2015 season gets under way in Brisbane
The 2015 tennis season gets under way with a bang this week with seven tournaments across Asia. The top stars from the game start their preparations for the Australian Open while Andy Murray once again partners Heather Watson in the Great Britain team for the Hopman Cup.
Keep reading for our preview of all this week’s tennis betting action.
There are few events on the ATP calendar that Roger Federer hasn’t won in his glittering career but the season-opening Brisbane international title is one of them. The Swiss star begins his campaign to reclaim his place at the top of the world rankings at the Queensland Tennis Centre.
Federer was beaten in the 2013 by local favourite Lleyton Hewitt who will be aiming to defend his title.
Kei Nishikori reached the semi-final stage of this event in each of the last two years and should go well here while Milos Raonic was knocked out in the round of 16 on his debut at this event in 2013.
There’s also a strong female field in Brisbane despite reigning champion Serena Williams’ absence. Maria Sharapova is the top seed here alongside Ana Ivanovic who had a strong end to the 2014 season.
Victoria Azarenka has fallen down the world rankings after injury but is a previous finalist in Brisbane and could go well here as could local favourite Sam Stosur.
The third edition of the Shenzhen Open is one of seven WTA tournaments that will take place in China in 2015. Home player Li Na won the first two editions of the event and following her retirement there will be a new name on the trophy in 2015.
A strong field includes Simona Halep who will be looking to carry on where she left off last season. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is the number two seed and there will be plenty of support for Peng Shuai who was beaten in last year’s final – only the second all Chinese final in WTA history.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Chennai Open is the only stop that the ATP Tour makes in India. One of three tournaments held in the opening week of the season, the tournament celebrates its 20th edition in 2015.
Stan Wawrinka got his 2014 off to a flying start with a win at this tournament last year before going on to capture his first Grand Slam title in Australia. After helping his nation win their first Davis Cup in November the top seed will be keen to get 2015 off to a great start.
Roberto Bautista Agut was voted the Most Improved Player in 2014 and reached his first ever ATP tour final at this event in 2013. The Spaniard is seeded three in Chennai and could go well again this year.
There are a handful of star names in Auckland for the WTA Tour’s third tournament this week. Played at its pre-Australian Open spot since 1996 the event is New Zealand’s one stop on the WTA tour.
Caroline Wozniacki is back up to number 8 in the world after a terrific second half of 2014 and is the player to beat here. Sara Errani and Venus Williams will provide stiff competition while Sloane Stephens could be a lively outsider.
Novak Djokovic withdrew from the final of the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week due to illness but only after easily beating Stan Wawrinka in his first match of 2015. The Serb is top seen in Qatar although he has never won the event.
Rafael Nadal was swept aside by Andy Murray in Abu Dhabi last week on his return from injury but will hope to make a better fist of retaining his title this week. Nadal is joined in a strong field by Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Richard Gasquet.
Andy Murray continues his preparations for the Australian Open in Perth where he once again teams up with Heather Watson for the Hopman Cup.
The pair face teams from Australia, France and Poland for a place in the final and their match with the Polish pair of Jerzy Janowicz and Agnieska Radwanska could be crucial.
Visit our tennis betting section for all the pre-tournament odds and of course in-play markets as the tournaments unfold this week.