Happy New Year! First Stop – Brisbane.

Well the off season is coming to an end. I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.

There are exhibition matches on but as regular readers will know I don’t rate those as competitive matches and won’t trade them. The players don’t take them seriously either.

 

The qualifying rounds in Brisbane got under way at midnight. Eleven of the 16 matches were won in straight sets. Let’s hope that won’t be a trend for 2016!

 

Sharapova is the defending champion but doesn’t have an easy first round match against Makarova. There are a few other interesting first round matches.  Jankovic takes on Roberta Vinci.  Errani plays Bencic and Bacsinszky’s match with Pavlyuchenkova could go either way. Giorgi v Kerber and Cornet v Mladenovic make it a quality opening day of the new season.

 

In the men’s tournament Federer will try to defend the title. He gets a BYE into the second round.  Not as  many stand out matches as in the women’s tournament. Dimitrov will be hoping to have a better season than last year and his first match is against Simon.

If Federer’s preparation has been good then the tournament is his for the taking. Nishikori and Cilic are probably his biggest threats but the Swiss star has a much better chance of keeping the title than Sharapova does.

 

It’s a busy first week of the season with tournaments also being played in Chennai and Doha for the men and Shenzhen and Auckland for the women.

 

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