The 2011 Australian Open is set to begin this week - sort of like the bastard child of all the Grand Slams. It is, nevertheless, one of the four biggest tennis tournaments of the year. It's a bit difficult to follow live thanks to the time difference but it's still worth following.
On the men's side, Rafael Nadal is the No. 1 seed, with his nemesis Roger Federer coming in as the No. 2 seed. Nadal will be going for his fourth straight Grand Slam win, which is almost the real grand slam but not quite. Nadal won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open last year after retiring in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
Federer is the tournament's defending champion, after he beat Andy Murray in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 last year in the final to win yet another Grand Slam event.
The rest of the men's seeding and the women's seeding after the jump.
Novak Djokovic is the No. 3 seed, followed by Robin Soderling, last year's runner-up Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and American Andy Roddick round out the top eight seeds. Roddick is, of course, the top American ranked in the event.
One other notable in the Aussie Open is the twelfth-seeded Gaël Monfils. He's pretty fun to watch, albeit a bit goofy.
One the women's side, Caroline Wozniacki is the top seed. Wozniacki has yet to win a Grand Slam event in her career, yet is the top seed for this year's Australian Open.
Vera Zvonareva is the No. 2 seed. Zvonareva advanced to the finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open last year, but fell to Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters in each. Zvonareva defeated Wozniacki in the semi-finals of last year's US Open, so if the two do manage to meet in the finals I'm sure Wozniacki will be looking for revenge - could be pretty entertaining.
The aforementioned Clijsters is the third seed, Venus Williams - the highest ranked American - is fourth and is followed by Australian Sam Stosur, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic and Victoria Azarenka to round out the top eight seeds.
Notable on the women's side is of course Maria Sharapova, who is the fourteenth seed and looking to get back on the winning track.