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What To Watch For In January

Murray© AFP/Getty Images2013 Brisbane International champion Andy Murray will begin his 2014 campaign in Doha as he seeks his fifth consecutive season opening crown.

January Action Heats Up
There are five tournaments on the ATP World Tour in January in addition to the Australian Open. Overall, eight of the Top 10 players in the Emirates ATP Rankings will be in action in the first two weeks of the season. The 2014 ATP World Tour season begins this Sunday in Brisbane, where Roger Federer will make his tournament debut as top seed. Play begins Monday in Chennai, where World No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka is the top seed and in Doha, where World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and World No. 4 Andy Murray are in action. World No. 3 David Ferrer, who led the ATP World Tour with the most singles matches played (84) last season, is playing both weeks before the Australian Open. (Doha, Auckland).

January Title Winners
Getting off to a quick start in the opening month of the season is common place for the Big Four, led by Roger Federer with seven titles in January. Here is a look at the players with multiple titles in the opening month:

 

Player No. Titles
Roger Federer  7* ’11, ’05-06 Doha; ’06-07 Aus. Open; ’02 Sydney
Lleyton Hewitt  6 ’00-01, ’04-05 Sydney; ’98, ’00 Adelaide
Novak Djokovic  5 ’08, ’11-13 Aus. Open; ’07 Adelaide
David Ferrer  4 ’07, 11-13 Auckland
Andy Murray  4 ’12-13 Brisbane; ’08-09 Doha
Nikolay Davydenko   3 ’10 Doha; ’03, ’07 Adelaide
Marin Cilic  2 2009-10 Chennai 
Jarkko Nieminen  2 ’12 Sydney, ’06 Auckland 

 

*One title (’04 Aust. Open) came on Feb. 1 and not included in total

Top 10 Start Strong 
In the past four years, 16 of the 24 tournaments (67%) in the month of January have been won by a Top 10 player, including five of six last season. Here is a look at the Top 10 winners since 2010:

2013 – Brisbane Andy Murray (3)     
           Chennai Janko Tipsarevic (9)          
           Doha Richard Gasquet (10)     
           Auckland David Ferrer (5)                           
   Australian Open Novak Djokovic (1)

2012 – Brisbane Andy Murray (4)                               
           Doha Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6)   
   Auckland David Ferrer (5)                    
           Australian Open Novak Djokovic (1) 

2011 – Brisbane Robin Soderling (5)    
           Doha Roger Federer (2)    
           Auckland David Ferrer (7)    
           Australian Open Novak Djokovic (3)

2010 – Brisbane Andy Roddick (7)                  
           Doha Nikolay Davydenko (6)                               
   Australian Open Roger Federer (1)

January Winning Streak 
Novak Djokovic has a 21-match winning streak in the month of January, having won the past three Australian Open titles (2011-12-13). His last loss in January came in five sets in the quarter-finals in 2010 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Coaching Carousel 
Four of the Top 20 in the 2013 year-end Emirates ATP Rankings have new coaches going into the 2014 season:

 

Player New Coach
(2) Novak Djokovic Boris Becker, also w/Marian Vajda
(3) David Ferrer Jose Francisco Altur
(9) Richard Gasquet Sergi Bruguera 
(17) Kei Nishikori  Michael Chang, also w/Dante Bottini

 

Also: No. 37 Marin Cilic (w/Goran Ivanisevic) and No. 42 Juan Monaco (w/Jose Clavet and Diego Junqueira)

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