Australian Open 2013 – Top 10 Men’s Seeds Preview

#1. Novak Djokovic

AGE: 25

RANKING: 1

Right Handed

Best Aus Open Result -> Winner (2008, 2011, 2012)

STATS

2012 Statistics                                                      

  Matches Tiebreaks Vs Top 10 Vs Top 20 Vs 21+
Win/Loss 68-12 14-12 19-10 23-11 45-1
Hard 43-5 10-9 13-3 16-4 27-1
Clay 16-4 4-2 2-1 6-4 10-0
Grass 9-3 0-1 1-3 1-3 8-0
Grand Slams 23-3 4-4 7-3 7-3 16-0
Vs Top 10 19-10 9-5
Vs R Handers 62-9 14-10 18-7 22-8 40-1
Vs L Handers 6-3 0-2 1-3 1-3 5-0
Best of 3 45-9 10-8 12-7 16-8 29-1
Best of 5 23-3 4-4 7-3 7-3 16-0
Deciding Sets 14-3

Hard Court Statistics (minus Murray/Federer/Nadal)

Last 3 Years 2012  
Win/Loss 112-11 54-1
Aus + US Open 26-1 9-0
If wins 1st set 102-3 38-1
If 1 set all 21-6 4-2
If loses 1st set 10-8 1-1

Career Grand Slam Record

All Surfaces Hard Court
Win/Loss 134-27 71-12
Won 1st Set 109-1 56-0
Lost 1st Set 18-22 11-11
Won 1st + 2nd Set 90-1 49-0
Lost 1st + 2nd Set 3-15 1-6
1 Set All 34-7 17-5
Up 2 sets to 1 40-4 20-2
Down 2 sets to 1 10-9 5-4

Notable Statistics

Positive

  • 19-10 record vs top 10 players in 2012, including 13-3 on hardcourt
  • Has NEVER lost a hardcourt Grand Slam match after winning the first set (56-0)
  • 20-2 on hardcourt in Grand Slams when up  2 sets to 1
  • Only lost once to players outside the top 4 in 2012

SYNOPSIS

World number 1, 3 time Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic is gunning for the chance to join Andre Agassi and Roger Federer as 4-time Australian Open titles, the most in the Open era.

Some wondered whether Novak would be able to match the heights of 2012. Although he still played at a ridiculously high level, it was more the improved play of Federer and Murray that brought Novak back to the field slightly. By reaching the French Open final in 2012, Djokovic became the ninth player in the Open era to reach all four Grand Slam Finals

Djokovic is easily considered an all-court player. Aggressive from the baseline, Djokovic is unbelievably consistent from both wings, with precision unrivaled in the game at the moment. One of the main reasons for his precision and power is his great agility and court coverage, allowing him to set up and attack where other players couldn’t.

Although once considered a weakness, Novak has put a great deal of effort into his serve over the last two years. Improving his serve, coupled with being renowned as one of the best returns of serve in the game, is a lethal combination. If there is any area of his game that lacks polish, it can be his backhand dropshot. Although incredibly effective in low pressure situations, it can sometimes become a fallback option for him in difficult match situations against the likes of Federer and Murray.

An interesting stat we came across spanning Novak’s entire career is he is an impressive 407-16 after winning the first set. When he starts well, he certainly knows how to go on with it! 109-1 across his career when winning the first set is also an amazing statistic, 56-0 at Aus/US Open, and is one stat to consider for all in-play bettors.

Australian Open 2012

10…..that is the number of games Novak lost in the first 3 rounds combined in 2012. After dispatching Lorenzi, Giraldo and Mahut easily, Djokovic had a tough battle on his hands against Lleyton Hewitt. After beating Hewitt in 4 sets, he then accounted for David Ferrer with ease. In one of the matches of the tournament, Djokovic accounted for Andy Murray in 5 sets, saving 17 of the 24 break points he faced. After that 4hr50min marathon, Djokovic then defeated Nadal in the final in 5hrs53mins 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5.

Once the draw is released, check back to see what we think he will be able to do in 2013.

