It’s a pretty impressive opening week on the ATP circuit with seven of the Top 8 players all lacing it up. In Doha, World No. 1 Rafael Nadal joins No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 4 Andy Murray and No. 8 Andy Roddick in the best event of the week.
Nadal opens his official 2009 campaign against Fabrice Santoro who I thought had retired. Nadal could meet my man Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals, then run into Roddick in the semifinals. Federer’s drawn to meet Murray in his semifinal. Both have comfortable draws I would say.
And for what it’s worth, Murray just won the Abu Dhabi exo title over Nadal earlier today. The Scot also beat Federer in the semifinals Friday in a third-set tiebreak. Read into it as you wish.
For a first year event Brisbane is loaded with No. 3 Novak Djokovic and No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Novak, who’s just a few points from No. 2 Federer, has a tough draw in front of him with Ernests Gulbis right out of the gate, then Mathieu, Berdych and possibly Verdasco in the semifinals. That’s a tough way to begin the New Year.
Chennai features No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko as its top seed with Stan Wawrinka No. 2.
The lone player Top 8 player absent from the ATP events is Gilles Simon who is playing in the Hopman Cup which also features James Blake, Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt.
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