(4) David Ferrer

  • Last Updated: June 9 2013, 19:40 BST

Spanish warrior Ferrer is one of the most respected players on the ATP circuit.

David Ferrer: Seeded fourth due to Rafael Nadal's absence
David Ferrer: Seeded fourth due to Rafael Nadal's absence

The tenacious right-hander claimed seven of his 18 ATP Tour titles in 2012 and proved he is much, much more than a claycourt specialist with victories on all surfaces.

He was arguably the player of the year last term but time is running out for the 30-year-old Spaniard to clinch an elusive Grand Slam title.

Despite his advancing years, Ferrer remains amongst the game's elite athletes and is seeded fourth heading to Melbourne Park.

The diminutive right-hander was a beaten semi-finalist in 2011 - losing to Andy Murray in four sets - but outclassed in straights by Novak Djokovic in the quarters 12 months ago.

One of the great defenders but a more than useful counter-puncher too, Ferrer's weakness is a less potent serve than his rivals, forcing him to graft for every point.

He comes into the tournament on good form having secured his fourth singles title at Auckland after beating Philipp Kohlschreiber in the final.

Also a keen football and basketball player, not many will fancy going shot-for-shot with the Spaniard under the blazing Australian sun.