#2. Roger Federer

AGE: 31

RANKING: 2

Right Handed

Best Aus Open Result -> Winner (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010)

STATS

2012 Statistics                                                      

  Matches Tiebreaks Vs Top 10 Vs Top 20 Vs 21+
Win/Loss 68-10 19-13 13-7 21-8 47-2
Hard 38-5 13-6 6-4 12-4 26-1
Clay 15-3 1-4 4-2 5-3 10-0
Grass 15-2 5-3 3-1 4-1 11-1
Grand Slams 19-3 4-5 3-3 4-3 15-0
Vs Top 10 13-7 6-5
Vs R Handers 58-9 16-11 12-6 19-7 39-2
Vs L Handers 10-1 3-2 1-1 2-1 8-0
Best of 3 47-5 15-7 10-3 17-3 30-2
Best of 5 21-5 4-6 3-4 4-5 17-0
Deciding Sets 14-2

Hard Court Statistics (minus Murray/Djokovic/Nadal)

Last 3 Years 2012  
Win/Loss 183-19 63-5
Aus + US Open 28-1 7-1
If wins 1st set 160-7 52-1
If 1 set all 34-12 14-3
If loses 1st set 20-12 11-4

Career Grand Slam Record

All Surfaces Hard Court
Win/Loss 247-37 127-17
Won 1st Set 217-10 113-6
Lost 1st Set 26-27 11-11
Won 1st + 2nd Set 195-2 102-1
Lost 1st + 2nd Set 6-20 1-8
1 Set All 42-15 21-8
Up 2 sets to 1 58-7 27-5
Down 2 sets to 1 8-15 2-6

Notable Stats

Positive

  • In 144 hardcourt Grand Slam matches, Federer has won the first set on 119 occasions
  • 217-10 record from winning the first set
  • 13-6 hardcourt tiebreak record in 2012
  • 13-7 record vs top 10

SYNOPSIS

When you think about Roger Federer you can’t help but think of him as one of the best players to ever grace the tennis court. An absolute star of the game for many years, Federer is now starting to see the next generation of quality tennis players come up and attempt to knock him off his perch. Djokovic and Murray have started to get to wood over him lately (and to a lesser extent Berdych), but you always know you are going to get a quality performance out of Fed.

Looking at Federer’s plans for 2013, you can see that he is starting to scale back his activity. Cutting out tournaments, including a 7 week break between the Australian and French Opens, shows that he is trying to look after his body, with one eye on the 2016 Rio Olympics. This has been coming for sometime, with a comment made by Fed late last year stating “I need a holiday badly. I’m wounded, tired, and exhausted and need some time off right now and see where I go from here. Nothing has been decided for the rest of the year, even though there is a plan in place, that plan might change. I need to go back to drawing board to see what’s important.”

One of the major strengths when talking about Federer is his consistency at Grand Slam level, especially in the early stages of the tournament. Even if he finds himself down against a much lower ranked opponent, he is almost always cool in a crisis. In rounds 1-4 of the last 3 Australian Opens, Federer has dropped only 4 sets (two of those to Gilles Simon in 2011). Of those 37 sets, only 4 of those sets went to 7-5 or 7-6 (two involving big serving Ivo Karlovic). As you can see above, of the 144 hard court Grand Slam matches Federer has played, he has won the first set in 113 of those.

In terms of Federer’s strengths, there are almost too many to mention. His forehand is considered one of the best in the game. His serve has improved majorly over the years, and is strong from both wings. If necessary, he will also serve-and-volley with great poise. Jimmy Connors once described of Federer that in the world of tennis you are considered a clay court player, and grass court player, a hardcourt player…..or you’re Roger Federer.

The one weakness of Federer at times can be his backhand. The precision required to hit such a backhand means that if you are only slightly off, you can start to miss consistently.

Given the rest he has had, you know Federer is going to be primed for his Australian Open assault. And he will need to be the way Djokovic and Murray are playing. He can only hope that Murray draws in Djokovic’s half, because it will be mighty hard to beat them back to back. If he does, then he is more than deserving of the title.

Australian Open 2012

It is safe to say that Federer cruised through Kudryavtsev, Beck (walkover), Karlovic, Tomic and Del Potro on the way to his Semi Final matchup vs Nadal. After winning the first set in a tiebreak, it went all the way of Nadal from there, in 4 tight sets 6-7 6-2 7-6 6-4. Had Federer won that 3rd set tiebreak, things may have been different, but it was not to be.

