Both Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova show up to defend their Brisbane titles, where the men’s and women’s fields are stellar for an opening week to the year where the majority of the stars are usually off playing lucrative exhibitions.
In addition to six Top 10 players combined on the men’s and women’s sides, an unusual amount of unseeded floating talent includes Grigor Dimitrov, Sam Stosur, numerous former Slam finalists, and two former No. 1 players.
Here’s a look at the fields:
Men’s Seeds: Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic, Gilles Simon, David Goffin, Bernard Tomic, Dominic Thiem
Men’s Floaters: Grigor Dimitrov, Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, Victor Troicki, Steve Johnson
Men’s Notes: Two Top 10ers in the field in Federer and Nishikori, and more quality with the remaining seeds all ranked in the Top 20…Tough start for (5) Simon vs. Dimitrov, then meeting the winner of Troicki-Johnson…Wildcards were awarded to Aussies Ben Mitchell, James Duckworth and John-Patrick Smith…Withdrawing from the event were “I’m from” Jerzy Janowicz and Sam “The Bachelor” Querrey…Federer bested Raonic in three sets in last year’s final for his 1,000th match win and 83rd tour title…Former champs in the field are Federer (2015) and The Worm (2009).
Women’s Seeds: Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sharapova, Angelique Kerber, Timea Bacsinszky, Carla Suarez Navarro, Belinda Bencic, Roberta Vinci
Women’s Floaters: Victoria Azarenka, Yanina Wickmayer, Dominika Cibulkova, Jelena Jankovic, Ekaterina Makarova, Sara Errani, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Camila Giorgi, Sam Stosur
Women’s Notes: Four current Top 10ers in the field…A bevy of interesting first-rounders includes (1) Halep after a bye vs. the former No. 1 Azarenka; (8) Vinci vs. the former No. 1 Jankovic, and winner to meet the Wickmayer-Cibulkova victor; (3) Sharapova vs. her dangerous countrywoman Makarova; (7) Bencic vs. Errani; (5) Bacsinszky vs. the hard-hitting Pavlyuchenkova; and (4) Kerber vs. the riser Giorgi…Wildcards went to Aussie Priscilla Hon and Croat Ajla Tomljanovic…Last year Sharapova came from a set down to defeat Ana Ivanovic in the final…Former champs in the field are Sharapova (2015) and Azarenka (2009).
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