After a short pause, the new tennis season starts off with a bang !
With 3 ATP and WTA events alongside the start of Hopman Cup, things will heat up early on!
Will break down who is playing where in short previews with some thoughts and stats
Roger Federer is the top seed and defending champion of the event. All 8 seeds are within top 20 of the current ranking which is not so often seen in a 250 ATP Event. Kei Nishikori is on the other side and potential re-match with Milos Raonic in the last year’s SF may happen again on the same stage in 2016. If they deliver something close to their 3 all TB sets again, we are all for it.
This will be the first showing of Ivan Ljubicic (now coach of Roger Federer) and Carlos Moya (now coach of Milos Raonic) in the box of their respective players, although not much of a change is expected that early on.
Stan Wawrinka will look for 3rd title in a row here. And most importantly he hasn’t lost a set recording those 2 titles. Seeded player from the bottom half of the draw has not made it to the final in those 2 occasions is an interesting fact. So Coric, Bautista-Agut and 2nd seed Kevin Anderson be warned.
One of the very few losses that Novak Djokovic conceded in his stellar 2015 happened right here in Doha – a three set nail-biter to big serving Ivo Karlovic. He will try once again to add that title to his glass-case as the winner from 2 years ago – Rafael Nadal and defending champion David Ferrer leading the opposition.
The Winner of Feliciano Lopez or Tomas Berdych will likely be the Serb’s opponent for the final, if someone else has some other intentions in mind.
The most packed field in both Men and Women this week. Not only we have 4 top 10 players, all 8 seeds are within top 15 and also the last direct acceptance is #49 Yanina Wickmayer. This is improvement from last year’s figures as the last one accepted was #61 Shuai Zhang.
This event offers outstanding matchups from R1 all the way to the final. Maria Sharapova is the defending champion and she starts with #23 (!) Ekaterina Makarova.
Simona Halep has a bye in 2nd round where a blockbuster one with Viktoria Azarenka can be on the cards, if the Belarussian take care of the qualifier she I facing before.
Garbine Muguruza – the 2nd seed and no.3 player of the world leads the bottom half of the draw with Carla Suarez Navaro, Timea Bacsinszky , Angelique Kerber here to cause some havoc where nothing is certain from first round..
Defending champion is Simona Halep, but she is not returning to defend and decided to try her luck in much more competitive event in Brisbane.
Agniezska Radwanska is the top seed while Petra Kvitova is on the other side of the draw. A final between these two will mark a rematch of their highly competitive clash just 2 months ago – in the WTA Finals.
The competition drops off after those 2 top names, with not 1 in top 30 afterwards..The last direct acceptance of #112 doesn’t look nice as well, but that will give huge chance for others to get into scrap for points very early in the season.
Venus Williams won the title last year, and that was one of her highlights of 2015 that propelled her way back in top 10 by end of it. The player the American defeat in the final Carolina Wozniacki was #1 seed then and now she is #3.
2nd seed Ana Ivanovic who lost a great match vs Mara Sharapova in Brisbane last year decided to switch. Svetlana Kuznestova, coachless Sloane Stephens make up an interesting field that has lot of players between 30-th and 80-th in the rankings.
Eight teams will compete for the title, with two round robin groups of four, from which the top team of each group will advance to the Final.
For the first time ever there will be 2 Australian Teams competing and 2015 Champions Poland (with Jerzy Janowicz/Agnieszka Radwanska) decided not to return to defend their title
The likes of Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Lleyton Hewitt, Jack Sock and more are headlining this exhibition event that has structure and feel as a world team cup
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