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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 13: Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand in his Singles match against David Goffin of Belgium during day two of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The New Season Is Less Than Three Weeks Away

For anyone already excited about the 2018 tennis season, we’re actually almost there. The first six tournaments of the new year - three men’s and three women’s - are less than three weeks away.

Here’s a breakdown of the first week of tournaments in 2018, and which players are in the field.

First, the ATP World Tour events…

Brisbane International presented by Suncorp
~ The Field: The men’s field in Brisbane is packed with big names, most notably World No.1 Rafael Nadal, who’s coming off one of the best seasons of his career that brought him his 15th and 16th Grand Slam titles at the French Open and US Open, and the fourth year-end No.1 finish of his career. Other notable names include the man Nadal took over the No.1 ranking from, Andy Murray, who will make his comeback from a six-month hip injury lay-off, and Grigor Dimitrov, who a few of weeks ago won the biggest title of his career at the Nitto ATP Finals and finished the year at No.3 in the world.
~ Location: Brisbane, Australia
~ Tournament Level: ATP World Tour 250
~ Start Date: Sunday, December 31, 2017

Qatar ExxonMobil Open
~ The Field: While Murray plays his first tournament since Wimbledon in Brisbane, Novak Djokovic plays HIS first tournament since Wimbledon in Doha - he hasn’t played in six months due to an elbow injury. Joining the 12-time Grand Slam champion and former No.1 in the field will be the World No.5, Dominic Thiem, as well as fellow Top 10 player and US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta.
~ Location: Doha, Qatar
~ Tournament Level: ATP World Tour 250
~ Start Date: Monday, January 1, 2018

Tata Open Maharashtra
~ The Field: After 21 straight years in Chennai, this tournament has moved to Pune - and headlining the field in its first year in its new venue will be Marin Cilic, a former US Open champion and the current World No.6. One of the Croat’s biggest challengers for the title in Pune could come from Kevin Anderson, a former Top 10 player who reached his first major final at the US Open this year.
~ Location: Pune, India
~ Tournament Level: ATP World Tour 250
~ Starts: Monday, January 1, 2018

Next, the WTA events…

Brisbane International presented by Suncorp
~ The Field: As a joint ATP-WTA event, a tremendous women’s field joins the aforementioned men’s field, highlighted by two of the five players who held World No.1 during 2017 - Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova. Three more Top 10 players - Elina Svitolina, Caroline Garcia and Johanna Konta - are also among the field, as are two of America’s brightest young stars, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, who squared off for the last major of 2017 at the US Open.
~ Location: Brisbane, Australia
~ Tournament Level: WTA Premier
~ Starts: Sunday, December 31, 2017

Shenzhen Open
~ The Field: Two of the biggest names in the women’s game - Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova - are among a star-studded field at the International-level event. Halep, the current World No.1, and Sharapova, a former World No.1, played one of the matches of the 2017 season at the US Open - will they meet again in Shenzhen? French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko will also be in Shenzhen.
~ Location: Shenzhen, China
~ Tournament Level: WTA International
~ Starts: Sunday, December 31, 2017

ASB Classic
~ The Field: Headlining the draw in Auckland is Caroline Wozniacki, who made it all the way back to No.3 in the world by the end of 2017 - and she’s only 160 points away from No.1, something she could easily make up during the upcoming Australian summer. Also scheduled to play in Auckland are former No.1 Victoria Azarenka, former No.2 Agnieszka Radwanska and an on-fire Julia Goerges.
~ Location: Auckland, New Zealand
~ Tournament Level: WTA International
~ Starts: Monday, January 1, 2018

Of course, Tennis Channel will bring you all the best of Week 1 of the new season - watch this space!

Read more articles by John Berkok

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