Andy Murray will face Australian wildcard James Duckworth in the opening round of the Brisbane International.
The match will be seen as a fantastic opportunity for Murray to get a win under his belt as he continues his return from his hip injury. While concerns remain about the fitness of Murray, a victory over Duckworth, who is ranked outside the world’s top 200, will certainly give him confidence going into the new season.
Should Murray come through his opening match, he will face Russian Danil Medvedev, who is one of four players to receive a bye into the second round.
Kyle Edmund, who goes into the tournament as third seed, will also receive a bye, where he is guaranteed to face a qualifier. Edmund will be delighted with the draw, with Nick Kyrgios the seeded player in his quarter.
Rafa Nadal is top seed in Brisbane and could face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round. Tsonga is using his Protected Ranking and will face a qualifier in the opener. Kei Nishikori is the final player to receive a bye – the second seed will face either Taylor Fritz or Denis Kudla.
Brits swamp ATP doubles draws
Seven British doubles players will make an appearance across the three ATP 250 events taking place next week, in what could be an exciting year for British doubles tennis.
In Brisbane, Joe Salisbury will be the fourth seed and partners American Rajeev Ram. They face Grigor Dimitrov and Ryan Harrison in the opening round. Neal Skupski will partner Kyle Edmund in the same tournament, who face third seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers.
Over in Doha, Jamie Murray starts his campaign with partner Bruno Soares as the second seeds. They shouldn’t have much difficulty against Marton Fucsovics and Guido Pella. They could meet Dom Inglot in the semi-finals, who will be looking to continue his good partnership with Franko Skugor in Qatar. They face the Dutch pairing of Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop.
Finally Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara join forces once again to take part in the ATP event in Pune. After winning two ATP titles in 2018, Bambridge and O’Mara are two of the players The Big Racket has picked out to be ones to watch in 2019. They face Indian wildcards Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan in the opening round.
Image: Karl Norling