Whereas nearly all of the worlds finest tennis gamers have already, or are about to, arrive Down Beneath forward of the Australian summer season of tennis, some are selecting to start their preparations for the Australian Open elsewhere.
Partially one, I lined the Hopman Cup, Brisbane Worldwide and the Shenzhen Open; right here, partly two, I’ll cowl the Mahashtra Open, Qatar ExxonMobil Open and ASB Basic, held in India, Qatar and New Zealand respectively.
December 31, 2018 – January 5, 2019
Defending champion: Gilles Simon (FRA)
Drawcards: Kevin Anderson (RSA), Marin Cilic (CRO), Chung Hyeon (KOR), Gilles Simon (FRA)
The one premier tennis occasion to be held in India won’t be with out its star energy, with Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson and former US Open winner Marin Cilic headlining the sector.
French veteran Gilles Simon can even return to defend his title, whereas final 12 months’s Australian Open semi-finalist Chung Hyeon can even be current as they proceed to ramp up their preparations for the primary Grand Slam event of 2019.
Recent off reaching his first Grand Slam closing on the US Open in 2017, Anderson loved a season of consolidation in 2018, profitable two titles, upsetting Roger Federer en path to reaching the Wimbledon closing and peaking at a career-high quantity 5 on the earth rankings.
Cilic, meantime, reached the ultimate of the Australian Open earlier than being defeated in 5 units by Federer.
He was, nevertheless, the one man to win any units towards him all through the event, profitable two within the championship match.
He additionally peaked at quantity three on the earth rankings, gained the distinguished Queen’s event for a second time and helped his nation to win the Davis Cup for the second time (after 2005).
Thus, Indian tennis followers may have lots to be enthusiastic about when two of the worlds high ten come to city subsequent week.
Qatar ExxonMobil Open
December 31, 2018 – January 5, 2019
Defending champion: Gael Monfils (FRA)
Drawcards: Novak Djokovic (SRB), Dominic Thiem (AUT), Marco Cecchinato (ITA), Roberto Bautista-Agut (ESP), Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
After an outstanding second half of final 12 months noticed him declare his 13th and 14th Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and the US Open (in addition to return to primary on the earth rankings) Novak Djokovic will return to the tennis court docket in Doha trying to proceed his preparations for the Australian Open – the place he might win a document seventh title.
A hip harm suffered at Wimbledon in 2017 noticed him take a while off the court docket, throughout which he dropped out of the highest ten for the primary time since 2006.
The Serbian’s first half of final 12 months was lower than spectacular, as he was crushed early at Indian Wells and later dropped out of the highest 20 following a shock loss to unheralded Italian Marco Cecchinato at Roland Garros.
Nevertheless, a fourth Wimbledon title would offer the springboard for his surge again up the rankings and, after a 3rd US Open title and a runner-up exhibiting on the ATP Finals, the 31-year-old would finish the 12 months again at world primary, a place he final held in November 2016.
Becoming a member of him in Doha will likely be French Open finalist Dominic Thiem.
He confirmed he’s greater than only a clay court docket specialist when he pushed Rafael Nadal to his absolute limits within the quarter-finals of the US Open, taking place in a closing set tiebreak within the early hours of the morning.
Cecchinato can even function, as will the Spanish pair of Roberto Bautista-Agut and Fernando Verdasco.
December 31, 2018 – January 5, 2019 (ladies)
January 7-12 2019 (males)
Defending champions: Roberto Bautista-Agut (ESP) and Julia Goerges (GER)
Drawcards – Males: John Isner (USA), Fabio Fognini (ITA), Roberto Bautista-Agut (ESP), Chung Hyeon (KOR), Denis Shapovalov (CAN), Gael Monfils (FRA), Tomas Berdych (CZE), David Ferrer (ESP)
Drawcards – Girls: Caroline Wozniacki (DEN), Julia Goerges (GER), Venus Williams (USA)
New Zealand’s premier tennis occasion sees one other massive line-up, with the ladies’s area led by reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, in addition to reigning champion Julia Goerges and the ageless Venus Williams.
With the occasion working over two weeks, it’s the ladies who will take centre stage first, as 28-year-old Wozniacki prepares for the primary main check of her profession – the defence of her Australian Open title, which she gained in arguably one of many biggest ladies’s Grand Slam finals in current historical past.
In Auckland, she will likely be examined by the likes of Julia Goerges, who made the semi-finals at Wimbledon final 12 months, in addition to Venus Williams, whose age matches the rating she has dropped to (38) after an inconsistent 2018 season.
Every week later, Roberto Bautista-Agut returns to defend his title, whereas he can even be joined in good firm by high seed John Isner, in addition to Italian showman Fabio Fognini, Australian Open semi-finalist Chung Hyeon, rising Canadian Denis Shapovalov and French veteran Gael Monfils.
Former Grand Slam finalists Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer have each accepted wildcards into the occasion as they head towards the twilight of their careers, each males’s previous few years having been suffering from harm.
In Half III: the Sydney Worldwide, Hobart Worldwide, and the massive one – the Australian Open.