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 build on his stellar 2012.

Aussie tennis is fairly turbulent right now with some good young players but none of whom breaking through as yet. Hewitt gets a wildcard to face fellow vet Stepanek first round. Should be a good one.

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Outdoor Hard

Defending Champion: Andy ‘White Fang’ Murray – Looks good here so long as he’s recovered from Christmas cheer.

Nasty Floater: Brian Baker – The comeback kid is back, so can he stay back in 2013?

Veteran Watch:
 Radek ‘The Worm’ Stepanek – Buoyed by his Davis Cup win, Steps keeps rolling into a new season. Gets Hewitt 1st round.

Up and Coming: Martin Klizan – Broke through last year with a title and looks to continue the good work.

Slumping: No one yet!

On Fire: Radek Stepanek – On a roll since winning Davis Cup for the Czechs.

My pick: Andy Murray – Looks the man to beat from any angle.

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 back some big players this year. The top 4 seeds look head and shoulders above the rest of the field, but plenty of new talent in the draw to cause a few surprises. Former champs in the draw include Wawrinka and Cilic.

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Outdoor Hard

Defending Champion: Milos ‘The Rocket’ Raonic – Defends his title here to kick off his year.

Nasty Floater: Aljaz Bedene – This Slovenian lit up the Challenger tour last year with 4 titles.

Veteran Watch: Jan Hajek – Jouneyman could face Berdych round 2.

Up and Coming: Andrey Kuznetsov – Young Russian one to watch this year and could face Tipsarevic.

Slumping: No one yet!

On Fire: Tomas ‘Birdman’ Berdych – Flushed with Davis Cup success so will be confident.

My pick: Tomas Berdych  – Could be a big year for him, starting here.

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

Doha

This event lacks some star power this year, with the Big 4 away. Ferrer is top dog here looking to get his new year off to a good start. Former champ in 2010, Davydenko, makes the draw.

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Outdoor Hard

Defending Champion: Jo Tsonga – Not playing.

Nasty Floater: Paolo Lorenzi – Diminutive Italian has a great backhand and not to be underestimated.

Veteran Watch:
 Nikolay ‘The Machine’ Davydenko – Can’t write off the former world number 3 yet.

Up and Coming: Lukas Rosol – Famous for his Nadal win last year, what can he show us here?

Slumping: No one yet!

On Fire: David ‘The Wall’ Ferrer – Duplicating 2012 will be tough but has all the momentum.

My pick: David FerrerHe looks a rock at the top of the draw.

Watch: Doha Uncovered

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