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King-Turner ready to strike in Auckland

Tuesday 8 Jan 2013 5:15 a.m.

Dan King-Turner (AAP)

Dan King-Turner (AAP)

New Zealand wildcard Dan King-Turner is hoping it will be sixth time lucky at the ATP tournament in Auckland on Tuesday.

King-Turner, ranked 376 in the world, has been handed a wildcard into the tournament on five previous occasions but has yet to progress past the first round.

He has lost all those matches to players ranked in the top 70 in the world, so drawing 104th-ranked Canadian qualifier Jesse Levine gives him his best chance to progress since 2010 when he lost to fellow New Zealander Rubin Statham.

But Levine was ranked No.69 as recently as three months ago and the 28-year-old Aucklander knows he will need to be at his best to have any prospect of advancing to the second round.

"I'm going to have to take my chances," he said.

"I guess the guys coming in haven't played that many matches so that's sort of an advantage."

The only seed in action on Tuesday is sixth seeded Austrian Jurgen Melzer, who plays Australian qualifier Greg Jones.

Perhaps the game of the day however will see another wildcard, former world No.7 Gael Monfils, take on experienced German qualifier Benjamin Becker.

The only seed knocked out on a very windy Monday was seventh seeded Slovak Martin Klizan, who found it hard to cope with the conditions in a three-set defeat to Belgium's Xavier Malisse.

Eighth seed Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil progressed by beating David Goffin of Belgium in straight sets.

The top four seeds - David Ferrer, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Tommy Haas and Sam Querrey - have first-round byes and will join the tournament on Wednesday.

NZN

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