By Britwatch Team
- Top Seeds: David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, John Isner, Kevin Anderson
- Defending Champion: Jiri Vesely
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – David Ferrer accepts a wildcard into one of his favourite tournaments as the tour gears up for the final preparations for the Australian Open.
Top Quarter – David Ferrer
The four-time champion here returns to Auckland on a wild card after being bounced out of ATP Doha in the opening round. Determined and gritty as always, Ferrer has fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in his quarter, and maybe more of a threat is fifth seed Benoit Paire, who was edged out of Chennai by his friend and defending champion Stan Wawrinka.
Second Quarter – Kevin Anderson
It remains to be seen if the tall South African has recovered from the knee injury that ruled him out of Chennai last week. It is a tough quarter – at the tail end of the bracket is big serving Ivo Karlovic, who starts his campaign against seventh seed Vasek Pospisil.
Fresh from his sting for Team America at the Hopman Cup is Jack Sock, who could also emerge from this bracket, especially if Anderson is struggling.
Third Quarter – John Isner
The middle of the draw has no shortages of big servers this year, with Anderson and Karlovic occupying the bracket above, and John Isner heading up the third quarter. The tournament has welcomed the American after he withdrew last year after playing in the Hopman Cup.
Isner is capable of big victories as his win over Roger Federer in Paris proved, and in a quiet week and field, he could well shine.
Defending champion Jiri Vesely is also in this section of the draw, and starts his campaign against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, and Britain’s Aljaz Bedene will feature, after falling in the semi-final of Chennai.
Bottom Quarter – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Tsonga finally gets his tournament started after struggling with an arm injury, which caused him tio skip the invitational event in Abu Dhabi, and had it not been for Ferrer nabbing the top seeding with his wildcard he would have been sitting at the top of the field. He has tricky Italian Fabio Fognini as a possible quarter-finalist, but the mercurial Italian can blow hot and cold.
The ASB Classic takes place between 11-17 January.
|FOLLOW BRITWATCH – SPORTS IN GENERAL, BRITS IN PARTICULAR!|