• A look ahead to January 2010

    12/24/09 2:47 PM | Ricky Dimon
    A look ahead to January 2010 Although it may seem like the season just ended, the 2010 ATP kickoff is rapidly approaching. Let's take a look at what's in store for the first month of the year.

    2010 is only one week away and the new ATP World Tour season will soon be upon us. As always, the year will get started with what should be an entertaining, revealing, action-packed January.

    However, the action really gets started later this month. It's not an official tournament, just an exhibition, but the Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi once again boasts a star-studded field. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the top two players in the world, have byes to the semifinals of the six-man event. Opening matches on December 31 will pit Robin Soderling against Stanislas Wawrinka and Nikolay Davydenko vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

    Two days after the Abu Dhabi, the official season will begin in Doha, Chennai, and Brisbane.

    Federer and Nadal--not to mention Davydenko and Tsonga, as well--will be right back at in Doha, where Mikhail Youzhny, Viktor Troicki, and Ivo Karlovic will also kick off their 2010 campaigns. So far one wild card has been handed out; to 38-year-old Younes El Aynaoui, who last played in 2008.

    Soderling and Wawrinka headline the field in Chennai along with defending champion Marin Cilic. Wild card recipients were Carlos Moya, Rohan Bopanna, and 2009 runner-up Somdev Devvarman.

    Others will be looking to get a head start Down Under; among them in Brisbane are Andy Roddick, Gael Monfils, Radek Stepanek, and Marcos Baghdatis.

    Most of the top players will take a week off from January 11-17 prior to the Australian Open, so the fields in Auckland and Sydney are not quite as strong. David Nalbandian, who missed most of 2009 due to hip surgery, is expected to have a wild card into Sydney.

    Youngsters Nick Lindahl of Australia and Ryan Harrison of the USA have already played their way into the first Grand Slam of the season. Lindahl won Tennis Australia's wild card playoffs while Harrison emerged victorious in the USTA's wild card tournament. Lindahl beat Bernard Tomic in the Australian final, but Tomic received a wild card nonetheless. Carsten Ball and under-18 national champion Jason Kubler have also been given wild cards from Tennis Australia.

    Andreas Beck, Xavier Malisse, and Mario Ancic are the only three main-draw direct entrants who have already pulled out of the Australian Open; Malisse, of course, against his well. Taking their places are Jan Hajek, Igor Kunitsyn, and Robin Haase.

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OK, now where can we watch the matches taking place at the exhibition in Abu Dhabi starting New Year's Eve??

Dana99 , 12/24/09 3:55 PM

Dana,they are being shown on sky sports, so you shouldnt have a problem.

maxi , 12/24/09 9:09 PM

Good report but Nalbandian is playing in Auckland!

JensGragen , 12/25/09 9:51 AM

maxi, thanks for your response! I'm in the U.S. Can I subscribe to sky sports for live streaming of that one exhibition (Abu Dhabi)? I went on the sky sports website but the exhibition isn't listed yet. I'm just hoping I won't have to do a monthly subscription or something.

Dana99 , 12/25/09 3:10 PM

yep, he had one into Sydney, but is taking the one into Auckland

RickyDimon , 12/25/09 5:45 PM

Dana, don't pay to watch that. Just go to and watch for free. I watch there and I never bet. You just have to create an account.

chr18 , 12/25/09 6:51 PM

thanks chr18...i'll definitely try that out! there's no way i want to miss rafa's first big match of the season - exhibition or otherwise!

Dana99 , 12/25/09 11:05 PM

Last year's final between Rafa and Murray was very exciting with very good tennis being played by both and Murray emerged as the winner. Wonder what happen to Murray, he is not playing this exhibition and will skip the Doha tournament and plays the Hopman Cup. Is he trying to avoid the top guys prior to the AO and then unleashes all his secret weapons during the AO when he faces them?

luckystar , 12/28/09 8:10 AM

you know how can Murray surprise an oponent by hitting one winner/match
that would be nice for a change, i dont know how you can watch an (exciting tennis) by Murray when he plays 100% defensive tennis!
exciting and Murray do not fit in one scentence i almost feel sorry for anyone who plays against him

tennislover , 12/28/09 12:49 PM

tennislover, I think you are bias against Murray. Murray did play very well during last year's Abu Dhabi exhibition final and he did attack and did not play 100% defensive. No doubt he ran and ran as usual, but his volleying was superb and he was able to hit winners from all over the court. I think he played better in 2008 till early 2009. His results for the 2nd half of 2009 weren't great though and I think his level of play did drop a bit then.

luckystar , 12/28/09 1:18 PM

well whatever Murray does is so boring..his game, his body language etc...i agree with tennis lover....exciting and Murray dont go together

atul1985 , 12/28/09 3:48 PM

I see there are some here who dislike Murray. I don't care how he looks, as long as he reduces the cursing and swearing to the minimum I'm OK with him. Some may find his game boring but his game is effective most of the time and his volleying skill is really good whether one likes to acknowledge it or not.

luckystar , 12/28/09 4:00 PM

I just hope Rafa will have got his act together to defend his AO title, because he has a lot of points to defend there.

Vamos Rafa!

carrie , 12/28/09 6:25 PM

I agree, would love Rafa do get some good wins over top players, he really needs a good confidence boost! Vamos Rafa indeed!!!

afrodite7 , 12/29/09 2:02 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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