Check back once the draw is finalised to see how far we think Federer can go!

#3. Andy Murray

AGE: 25

RANKING: 3

Right Handed

Best Aus Open Result -> F (2010, 2011)

STATS

2012 Statistics                                                      

  Matches Tiebreaks Vs Top 10 Vs Top 20 Vs 21+
Win/Loss 56-16 17-9 12-9 21-10 35-6
Hard 35-10 10-5 8-6 14-7 21-3
Clay 9-4 3-1 0-2 1-2 8-2
Grass 12-2 4-3 4-1 6-1 6-1
Grand Slams 22-3 11-2 4-3 8-3 14-0
Vs Top 10 12-9 8-4
Vs R Handers 49-16 14-9 12-9 21-10 28-6
Vs L Handers 7-0 3-0 0-0 0-0 7-0
Best of 3 33-13 6-7 7-6 12-7 21-6
Best of 5 23-3 11-2 5-3 9-3 14-0
Deciding Sets 10-8

Hard Court Statistics (minus Federer/Djokovic/Nadal)

Last 3 Years 2012  
Win/Loss 95-19 32-4
Aus + US Open 29-1 11-0
If wins 1st set 79-5 23-1
If 1 set all 22-9 10-2
If loses 1st set 13-14 8-3

Career Grand Slam Record

All Surfaces Hard Court
Win/Loss 100-27 52-14
Won 1st Set 78-6 40-3
Lost 1st Set 17-21 8-11
Won 1st + 2nd Set 65-1 35-0
Lost 1st + 2nd Set 5-14 2-9
1 Set All 25-12 11-5
Up 2 sets to 1 31-5 15-3
Down 2 sets to 1 8-12 4-6

Statistics of Note

Positive

  • 14-0 in Grand Slams in 2012 against players outside the top 20
  • 17-9 record in tiebreaks in 2012
  • 40-3 in hardcourt Grand Slams when winning the first set
  • 11-2 in Grand Slam tiebreaks in 2012

Synopsis

It isn’t often that you hear of an athlete using winning an Olympic gold as a springboard to a better career, but that is certainly the case with Andy Murray. After demolishing Roger Federer in the gold medal playoff, Murray then achieved something he had been waiting for. He finally won a Grand Slam at the US Open, defeating Novak Djokovic in 5 sets. He made the most of the freakishly windy conditions, and who knows what sort of confidence will be gained from that Grand Slam.

Andy Murray can be great to watch. Andy Murray can also be incredibly frustrating to watch. It depends which Murray turns up. On his day, you get a player who can beat absolutely anyone that he comes up against. When he has an off day, you get a dejected man who grimaces and limps his way around the court. It really all depends on how he is playing and the scoreline.

Although he won the Brisbane International, it was certainly far from convincing. He found himself losing a set to Australian youngster John Millman, and found himself down 3-0 against both Kei Nishikori and Grigor Dimitrov in sets. His slow starts can be somewhat worrying, but are good to consider if you are a lay-to-back bettor.

A major strength Andy Murray has is the ability to turn defence into offence consistently. Time and time again he finds himself winning points most players will give up on. His return of service is also top class, making sure players don’t get cheap points on serve.

As mentioned above, a major weakness at times is Murray’s mindset. A further weakness can be Murray’s backhand. He can fall into patches where consistency on his backhand goes missing, however this has improved immensely over the last 12 months.

Australian Open 2012

Murray only dropped one set on his way to the semi finals. Leading Novak Djokovic in the semi final 2 sets to 1, it all started to unravel for Murray. Giving up the 4th set when a break down, Murray put everything he had into the 5th set, ultimately losing it 7-5. The most noticeable stat to come out of the match was Murray only won 31.3% of points on his second serve!

