DOHA, December 3, 2015
The entry lists of tournaments on the road to the Australian Open 2016 have been published. The new ATP World Tour season will kick off with three ATP 250 tournaments taking place in Brisbane, Chennai and Doha from 4 to 10 January 2016.
The Qater Exxon Mobil Open will probably represent the first highlight of the year 2016. Novak Djokovic headlines the 32-players-field in the desert. The world number one skipped the exhibition events in December in order to start the new season with the first ATP 250 event. It will be Djokovic’s only second appearance in Doha. The event will also see the participation of four more top 10 players: Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Richard Gasquet.
The year, however, will actually start in Australia with the Brisbane International combined event. Grand Slam champions Roger Federer, who lifted the trophy here last year, Marin Cilic, Maria Sharapova, who took the 2015 women’s title, Sam Stosur and Victoria Azarenka will all commence their 2016 campaigns in Brisbane this summer, alongside fellow Grand Slam title-holders and tennis legends John McEnroe and Pat Cash. Eight of the world’s top 20 men and nine of the top 20 women will feature at the event.
“We’re really excited by the strength of both the men’s and women’s draws and counting down to what should be a fantastic week of tennis. We’re thrilled to welcome our two defending champions back to Brisbane, who will both have a real fight on their hands to win back-to-back titles. Every year the tournament increases in profile and the calibre of the 2016 field is certainly testament to the players’ regard for the event,” tournament director Cameron Pearson stated.
The third tournament in the opening week will be the Aircel Chennai Open. Stan Wawrinka will be back in India in order to defend his title. It will be the Swiss’ eighth visit to Chennai. 2013 champion and former top 10 player Janko Tipsarevic will use his protected ranking of 39 to enter the main draw. In March this year, the Serbian made a return to the ATP World Tour after making a recovery from injury and subsequent surgery. Almost three years ago, he defeated Roberto Bautista-Agut in Chennai’s final claiming his fourth ATP career title.
In the week of 11 to 17 January two more ATP 250 tournaments are going to take place. The organizers of the ASB Classics in Auckland announced the stronges line-up in the event’s history with nine players ranked inside the top 30. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, John Isner and Kevin Anderson will lead the field.
“It is the strongest cut we have ever had. All players ranked inside the top 56 in the world is amazing and there is some real star power amongst it. We have numbers 10, 11 and 12 in the world, some exciting new talent and some big hitters. It is going to be a tough week,” said tournament director Karl Budge.
Four time Auckland champion David Ferrer has asked the organizers to him a wild card. The Spaniard has committed to play in Doha the week before but an early loss could lead his way again to New Zealand.
Bernard Tomic and Dominic Thiem will be the only top 20 players in the men’s draw at the Apia International Sydney event. The women’s field will be headlined by Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep and Samantha Stosur.
The Australian Open will kick off in Melbourne on 15 January. The full 2016 ATP World Tour Calendar can be found here: ATP World Tour Calendar 2016