ATP Picks: Brisbane, Chennai, Doha

Brisbane

The new season kicks off with a bang down under in Brisbane. The field is strong led by Andy Murray, who’s looking to carry the end of season momentum of 2011.

It could be a year where the new breed come of age including Tomic, Dolgopolov and Nishikori, who have every chance of winning this title. Baghdatis desperately needs a good start to put his woes of 2011 behind him and he likes playing in Australia, so he could be one to watch.

No defending champ Soderling and he has lots of points to defend this year, winning 4 titles early in 2011. Worrying times for Swedish tennis.

Let’s break it down:

Surface: Outdoor Hard

Defending Champion: Robin Soderling

Dark Horse: Bernard Tomic

My pick: Andy Murray

Did You Know? Australian Brisbane winners include: Lleyton Hewitt, Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde & Wally Masur

Watch: Brisbane Uncovered

Chennai

India’s only ATP World Tour event has lured some big hitters this year. Raonic and Haase look good to me for a strong 2012 and can start their work here.

Surging from last season, Tipsarevic will look to cement his place in the top 10 this year and defending champ Wawrinka will have his work cut out repeating his success.

Two-time champ Marin Cilic can draw on his previous success to make a solid run and upset King Ivan Dodig can’t be taken lightly by anyone.

Let’s break it down:

Surface: Outdoor Hard

Defending Champion: Stanislas Wawrinka

Dark Horse: Robin ‘Schlobber’ Haase

My pick: Marin Cilic

Did You Know? Chennai is the only Indian event on the ATP calendar

Doha

A pretty top heavy field with Roger and Rafa topping and tailing the draw. Roger’s confidence is sky high and unless he ate too many Swiss chocolates over Christmas, he looks good to me to defend his crown.

Tsonga and Monfils are the jokers in the pack and should either of the 2 legends falter, these 2 should be able to step in and clean up. Otherwise, a surprisingly weak field with veteran Mikhail Youzhny needing to play well to stay relevant this year.

Let’s break it down:

Surface: Outdoor Hard

Defending Champion: Roger Federer

Dark Horse: Jo Willy Tsonga

My pick: Roger Federer

Did You Know? Federer is a 3 time winner in Doha

Watch: Doha Uncovered

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