#4. David Ferrer

AGE: 30

RANKING: 5

Right Handed

Best Aus Open Result -> SF (2011)

STATS

2012 Statistics                                                      

  Matches Tiebreaks Vs Top 10 Vs Top 20 Vs 21+
Win/Loss 72-14 20-12 6-8 16-9 56-4
Hard 29-7 6-5 2-3 7-3 22-3
Clay 32-5 9-5 3-4 8-4 24-1
Grass 11-2 5-2 1-1 1-2 10-0
Grand Slams 18-4 9-6 3-4 5-3 13-0
Vs Top 10 6-8 2-9
Vs R Handers 61-10 17-9 6-5 14-6 47-3
Vs L Handers 9-4 3-3 0-3 2-3 7-1
Best of 3 50-10 11-5 2-4 10-5 40-4
Best of 5 22-4 9-7 4-4 6-4 16-0
Deciding Sets 12-1

Hard Court Statistics (minus Murray/Federer/Djokovic/Nadal)

Last 3 Years 2012  
Win/Loss 83-23 29-3
Aus + US Open 19-3 9-0
If wins 1st set 69-4 27-0
If 1 set all 24-7 8-0
If loses 1st set 14-19 2-3

Career Grand Slam Record

All Surfaces Hard Court
Win/Loss 88-40 44-20
Won 1st Set 71-12 35-7
Lost 1st Set 6-14 9-13
Won 1st + 2nd Set 61-2 28-2
Lost 1st + 2nd Set 2-22 1-11
1 Set All 25-16 15-7
Up 2 sets to 1 25-4 13-4
Down 2 sets to 1 9-21 5-9

 

Notable Statistics

Positive

  • 27-0 in 2012 when winning the first set (excluding h2h vs Novak/Fed/Murray/Nadal)
  • 13-4 hardcourt Grand Slam record when leading 2 sets to 1
  • 71-12 in career when winning the first set of a Grand Slam match.
  • 10-1 record against players ranked 11-20 in 2012

Negative

  • 9-13 hardcourt Grand Slam record when losing the first set

 

SYNOPSIS

With David Ferrer, what you see is what you get, every…..single….match. The epitome of consistency, Ferrer is one of the fittest players you will come across. Not only is he fit, his agility and court coverage is first class. Solid on both the forehand and backhand side, you rarely see Ferrer go missing in patches where some other top 20 would.

As a result, Ferrer has two of the most important traits you could possibly have entering an Australian Open: fitness and consistency. Rarely do you see Ferrer losing easy matches. Although it isn’t his best surface, he has improved his hardcourt play significantly over the last couple of years.

Arguably the best return of serve in the game along with Novak Djokovic, Ferrer rarely gives opponents an easy game on serve. As a result, although he doesn’t have the strongest serve on the tour, his ability to wear opponents down on their own serve is quite something to watch.

As you can see above, Ferrer went 8-0 in 2012 at the Australian and US Open against players outside the big 4, and 29-3 for the year. You would anticipate if his form is maintained, Ferrer should make the Quarter Finals.

For the in-play bettors out there, Ferrer went 12-1 in deciding sets in 2012. The determination, the confidence, and the ability to grind it out in any conditions (eg. Extreme heat of a Melbourne summer) mean you know you are going to get a run for your money. 27-0 after winning the first set (note: some of these are best-of-3 set matches) is a telling statistic.

Last week in Doha he was comprehensively beaten by Davydenko, so it will be interesting to see how he responds in Auckland and Melbourne.

Australian Open 2012

Although he suffered a 2nd round scare being taken to 5 sets by Ryan Sweeting, Ferrer played comfortable tennis, beating Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-4 6-1 in the 4th round. It got difficult in the Quarter Finals though, dropping serve 5 times on the way to a straight sets defeat vs Novak Djokovic.

#5. Tomas Berdych

AGE: 27

RANKING: 6

Right Handed

Best Aus Open Result -> SF (2011)

STATS

2012 Statistics                                                      

  Matches Tiebreaks Vs Top 10 Vs Top 20 Vs 21+
Win/Loss 61-23 20-17 7-14 17-18 44-5
Hard 41-15 13-9 5-9 9-13 32-2
Clay 19-5 7-5 2-5 8-5 11-0
Grass 1-3 0-3 0-0 0-0 1-3
Grand Slams 12-4 9-8 2-3 3-3 9-1
Vs Top 10 7-14 9-7
Vs R Handers 56-21 19-16 7-12 16-16 40-5
Vs L Handers 5-2 1-1 0-2 1-2 4-0
Best of 3 43-18 8-8 4-10 11-14 32-4
Best of 5 18-5 12-9 3-4 6-4 12-1
Deciding Sets 16-7

Hard Court Statistics (minus Murray/Federer/Djokovic/Nadal)

