Having cracked the top 10 in late 2011, Janko Tipsarevic proved that was no fluke in 2012, maintaining his place in the game's elite bracket thanks to three finals appearances, 57 match wins and a trip to the US Open quarterfinals.
Strengths: Tipsarevic is an excellent shot-maker, and his fitness and athleticism allow him to get in position to rip his flat, aggressive groundstrokes for unexpected winners. The Serbian possesses an intensity and focus which has helped him to increasingly compete with the big guns of the sport. He has developed mental toughness from regular exposure to representing his country in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Davis Cup.
Weaknesses: For all his abilities, Tipsarevic is undersized and underpowered, and lacks the killer shot to remain in the conversation at the pointy end of majors. And where there's Janko, there's drama. The flamboyant Serb seems to expend enormous amounts of mental and emotional energy during his matches, which can dent that impressive focus. Drained by the time the ATP World Tour Finals rolled around in London, he said: "I'm playing horrible. I'm playing worse than horrible. I'm playing the worst tennis that I have played in a long time."
Opportunities: Having fallen in the third round at Melbourne Park last year, Tipsarevic has plenty to gain this time around on a surface and at a tournament that is to his liking. And sitting just 500-odd points behind the eighth-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a potential top eight ranking awaits, setting the Serb up for a season of improved draws and even more respect among the ATP playing group.
Threats: He has the ability to get up for the big matches - see his Australian Open third round classic against Roger Federer - yet rather counter-intuitively, Tipsarevic's threats lie in the unheralded opponents that he will most likely face early in the event away from the crowds of the biggest show courts. Then there's also his own expectations - undoubtedly heightened now he's entrenched in the top 10 - which could add pressure to his campaign.
Scott Draper, former world No.42 and head coach of Tennis Australia's National Academies
"Janko is a great competitor and has done an excellent job to go from being a member of the rank-and-file to one of the top players in the world. Unfortunately, he probably doesn't have enough to really hurt the very best."