Week 1 was full of excitement, surprises and now we are just barely 7 days away before the Australian Open Main Draws kicks off
Australian Open Qualifying starts from Wednesday for The Men and Thursday for the Ladies. So be sure to check the site for the available matchups
But first let’s take a look who participates where, to try catching some form just before they head to Melbourne Park
David Ferrer took a WC into the event, after surprisingly was ousted by Illya Marchenko in Doha in the previous week. He lost lot of points as he was the defending champion there and failed surprisingly in the very first hurdle.
Kevin Anderson will try for better fate as he withdrew from the Chennai Open with knee injury, just a week ago and is in the same bracket with the Spaniard – a possible SF between them is on the table.
John Isner will start his season here, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be playing his 2nd match of the year, after he was handled with not much sweat by Ferrer in the Abu Dhabi Exhibition tournament just 2 weeks ago.
The surprising winner of the event last year, Jiri Vesely, will have plenty of competition and would seem really surprising if he makes it to the Final given the part of the Draw and players around him. He will start his campaign with the resilient 8-th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
All seeds are within the top 25 of the rankings and a last direct acceptance of #63, sure it looks a great week ahead for the 250 event.
Viktor Troicki is back to defend his title, as the 3rd seed of this year’s event. Bernard Tomic leads the charge and he will try to make it further than the QF he made in Bribane just last week beating Kei Nishikori and narrowly losing to the eventual champion Milos Raonic.
Grigor Dimitrov and Dominik Thiem who had both good runs in Brisbane are back here as well, playing 2nd week in a row just before the Aussie.
Defending champion Petra Kvitova withdrew from the competition due to Gastrointestinal Illness and Agnieszka Radwanska, the Shenzhen champion, is also out with left leg injury. Also is known that the top seed Simona Halep is carrying a leg injury as well into this tournament, so not entirely sure how far she can make it.
Ana Ivanovic is already out, and with so many quality players so packed in the rankings (last direct acceptance Coco Wanderweghe #37) things in this Premier event are really up in the air.
Angelique Kerber is the other player left in the draw from top 10 . She lost the final in Brisbane by Azarenka, but her part of the draw seems likely for another deep run,if she can sustain the form she already showed
Sloane Stephens who captured the title in Auckland was forced to withdraw with viral illness so the top seed now is 35-th ranked Camila Giorgi.
With the American’s withdraw, Mona Barthel received the 9-th seed, but the top of the draw place which sounds beneficial.
All players with putting the WC’s aside are packed between 35 and 66 in the rankings. Here we can find the defending champion Heather Watson and finalist Madison Brengle as well.
The International event is wide open and whoever takes it won’t seem as a big surprise for us.
3 Challenger events will take place this week alongside 2 ITF Women ones. Also the Aussie Open Qualifiers will surely drag a lot of attention as we are really close to the first Grand Slam of the Year and excitement should reach boilng point really soon.
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