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Corona ATP Weekly Slice: 2014 Season Begins, Federer Reveals Big News

Corona ATP Weekly Slice

Tap into the essentials of the week ahead of the past week with Corona Slice, as we serve up an executive summary of what every fan should know, along with a look at the best in social media.

LOOKING AHEAD

Who’s Playing This Week?
The opening week kicks off with three tournaments, beginning Sunday with the Brisbane International. On Monday, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha and the Aircel Chennai Open get underway. Overall, seven of the Top 10 players in the year-end Emirates ATP Rankings are in action. Here’s a look at the three tournaments:

Brisbane International presented by Suncorp
Roger Federer makes his tournament debut in Brisbane and this is the first time the 32-year-old Swiss native begins the opening week of the season Down Under since 2000 when he reached the second round in Adelaide. Seven other times Federer has begun the season in the maiden week at Doha, winning the title in 2005-06 and ’11. He also was a semi-finalist in 2009-10, ’12 and quarter-finalist in ’03. The last time he played an ATP World Tour Aussie tournament before the Australian Open was in Sydney in 2002 (d. Chela for title). The other expected Top 8 seeds are: No. 2 Kei Nishikori, No. 3 Gilles Simon, No. 4 Kevin Anderson, No. 5 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 6 Jurgen Melzer, No. 7 Feliciano Lopez and No. 8 Dmitry Tursunov.

AUSSIE TITLE HOPES: Three of the top four Aussies in the Emirates ATP Rankings are in the field - Lleyton Hewitt, Marinko Matosevic and Matthew Ebden. Hewitt is the last Aussie to win the Aussie title in the opening week of the season when the tournament was held in Adelaide in 2000.

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Aircel Chennai Open
The only tournament in India, one of six events in Asia on the ATP World Tour, is led by top seed and 2011 champion Stanislas Wawrinka, who is coming off his best career season with a No. 8 year-end ranking. The 28-year-old Swiss No. 2 is the top seed in an ATP World Tour tournament for the sixth time in his career. Last season he was top seed in Casablanca where he lost in the semi-finals. There are two other former winners in the field, reigning champion Janko Tipsarevic and top Russian Mikhail Youzhny (2008). The other seeds are: No. 2 Youzhny, No. 3 Fabio Fognini, No. 4 Benoit Paire, No. 5 Vasek Pospisil, No. 6 Marcel Granollers, No. 7 Edouard Roger-Vasseliln and No. 8/last year’s finalist Roberto Bautista Agut.

MILESTONE WATCH: Wawrinka is two match wins away from 300 in his career (298-198). Three other Swiss players have reached the 300-wins plateau in their career: Federer (923), Marc Rosset (433) and Jakob Hlasek (432).

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Qatar ExxonMobil Open
An all-time tournament-best five of the Top 10 are in the field, led by World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 3 David Ferrer, No. 4 Andy Murray, No. 7 Tomas Berdych and No. 9 Richard Gasquet, who is the reigning champion (d. Davydenko). Murray, who underwent back surgery on Sept. 23, makes his return to the ATP World Tour. He won the title in 2008-09 and was runner-up in ‘07. He is 14-1 in Doha. The other former winner in the field is Nikolay Davydenko (2010), who also was runner-up last year and in 2011. The 32-year-old Russian has a 25-9 career record in Doha. Nadal is 14-5 lifetime in Doha, reaching the final in 2010 and the semi-finals in 2011-12. This is the third time the Spaniard comes into Doha as World No. 1 (2009, QF; ’11, SF).

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Dimitrov Murray
Andy Murray (right) defeated first-time finalist Grigor Dimitrov (left) to win the Brisbane International title in 2013. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Murray Fast Starter: Andy Murray has won an ATP World Tour title the last four times he played in the opening week of the season, including the past two in Brisbane. Of the previous six times he’s opened the season in the first week, he has compiled a 24-2 match record, winning the past 19 matches:

Tournament Result (Opponent)
2013 Brisbane Won (d. Dimitrov)
2012 Brisbane Won (d. Dolgopolov)
2009 Doha Won (d. Roddick)
2008 Doha Won (d. Wawrinka)
2007 Doha Runner-up (l. to Ljubicic)
2006 Adelaide 2R (l. to Berdych)

Birthdays
29 December - Kei Nishikori (25)
30 December - Thomaz Bellucci (25)
30 December – Tim Smyczek (27)
1 January – Pablo Cuevas (28)
2 January – Ivan Dodig (29)

Player To Watch: Roger Federer
FedererFederer is seeded third at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, where he is making his tournament debut. This week the 17-time Grand Slam champion announced on Twitter that he and wife Mirka are expecting their third child. The World No. 6 also revealed that Stefan Edberg has joined his team as a second coach alongside Severin Lüthi.

In 2013, Federer won one singles title, in Halle, and reached finals in Basel (l. to del Potro) and Rome (l. to Nadal). The Swiss finished off the season with a 12th consecutive qualification into the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. He fell to Nadal in the semi-finals.

How To Watch
Follow action in Brisbane (Blackout in Australia) and Chennai (Blackout in Indian subcontinent) from 3 January -
Watch Live Powered By TennisTV | TV Schedule


WEEK IN REVIEW

Twitter Top Tweets

@MilosRaonic (Milos Raonic)
We had our first hit on court today! @theljubicic @ozonjuan @sirola11 pic.twitter.com/pAeBwWoUrw

@bryanbros (Bob Bryan)
Merry Christmas! I'm happy to report that Michelle just gave birth to a 9lb 5oz baby boy, Bobby Jr. Mom & baby are both doing great.

@delpotrojuan (Juan Martin del Potro)
Even if it's extremely hot, training cannot be stopped. https://t.co/tzuagAL2Pm

@DjokerNole (Novak Djokovic)
Merry Christmas guys!Wishing you lots of health, love and joy! Here is short vid of me& couple of friends singing http://www.whosay.com/l/KNO7tFI

@RogerFederer (Roger Federer
Mirka and I are very happy to share the news that Myla & Charlene will be big sisters in 2014! Happy Holidays….

@RajeevRam (Rajeev Ram)
Vanakkam Chennai..nothing like a good South Indian breakfast pic.twitter.com/p4sopjRTs7

Most Popular Facebook Post on Facebook.com/ATPWorldTour

Federer 

Likes: 17,475
Comments: 853
Shares: 823

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Video Of The Week
Celebrate the holiday season and reflect on a fantastic 2013 season on the ATP World Tour.

Tidbits
Ferrer• World No. 3 David Ferrer has parted ways with his long-time coach, Javier Piles, and will add José Francisco Altur to his team.  More... 
Nicolas Almagro, Fabio Fognini, and Tommy Robredo have committed to playing the Royal Guard Open in Vina del Mar in February. More...
Andy Murray has been named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2013. More...


 

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