I see some of you are already inquiring about the 2010 player schedules, which got me curious regarding who’s playing where and when ahead of the Australian Open. So I did some digging.
For Rafael Nadal, who is busy polishing another Davis Cup trophy after helping Spain successfully defend it’s title this weekend, the off season will be over in just a blink. Nadal, along with Roger Federer and Nikolay Davydenko are expected to partake in the money-grab Abu Dhabi three-round knockout event which begins on December 31, i.e. 24 days from now. Nothing quite welcomes the New Year better than some extra dough!
The official start to the 2010 ATP season begins on January 3 with three events in Brisbane, Doha and Chennai plus Hopman Cup (non ATP). The following week is Sydney, Auckland and a non-circuit exo at Kooyang.
So looking ahead to 2010, here are some early schedules for the top players (subject to change of course!):
Abu Dhabi: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko, Robin Soderling, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Brisbane: Andy Roddick, Gael Monfils, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters
Doha: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko, JW Tsonga
Chennai: Marin Cilic, Robin Soderling
Hopman Cup: Andy Murray, Lleyton Hewitt
Federer: Abu Dhabi, Doha
Nadal: Abu Dhabi, Doha
Murray: Hopman Cup
A few things that strike me. First, looks like Nadal is right back on the court. After just finishing 2009, he gets about three weeks of downtime (that’s it!!) before heading to Abu Dhabi. I know he missed a chunk of season and he didn’t have a terribly grueling close to the year, but…so much for rest.
Federer is following Nadal’s schedule, but the Swiss has enjoyed an extra week off with no Davis Cup commitments. Federer could still end up in Kooyang.
Roddick may come into 2010 as the most rested (remember his last match was mid-October) and most ready. Roddick though is only signed on for Brisbane as of now (possible Kooyong WC?), meaning the American will have just one event in three months ahead of Melbourne.
And interestingly Djokovic, DelPo and Murray are just playing exo’s for moment. Novak and DelPo in Kooyang, Murray will be at the Hopman Cup. Perhaps the trio are conserving for a late-year push for No. 1?
Of note, if Murray does not defend his Doha title, I think he’ll slide to No. 5 behind DelPo in the rankings. That becomes important for the Australian Open seedings which would then be: 1. Federer, 2. Nadal, 3. Novak, 4. DelPo and 5. Murray. And as a No. 5 seed you would run into a Top 4 seed in the QFs at the Australian Open.
Meanwhile, Tsonga and Soderling are maxing out by playing three events prior to the Australian Open.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I’m intrigued by a possible Henin-Clijsters clash in Brisbane. What a start the season that would be for the WTA.
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