By Britwatch Team

  • Top Seeds: Grigor Dimitrov, Andy Murray, Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic
  • Defending Champion: Grigor Dimitrov
  • British Interest: Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund
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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Grigor Dimitrov returns to defend his title as he looks to build on his ATP Finals triumph, but all eyes will be on Andy Murray and his hip.

 

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Draw & Results

Tournament Website
Order of Play
Singles
Doubles
Qualifying

 

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[1] Grigor Dimitrov

It is time to step up for Dimitrov, as he seems to have an excellent chance to stamp his authority on a draw that is now missing the World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Dimitrov has always had the potential but maddeningly never seemed to put it all together. Even as late as the last Slam of the year, he won his first Masters title in Cincinnati before a a disappointing second round exit at the US Open.

He made the best of his chances though at the ATP World Tour Finals, and comes in as top seed. With a bye into the second round and either home hope John Millman or a qualifier, he might be on course to meet Brit Kyle Edmund, should be come through a couple of tough rounds to the quarter-final.

We could be in course for a Cincinnati rematch against Nick Kyrgios set for a semi-final showdown.

 

[2] Andy Murray

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This will be the first real test for Murray for that dodgy hip. He stepped into the breach at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships. Amidst speculation that his plans had been delayed to head Down Under, Murray headed to Abu Dhabi and found himself quickly in the competitive spotlight after Novak Djokovic had to pull out after still feeling pain in the elbow that has seen him off the court since Wimbledon.

He played an exhibition set against Roberto Bautisa Agut and it is fair to say the rust was showing. It took a while for his serve to warm up, and there were a few encouraging rallies but the signs of a slight limp were still there, and there is a long way to go to get that match-sharpness he needs heading into a Slam.

The good news is that he has headed to Brisbane, and benefits from a bye into the second round, before meeting either Ryan Harrison or Leonardo Mayer in the second round. On paper this should be no problem, but coming off such a long lay-off, while his path to the quarter-final ought to be on his racquet, a semi-final clash against an also-struggling Milos Raonic, or Mischa Zverev may see him heading to Melbourne a few days earlier, which may not be a bad thing.

 

[3] Nick Kyrgios

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There is surely nothing the home crowd want more than to see Kyrgios also play to his full potential, but he too has had to struggle with injury, coaching shifts and even motivation, which can make it hard for people to get behind the mercurial Aussie.

Somewhat unbelievable this is his main draw debut in Brisbane, having previously gone out in the first round of qualies in 2012. He could face fellow Aussie Matthew Ebden in the second round, and looks set for a quarter-final clash with Diego Schwartzman.

 

[4] Milos Raonic

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Another one of the walking wounded already this season, Raonic pulled out of Mubadala as well, having called time on his season early in October. Brisbane has been a good event for Raonic in the past, reaching the final on his debut in 2015, and going on to win the title the year after.

While his draw looks ok, his lack of match-play could make it tricky for his probable quarter-final against Zverev the elder, and suspect his journey will end at that stage.

The Brisbane International takes place between 1-7 January.

Photo by Ella Ling/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

 

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