BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 02: Rafael Nadal of Spain poses for a photo with a Koala on day two of the 2017 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 2, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Big Four Are Back: 10 Things To Know

Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are all back in action at ATP World Tour 500-level events this week, Murray and Federer playing at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, and Djokovic and Nadal at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.

Here are 10 Things To Know on what could be an absolutely electric week on the ATP World Tour:

1. They’re all playing their first ATP World Tour events since Australia. None of them have played an ATP World Tour event since the Australian Open - that’ll change this week. Djokovic is the only one who’s played at all, winning a match in Davis Cup play against Russia three weeks ago.

2. Federer’s trying to win Dubai for the eighth time. He’s won the event seven times before, in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2014 and 2015. Dubai is one of five events Federer’s won seven or more times, along with Halle (eight times), Wimbledon (seven), Cincinnati (seven) and Basel (seven).

3. If Nadal and Djokovic meet in the Acapulco final, it’ll be their 50th career meeting. With 49 to date, they’ve already met more times than any other pair in ATP World Tour history (Djokovic leads, 26-23). The next-most meetings for a pair is Federer against Djokovic at 45 (Djokovic leads, 23-22).

4. Murray’s No.1 ranking is under zero threat this week. Even if he loses his first match and his closest competition on the rankings, No.2 Djokovic, wins in Acapulco, Murray’s No.1 ranking will be safe. He also lost early at Indian Wells and Miami last year - and Djokovic won both of those events.

5. Murray and Federer could play in the semifinals in Dubai. Murray, the No.1 seed, and Federer, the No.3 seed, could clash in the semis - if they do, Federer leads the head-to-head, 14-11. On top of that, the Swiss has won their last five meetings (and their last 10 sets). They’re 1-1 in Dubai though…

6. Djokovic is a wildcard in Acapulco. He wasn’t originally scheduled to play there, but the 12-time Grand Slam champion accepted a wildcard into the event. He’s only played one tournament in Latin America, as a professional or even as a junior - that would be the Rio Olympics last summer.

7. Nadal’s had a lot of success in Latin America. The 14-time Grand Slam champion has won six career titles in Latin America: three in Brazil (Sao Paulo in 2005 and 2013 and Rio de Janeiro in 2014), two in Mexico (Acapulco in 2005 and 2013) and one in Argentina (Buenos Aires in 2015).

8. Federer’s going for his 90th career ATP World Tour title. With 89 right now, he’s already got the third-most in the Open Era behind Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94). He’s not the only member of the Big Four going for a big milestone this week - Nadal’s going for his 70th career title.

9. Wawrinka’s in Dubai, too. Though he’s not an official member of the Big Four, the World No.3 has won three Grand Slams over the last few years and, as the No.2 seed in Dubai, he could be waiting for the Federer-Murray winner in the final there. He’s the defending champion at the event, too…

10. You can watch the Big Four make their return to the court on Tennis Channel. Tennis Channel is showing Dubai and Acapulco all week - click here to check out the TV Schedule!

Read more articles by John Berkok

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