By Britwatch Team
- Scheduled players: Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic and more
- Defending champion: Federer
- 3-10 January 2015
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Roger Federer kicks off his 2016 campaign down under, as the new ATP season starts in Brisbane.
Britwatch Tennis: Full Draws and Schedules
Top Quarter: Roger Federer/Gilles Simon
The world number three returns to the Queensland Tennis centre to defend the title he won last year. The Swiss maestro defeated Milos Raonic in a tight three setter in the final 12 months a go to get his 2015 season off to the perfect start, something he looks to repeat.
Federer has a relatively straight forward path to the quarter finals with Benjamin Mitchell or a qualifier awaiting him in round two. Arguably the match of the opening round between Gilles Simon and Grigor Dimitrov will decide who the defending champion faces in the last eight. But it would be foolish to overlook Steve Johnson and Viktor Troicki.
Second Quarter: Marin Cilic/ Dominic Thiem
One of only two grand slam champions in the draw, Cilic is one of the favourites to take the title. After an opening round bye the US Open 2014 champion will face the winner of Sam Groth vs Hyeon Chung. Both provide a challenge for the Croatian in completely different ways.
In a section packed with Australian’s, Thiem will open his 2016 season against wildcard James Duckworth. The Austrian will have to deal with the home crowd but should pull through to face the winner of Denis Kudla and other Australian wildcard John-Patrick Smith.
Third Quarter: Milos Raonic/David Goffin
After an injury plagued 2015, Raonic will be hoping to get his 2016 campaign off to the perfect start in Brisbane. The draw gods have been looking down fondly on last year’s finalist, as he will pit his wits against a qualifier in round two.
Goffin will be a name British tennis fans are familiar with after the Davis Cup final. The Belgian has drawn tricky and unpredictable lefty Thomaz Bellucci in the opening round- a tough task for the sixth seed. Lucas Pouille or another qualifier will await the winner.
Bottom Quarter: Kei Nishikori/Bernard Tomic
After a second straight top eight season, Nishikori has proven that he has a rightful place within the elite of the game. The Japanese star will kick off 2016 against either Denis Istomin or Mikhail Kukushkin in the second round. Both are good players but they are players you would expect the second seed to handle.
One of the more interesting players to watch in the draw is Tomic. The Australian number one is now a top 20 player and beginning to look like the player that was promised as a teenager. Tomic will have an interesting round one against Nicolas Mahut, and the serve and volley trend could continue into round two against the semi retired Radek Stepanek. That is providing he can get by Dusan Lajovic.
The Brisbane International takes place between 3-10 January.
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