Last 3 Years 2012  
Win/Loss 150-51 40-9
Aus + US Open 15-3 8-0
If wins 1st set 130-14 32-1
If 1 set all 42-21 14-3
If loses 1st set 20-36 7-8

Career Grand Slam Record

All Surfaces Hard Court
Win/Loss 77-37 41-19
Won 1st Set 63-7 33-6
Lost 1st Set 13-28 8-11
Won 1st + 2nd Set 56-2 29-1
Lost 1st + 2nd Set 0-25 0-11
1 Set All 20-8 12-5
Up 2 sets to 1 22-4 14-1
Down 2 sets to 1 4-9 1-6

Statistics of Note

Positive

  • 14-1 in hardcourt Grand Slam tournaments when leading 2 sets to 1
  • 32-1 record in 2012 on hardcourt when winning the first set (excluding h2h vs top 4)

Negative

  • Has never come back from 2 sets to 0 down on any of 25 occasions
  • 7-14 record vs top 10 in 2012

SYNOPSIS

Berdych is one of the best players to watch when he is on his game.  At his career high ranking of 6, Berdych has the potential to rise even higher if he can become more consistent in 2013.

One issue with Berdych is his mindset, especially in tough matches. This has become particularly noticeable in matches against the top 4 players. Berdych was quoted last year as saying that he believed that the top 4 players had separated themselves from the rest of the competition. That is hardly something you want a player having in their mind before they step out onto the court.

The major strengths of Berdych are centred around his serve and powerful ground-strokes. For a man of 197cm, his court movement is also quite impressive. When all these components are working together, Berdych can beat almost anyone.

As mentioned earlier, the major weaknesses with Berdych occur on the psychological side of things. He has notched some major victories against the likes Nadal and Federer at times in his career, but on almost every occasion it has looked at some point like he is going to throw the match away. This has improved recently, and hopefully the Quarter Final defeat of Federer at the US Open last year will be a springboard of sorts for Berdych in 2013.

An advantage for Berdych is that he has been confirmed to take part in the AAMI Classic at Kooyong. This guarantees at least three matches on Australian soil against quality opposition, even if it is an exhibition tournament.

2012 Australian Open

Berdych is best known by most Australian tennis followers by his refusal to shake Nicolas Almagro’s hand after their 4th round clash last year. Berdych believed that Almagro targeted Berdych in an attempt to hit him from close range with a forehand, against the spirit of the game. This caused a spiteful match, which Berdych closed out in 4 sets, winning 3 tiebreaks.

It took Rafael Nadal 4hrs16mins to dispatch of Berdych in four set in the Quarter Finals. Where Berdych fell down was only winning 45.2% of points on his second serve, and only converted 2 of 13 break point opportunities.

#6. Juan Martin Del Potro

AGE: 24

RANKING: 7

Right Handed

Best Aus Open Result -> SF (2011)

STATS

2012 Statistics                                                      

  Matches Tiebreaks Vs Top 10 Vs Top 20 Vs 21+
Win/Loss 65-17 28-17 8-14 17-14 48-3
Hard 40-12 17-12 6-9 10-9 30-3
Clay 17-3 7-4 1-3 3-3 14-0
Grass 8-2 4-1 1-2 4-2 4-0
Grand Slams 15-4 9-4 1-4 2-4 13-0
Vs Top 10 8-14 5-8
Vs R Handers 57-16 25-16 8-14 16-14 41-2
Vs L Handers 8-1 3-1 0-0 1-0 7-1
Best of 3 47-13 18-13 7-10 15-10 32-3
Best of 5 18-4 10-4 1-4 2-4 16-0
Deciding Sets 11-4 8-7

Hard Court Statistics (minus Murray/Federer/Djokovic/Nadal)

Last 3 Years 2012  
Win/Loss 73-19 38-5
Aus + US Open 14-3 8-0
If wins 1st set 64-3 33-0
If 1 set all 14-4 8-1
If loses 1st set 7-16 4-5

Career Grand Slam Record

All Surfaces Hard Court
Win/Loss 54-22 33-11
Won 1st Set 42-5 25-2
Lost 1st Set 12-15 8-7
Won 1st + 2nd Set 34-1 21-0
Lost 1st + 2nd Set 0-12 0-7
1 Set All 20-7 12-2
Up 2 sets to 1 21-2 12-0
Down 2 sets to 1 2-9 2-5

