By Britwatch Team

  • Scheduled players: Stan Wawrinka, Kevin Anderson, Benoit Paire, Roberto Bautista-Agut, Aljaz Bedene and more
  • Defending champion: Wawrinka
  • 4-10 January 2015

CHENNAI, INDIA– The new ATP season kicks off in India where Stan Wawrinka will look to defend the Aircel Chennai Open.

Top Quarter: Stan Wawrinka/Guillermo Garcia-Lopes

Stan has most certainly been the man in Chennai. The two time grand slam champion kicked off his 2015 campaign with his record breaking third title here, the most anyone has won since the tournament’s inception in 1996.

Wawrinka’s top seeding means he gets a BYE to round two meaning Stan kicks off 2016 a little later than his rivals. Russian prospect Andrey Rublev or a qualifier will await the Swiss in round two.

Garcia Lopez has proven to be a tough match for Wawrinka, even beating him at the French Open in 2014. The Spaniard could potentially meet the world number four in the quarter finals, but first he must defeat Taro Daniel then a qualifier or Nicolas Almagro.

 Second Quarter: Benoit Paire/Gilles Muller

After a career best season in 2015, Paire will look to go even further still this season and a title in Chennai would be the perfect start. The third seed receives an opening round BYE but a tough second round is on the horizon against Lukas Rosol or Santiago Giraldo.

Muller on the other-hand might have let a small smile creep on his face when he looked at the draw. He faces wildcard Karen Khachanov in round one then a qualifier in round two- a great draw for the Luxembourgian.

Third Quarter: Roberto Bautista-Agut/Borna Coric

Robert Bautista-Agut is not a name that jumps out when you look at the draw, but the Spaniard is highly consistent and possesses a lethal flat forehand that on its day can cause major damage season. The Spaniard also has a BYE into round two where he will meet the winner of Evgeny Donskoy vs John Millman.

Highly touted teenager Coric is a name you might have to familiarize yourself with over the years. The Croatian is tipped to become a top player in the future, but at present day he is still a threat. Coric will be tested by experienced Spaniard Marcel Granollers in round one then Rajeev Ram or Austin Krajicek in round two.

Bottom quarter: Kevin Anderson/Vasek Pospisil

Second seed Anderson may fancy himself for the title here, after all he has proven to be a thorn in Wawrinka’s side over the past few years. Like the top seed, the South African receives an opening round BYE before meeting Ramkumar Ramanathan or Daniel Gimeno Traver in round two. It should be a fairly comfortable passage to the quarter finals for Anderson.

Pospisil on the other hand has a more difficult task in the form of Britain’s Aljaz Bedene. The winner meets either Luca Vanni or Jan Lennard Struff and will be expected to meet Anderson in the last eight.

 Britwatch: Aljaz Bedene

The sole British representative in the draw is last year’s runner up, Bedene. 2015 was a hallmark year for the Slovenian born Brit as he finished inside the top 50 for the first time in his career.

The Chennai open provided the 26-year-old with the perfect launching pad towards a career high finish of 45. He lost to Wawrinka in his first ATP final on that occasion, can he go one better a year later?

He will have to make his way through a tough draw to do so. Pospisil in round one is rough luck for Bedene, but if he can get through that then a quarter final appearance should be on the cards. Anderson might prove to be a bridge too far however.

The Aircel Chennai Open takes place between 4-10 January.

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