The 2017 season saw some incredible revivals and fantastic breakthroughs, but a number of big names succumbed to injury - and some of those big names barely even played half the season.
And next week, four big names will make their comeback from injury:
1. Andy Murray - Brisbane. The last tournament Murray played was Wimbledon, where - as the defending champion - he fell to Sam Querrey in the quarterfinals in a tough five-setter. He was ranked No.1 at the time, but has since fallen down to No.16, his lowest ranking since 2008, due to inactivity.
The Brit will make his comeback from injury at the Brisbane International, where he’s actually an undefeated 9-0 - he won the title both times he played there, in back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013.
2. Novak Djokovic - Doha. Like Murray, the last tournament Djokovic played was Wimbledon, and he also fell in the quarterfinals, retiring against Tomas Berdych due to a right elbow injury that would eventually keep him out for the rest of the season. He started the year at No.2 and finished No.12.
Djokovic is coming back at one of his best tournaments - he’s the two-time defending champion in Doha, winning it in 2016 (beating Rafael Nadal in the final) and 2017 (beating Murray in the final).
The 12-time Grand Slam champion has had time for a little fun during his time off the tour, though:
3. Milos Raonic - Brisbane. While Murray and Djokovic started 2017 at No.1 and No.2 and fell out of the Top 10 by the end of it, the World No.3 at the start of the year - Raonic - had an even tougher time with injuries, not just exiting the Top 10 but also the Top 20. He finished the year ranked No.24.
Having already missed several big stops due to right leg and left wrist injuries, including the US Open, the Canadian had to end his season after Tokyo in September due to a right calf injury. He begins his 2018 campaign in Brisbane, where he won the title in 2016 (beating Roger Federer in the final).
4. Rafael Nadal - Brisbane. This one’s a little bit different given Nadal didn’t really miss any big chunks of the 2017 season - on the contrary, he played a full season and finished No.1. But he struggled with a right knee injury at the very end of the year, withdrawing from Basel and then pulling out of both Paris and the ATP Finals mid-tournament. Has his knee recovered in time for 2018?
Here are highlights from Nadal’s last match before ending his season at the ATP Finals in London:
A few other big names that weren’t on this list but who definitely deserve to be mentioned are Serena Williams, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori. Williams wasn’t included because she’s not returning from injury, but from becoming a mom - she plays her first match back this Saturday at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi. Wawrinka, who’s been out since Wimbledon with a left knee injury, will return at the Australian Open, while Nishikori, who’s been out since August with a right wrist injury, was scheduled to return in Brisbane next week but has withdrawn - his next scheduled tournament is in Sydney.