Statistics of Note

Positive

  • 21-0 record on hard court at Grand Slam level when winning the 1st and 2nd set.
  • 12-2 record on hard court at Grand Slam level when match is 1 set all
  • 12-0 record on hard court at Grand Slam level when leading 2 sets to 1
  • 28-17 record in tiebreaks in 2012
  • Of the 27 hardcourt Grand Slam matches where he has won the first set, he has gone on to win 25 of the matches.
  • 59-3 the last 12 months when winning the first set (2x losses to Federer, 1x loss to Djokovic).
  • Did not lose to anyone ranked lower than 5 a Grand Slam level in 2012

Negative

  • 8-14 record vs top 10 players in 2012
  • 0-7 career hardcourt Grand Slam record when losing the first two sets.

Other

  • Of his 20 career Australian Open matches, only 3 have gone to 5 sets (1-2)

SYNOPSIS

Juan Martin Del Potro, the only man to win a Grand Slam outside the big 4 for a very long time, winning the 2009 US Open. At the peak of his tennis career, Del Potro found himself cruelled by injuries, missing almost all of 2010 due to a wrist injury that eventually required surgery. This caused his ranking to drop from 5 to 36……..to 259…….to 484. Within a year however he was back in the top 10, and hasn’t left since May last year. He is renowned for winning the first 4 career ATP tournaments that he ever participated in on the hardcourts in 2008. It propelled a 23 game winning streak that was eventually stopped in the Quarter Finals of the US Open vs Andy Murray.

The style of play Del Potro possesses exemplifies an aggressive baseliner, hitting deep, penetrating groundstrokes from both sides of the court. His backhand is incredibly powerful, and his height allows him to get on top of the ball and control rallies from both wings.

To reach the ranking of 7 coming back from a serious injury is a remarkable achievement for Del Potro. You have to wonder if his defeat of Djokovic in the bronze medal match at the Olympics, and defeating Federer at his home event in Basel is a sign of things to come.

A positive for Del Potro is signing on for the AAMI Classic, a perfect chance to get some of the cobwebs out of the system and play a few matches against quality opposition.

Australian Open 2012

After dropping the first set against Adrian Mannarino in the first round, Del Potro won 12 sets in a row on his way to a Quarter Final matchup with Roger Federer. Federer comfortably got the better of Del Potro, winning 6-4 6-3 6-2 in 2 hours. Del Potro hit 66.7% of first serves in, however only won the point 56.9% of the time.

#7. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

AGE: 27

RANKING: 8

Right Handed

Best Aus Open Result -> F (2008)

STATS

2012 Statistics                                                      

  Matches Tiebreaks Vs Top 10 Vs Top 20 Vs 21+
Win/Loss 55-25 22-16 1-15 6-18 49-7
Hard 36-16 15-9 0-11 3-11 33-5
Clay 10-6 3-3 1-2 2-5 8-1
Grass 9-3 4-4 0-2 1-2 8-1
Grand Slams 13-4 5-2 0-2 1-2 12-2
Vs Top 10 1-15 1-7
Vs R Handers 44-23 19-15 1-14 5-17 39-6
Vs L Handers 10-2 3-1 0-1 1-1 9-1
Best of 3 39-20 17-13 1-13 5-15 34-5
Best of 5 16-5 5-3 0-2 1-3 15-2
Deciding Sets 9-10 5-8

Hard Court Statistics (minus Murray/Federer/Djokovic/Nadal)

Last 3 Years 2012  
Win/Loss 90-28 36-12
Aus + US Open 14-3 4-2
If wins 1st set 74-7 31-3
If 1 set all 19-17 6-7
If loses 1st set 11-19 2-8

Career Grand Slam Record

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All Surfaces Hard Court
Win/Loss 62-21 32-11
Won 1st Set 51-7 28-5
Lost 1st Set 11-13 4-6
Won 1st + 2nd Set 40-1 22-0
Lost 1st + 2nd Set 2-8 1-4
1 Set All

Author

mm

Ace

I've had a passion for Tennis since I was young and haven't missed a Grand Slam ever since I can remember. I'm always happy to talk Tennis on twitter and respond to any queries so feel free to tweet me your questions.

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