This Week On The ATP Tour: CW1

Qatar Exxon Mobil Open Doha

STARNBERG, December 31, 2018

It won’t take long for the thrills to begin during the 2019 ATP Tour season, as six players who have cracked the Top 5 of the ATP Rankings begin their campaigns at the Brisbane International, an ATP 250 event held in Australia.

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal leads the field, and he can possibly face former World No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his first match of the season. Former World No. 1 Andy Murray begins his climb from No. 266 in the ATP Rankings in Brisbane, and Japanese star Kei Nishikori is the second seed. Defending champion Nick Kyrgios, 2017 winner Grigor Dimitrov and 2016 titlist Milos Raonic are also in the draw.

Doha celebrates season opener

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will look to raise his third trophy at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open this week in Doha. The Serbian has triumphed in his past two appearances at the ATP 250 event in 2016-17, but Djokovic will not have it easy at the season-opening tournament.

Second seed Dominic Thiem leads the pack of challengers, with talented ball-striker Karen Khachanov, who defeated Djokovic to win his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Paris, a possible semi-final opponent for the Serbian.

Khachanov faces former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the first round. Tomas Berdych makes his return to the ATP Tour, competing for the first time since the 2018 Fever-Tree Championships.

Pune welcomes ATP’s best in season opener

Kevin Anderson looks to maintain the momentum of his career-best 2018 season beginning at the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune, India, an ATP 250 event. Hyeon Chung, who won the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in 2017 and reached the 2018 Australian Open semi-finals, is the second seed.

Gilles Simon began 2018 at No. 89 in the ATP Rankings. But the veteran Frenchman started his return to form with a title in Pune, defeating Anderson in the final. The 34-year-old returns as the No. 3 seed.