Fans’ guide to the week ahead: Monday Jan 12


Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:07

The who, where, what, when guide to the best tennis in the world over the next seven days

Medibank International

When? Jan 11-16
Where? Sydney, Australia
Surface? Outdoor hard
Prizemoney? Women, $600,000; Men, $484,750
Draw size? Mens, 28; womens, 32
Big names? Oh yes, plenty on show as the best of the best fine-tune their preparations ahead of next weeks Aussie Open. Serena Williams headlines the womens draw (she scraped through her first round, saving four match points in the process), while Novak Djokovic is the mens top seed.
2008 champions? Dmitry Tursunov and Justine Henin
Sub-plot? Can the out-of-form Djoker get his game together in time for the defence of the Australian Open? The world No.3 was moaning and groaning about his rackets after crashing to Ernests Gulbis in straight sets in Brisbane last week. Time is running out for the chest-thumping Serb Second seed Giles Simon, third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and fourth seed David Nalbandian will also be hoping for good times. Likewise, in the womens event Aussie Open contenders Serena, second seed Dinara Safina and third seed Elena Dementieva wont want any confidence-sapping defeats just days before a slam.

Heineken Open

When? Jan 11-16
Where? Auckland, New Zealand
Surface? Outdoor hard
Prizemoney? $484,750
Draw size? 28
Big names? Top seed is Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro while Spaniard David Ferrer props up the draw.
2008 champion? Philipp Kohlschreiber
Sub-plot? Well get to see how much (if at all) Argentinas painful defeat in the Davis Cup final last November dented the confidence of Del Potro, wholl be playing his first tournament since that famous weekend.

Moorilla Hobart International

When? Jan 11-16
Where? Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Surface? Outdoor hard
Prizemoney? $200,000
Draw size? 32
Big names? Its a smaller event (in terms of prizemoney) than the WTA tourney going on in Sydney, but still strong the top two seeds are Italian world No.13 Flavia Pennetta (she won her first round match on Monday) and Swiss top 20 player Patty Schnyder (she lost on Sunday though!).
2008 champion? Eleni Daniilidou
Sub-plot? With five of the eight seeds out in the first round, the next six days represent a great opportunity for a lesser-known player to step up and make a name for themselves. Top seed Flavia Pennetta might have something to say about that, however. After a great year in 2008, she is three places away from becoming the first Italian woman to break into the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour top 10.

AAMI Classic

When? 14-17 January
Where? Kooyong, Melbourne
Surface? Outdoor hard
Draw size? Eight fellas
Big names? You cant get much bigger than the great Mr Federer whos joined by Marcos Baghdatis, Marin Cilic, Stanislas Wawrinka, Fernando Gonzalez, Fernando Verdasco and Carlos Moya.
2008 champion? Andy Roddick
Sub-plot? Weak. Its an exhibition event after all, so we shouldnt read too much into the results coming out of Glenferrie Road over the next few days. Federer is the only real Aussie Open contender present so therell be no matches against any of his major rivals that might have a bearing on what happens at Melbourne Park.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.