Happy 2016 again to everyone. I wish you health, peace, and prosperity in the new year. I hope you are as eager for the 2016 tennis season after the break as I am.
Of the big four, Djokovic and Nadal have already started their seasons in Doha while the Stanimal also played his first two matches in Chennai and won. Federer starts tomorrow in Brisbane and I guess Murray will only play the Hopman Cup again.
Djokovic and Nadal have both played two matches already and are still in the tournament. Nadal lost the first set yesterday before prevailing against fellow Spaniard Carreno Busta but today he easily won 6-3, 6-2 against Haase.
I am expecting a big season from him after finishing strongly last year. Not that I expect him to win any slams. I just think he will do much better than in 2015 and be Djokovic’s main competition.
Speaking of Djokovic, he won both his matches 6-2, 6-2 against Brown and Verdasco and doesn’t even seem to have left first gear yet. He is still making a mockery of the ATP Tour and an ATP 250 event like Doha seems to be the equivalent of an exhibition event to him.
Doha was the only 250 event he played last season and I guess that won’t change in 2016. It’s ideal after the offseason just before the Australian Open and the result doesn’t matter.
It’s just good for playing some matches and getting ready for the first slam of the year. Djokovic plays Mayer next while Nadal will face Kuznetsov.
Ferrer lost first round which means Nadal’s draw in the bottom half opened up while Berdych is still lurking in the top half for Djokovic. I guess we are looking at another Djokodal final which would give Djokovic a chance to own Nadal some more after having won eight of their last nine meetings.
But there is still a long way to go. Last year Djokovic lost in the quarters so anything can happen.
- Brisbane and Chennai
Tomorrow Federer opens against Kamke in Brisbane and I am happy to see that Thiem began his season with a couple of wins in Brisbane. He plays Cilic next for a place in the semis and possibly against Federer.
Brisbane is fairly strong for a 250 event and it should be interesting to see if Federer wins it after not the strongest of finishes last year.
Finally, Chennai is the weakest of the events this week and Stan should win a fourth title there if he plays at a decent level.
The is in your court.