A number of of the world’s finest tennis gamers are about to the touch Down Beneath forward of the Australian summer time of tennis, the spotlight of which is the Australian Open wherein Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki are the defending champions.
A major change to the tennis panorama is that the 9 Community would be the host broadcaster of the Australian summer time of tennis, televising the Hopman Cup, Brisbane Worldwide, Sydney Worldwide and the Australian Open, the latter marking an finish to the Seven Community’s lengthy affiliation with the yr’s first Grand Slam occasion after 45 years.
As all the time, I’ll divide this preview into three elements: right here, I’ll cowl the Hopman Cup, the Brisbane Worldwide and the Shenzhen Open, whereas partially II I’ll cowl the Maharashtra Open, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and the ASB Traditional and in Half III I’ll cowl the Sydney and Hobart Internationals, in addition to the massive one – the Australian Open.
Let’s check out a number of the occasions that tennis followers will likely be handled to because the countdown begins to the beginning of the Australian Open on January 14.
December 29, 2018 – January 5, 2019
Defending champions: Switzerland
Germany: Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev (A)
Switzerland: Belinda Bencic and Roger Federer (B)
United States: Serena Williams and Frances Tiafoe (B)
Greece: Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas (B)
Australia: Ashleigh Barty and Matt Ebden (A)
France: Alize Cornet and Lucas Pouille (A)
Spain: Garbine Muguruza and David Ferrer (A)
Nice Britain: Katie Boulter and Cameron Norrie (B)
A or B in parentheses signifies which group they’ve been drawn in.
The 2019 tennis season unofficially kicks off this Saturday with what’s more likely to be the final ever Hopman Cup earlier than it makes manner for the ATP World Staff Cup occasion in 2020.
Defending champions Switzerland will return to defend their crown, and once more they are going to be led by crowd favorite Roger Federer in addition to former high ten ladies’s participant Belinda Bencic, who is continuous to work her manner again up the rankings after harm plagued most of her final three years.
They may face some stiff competitors from the likes of Germany, who’re represented by reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber and reigning ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev, america, led by Serena Williams and Frances Tiafoe, and Spain, anchored by two-time Main champion Garbine Muguruza and former French Open finalist David Ferrer, amongst others.
Native hopes will relaxation on reigning WTA Elite Trophy winner Ashleigh Barty, in addition to former Commonwealth Video games bronze medallist Matt Ebden, who broke into the world’s high 40 in October.
Williams will return to the tennis courtroom for the primary time since her notorious outburst in September’s US Open remaining, wherein she was pinged for alleged teaching from her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, which she repeatedly denied. What occurred subsequent would go down as one of the controversial moments seen on a tennis courtroom in current historical past.
Barty could have her work reduce out taking up the previous two Wimbledon champions in Garbine Muguruza and Angelique Kerber, whereas the spotlight would be the New 12 months’s Day conflict between Switzerland and the USA, wherein Roger Federer and Serena Williams, with 43 Main singles titles between them, will face one another in a blockbuster blended doubles conflict.
It’s believed that this would be the first time the 2 tennis giants will face one another on a tennis courtroom in an expert match.
Federer will even be up towards reigning ATP Subsequent Gen Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated Alex de Minaur to win the largest title of his fledgling profession in Milan final month.
December 31, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Defending champions: Nick Kyrgios (AUS) and Elina Svitolina (UKR)
Males: Rafael Nadal (ESP), Kei Nishikori (JPN), Milos Raonic (CAN), Grigor Dimitrov (BUL), Alex de Minaur (AUS), Nick Kyrgios (AUS), Andy Murray (GBR), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
Ladies: Elina Svitolina (UKR), Naomi Osaka (JPN), Sloane Stephens (USA), Petra Kvitova (CZE), Karolina Pliskova (CZE), Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
The Brisbane Worldwide will mark its tenth anniversary with arguably top-of-the-line line-ups the match has ever seen.
Headlining the boys’s area is eleven-times French Open champion Rafael Nadal, who will likely be returning to the courtroom for the primary time since he was compelled to retire from his US Open semi-final towards Juan Martin del Potro as a consequence of harm.
The Spaniard has not hit one other ball in anger since then and consequently he relinquished the world primary rating to Novak Djokovic, and so the 32-year-old’s mission to regain high spot within the rankings will start in earnest within the Sunshine capital.
He’s joined within the area by reigning champion Nick Kyrgios, who dangers dropping out of the world’s high 40 with an early loss, in addition to two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, former Australian Open semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov and French showman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who will likely be returning after an extended harm lay-off which has seen his rating drop out of the world’s high 200.
The ladies’s area is led by reigning champion Elina Svitolina, in addition to present US Open champion Naomi Osaka, her predecessor Sloane Stephens, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and two-time Australian Open titleist Victoria Azarenka.
Osaka is doubtless the participant to look at in 2019 after defeating Serena Williams in one of the talked-about tennis matches in current historical past within the US Open remaining final September. Whereas it was marred by controversy, the 21-year-old Japanese overcame the pro-Williams crowd to say her first Grand Slam title in fairly bittersweet circumstances.
World quantity 4 Svitolina returns to defend her title, whereas Azarenka will try to change into the primary three-time champion of the occasion, the Belarussian having received her first profession title on the inaugural occasion in 2009.
December 31, 2018 – January 5, 2019
Defending champion: Simona Halep (ROU)
Drawcards: Aryna Sabalenka (BLR), Caroline Garcia (FRA), Jelena Ostapenko (LAT), Maria Sharapova (RUS), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
Whereas many of the world’s high ten will likely be in both Auckland, Brisbane or Perth ramping up their preparations for the Australian Open, the Shenzhen line-up isn’t with out its star energy, with rising star Aryna Sabalenka and former Grand Slam champions Jelena Ostapenko and Maria Sharapova among the many gamers followers in Shenzhen can stay up for watching.
Named the WTA Newcomer of the 12 months this yr, Sabalenka has scored enormous victories towards the likes of Svetlana Kuznetsova, Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova; as well as, she additionally reached the fourth spherical of the US Open the place she was the one participant to steal a set from eventual champion Naomi Osaka.
Ostapenko arrives in Shenzhen off the again of an inconsistent 2018 season which noticed her peak at world quantity 5 earlier than relinquishing her French Open title defence within the first spherical and ultimately ending the yr exterior the highest 20, whereas Sharapova will likely be out to make sure she just isn’t but a spent pressure as she continues to rebuild her profession following a fifteen-month doping suspension.
World primary Simona Halep has chosen to forgo the defence of her title in Shenzhen, as a substitute heading straight to Australia the place she’s going to kick-start her 2019 season on the Sydney Worldwide, which will likely be coated within the third a part of my preview of the Australian summer time of tennis.
In Half II: the Maharashtra Open, Qatar ExxonMobil Open and ASB Traditional.