. Tons of talent and undeniable game. But we still await that "next step."

8. Jelena Jankovic: Like Safina, she went from being a contender to an also-ran and you get the feeling opportunity is done knocking. Still talks a good game, thankfully.

9. Vera Zvonareva: The Russian deserves major credit for reviving her career. But she simply doesn't have the weapons to compete for Slams. Potential third rounder against Ana Ivanovic intrigues.

10 Agnieszka Radwanska: See Zvonareva. Here's the rare WTA player who thrives not with relentless power but with relentless accuracy. Alas, A-Rad will get outhit eventually.

11. Marion Bartoli: A player to watch. Her results tend to be as quirky as her game and temperament.

12. Flavia Pennetta: A fun and whimsical player who has quarterfinal talent but neither the weapons nor the self-belief to run the table. Seeing her name does give us an opportunity to link this video.

13. Sam Stosur: Attacking Aussie has all the tools, and, in this case, popular backing. But can disappoint in Slams.

14 Maria Sharapova: Surely the best 14/15 combo in the history of Grand Slam seeds, five Majors titles between them. Sharapova claims to be at full health but you wonder whether she's in the mental space to start winning again. Only two years removed from winning -- dominating -- she could use a strong event.

15. Kim Clijsters: Aussie Kim is the hot pick going in, specially after winning a "gut check match" against Henin. Would not be at all surprising if she backs up her U.S. Open title with another big-ticket item.

16. Na Li: A feast of famine player but based on her draw alone, she could go far.

20. Ana Ivanovic: Was she really the No.1 player just 18 months ago?

21 Sabine Lisicki: After a nasty fall at the US Open and leaving the court on a stretcher, Lisicki is back. Not the most artistic game, but lot of firepower.

27 Alisa Kleybanova: Once this Russian gets in better physical shape, she too has top ten game.

29. Shahar Peer: Her game seems to be coming back.

Justine Henin: Can we have our second straight "unretirement" champ? All things being equal, the former champ should be a top five seed. The draw did her no favors.

Yanina Wickmayer: Provided she qualifies. The Belgian has played a lot of tennis already this year --and must be emotionally spent given the past few months. Yet, there's top 10 talent here.

Jelena Dokic: Could beat Kleybanova off the bat. But a shame she's in the Henin-Dementieva district.

Kimiko Date Krumm: The ultimate unretirer. Any player older than we are gets automatic mention.

Justine Henin vs. Kirsten Flipkens: Then how about Henin v. Dementieva in round two?

Venus Williams vs. Lucie Safarova: If Venus is flat, look out.

Jelena Dokic vs. Alisa Kleybanova: A lot of power for one match.

Lucie Safarova d. Venus Williams

Williams- Williams

Serena vs. Li Na;

Clijsters vs. Sharapova

Serena vs. Clijsters


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