Melbourne VIC, Australia, 8 January 2014 |

Thirteen may be unlucky for some, but today that is exactly the number of Australian players who begin their quest to qualify for a position in the main draw of men’s singles at the 2014 Australian Open.

Just 16 positions are up for grabs in the main draw from the qualifying field of 128 with Germany’s Dustin Brown the top seed for the event.

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No less than 64 matches will take place on 12 courts during the first day of qualifying, providing a veritable smorgasbord of tennis.

Show Courts Three and Six will be the places to be if you are keen on seeing Australians in action. Five matches on each of those courts will feature at least one Australian player.

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Matt Reid is currently ranked in the top 10 men in Australia, he will take on Neils Desein from Belgium who is ranked some 30 spots higher than Reid at No.198. The pair have never met and have similar records in ATP events.

Greg Jones faces a tough test against the No.22 seed for the qualifying event, Michael Berrer from Germany. Berrer is an experienced campaigner ranked No.145 in the world, who has played in 195 ATP matches compared with Jones’ seven.

Matthew Barton has also drawn a formidable opponent in the form of Marsel Ilhan from Turkey. Ilhan has spent time ranked inside the top 100 and will provide a stern test for Barton.

Possibly the two unluckiest Aussies in the qualifying are Ben Mitchell and JP Smith who have been pitted against one another as the last match on Show Court Three. Both Mitchell and Smith are looking to take part in their second Australian Open after exiting last year’s event in the first round.

Sixteen year old Marc Polmans will take on one of the more experienced players in the qualifying draw in Paul-Henri Mathieu. Mathieu is a veteran of 488 ATP matches and has won four titles in his 14 year career with a career high ranking of 12.

Polmans is one of eight Australian’s to be given a wild card into the qualifying event. Along with Polmans are Alex Bolt, Andrew Harris, Akira Santillan, Blake Mott, Luke Saville, Bradley Mousley and Andrew Whittington.

For the players lucky enough to progress to the main draw, history is well and truly against them, with no qualifier ever progressing past the third round of the Australian Open.

The draw for the women’s qualifying event will be held at 4pm this afternoon Melbourne time.