After a dramatic month down under, here come the boys as it is all ATP tour this week. Usually the week immediately after a Slam is a bit of a duff week, but there are handy selection of top names to keep an eye on.
|31 January||ATP 250 Cordoba||Cordoba, Argentina|
|31 January||ATP 250 Montpellier||Montpellier, France|
|31 January||ATP 250 Pune||Pune, India|
Welcome back to the tour Dominic Thiem. He is choosing to make his comeback on the Latin American clay-court swing, and let’s be honest if a certain Rafael Nadal had not made it to the Australian Open starting line, this is most likely the tour rehabilitation route he would have taken!
Top seed will be home-crowd favourite Diego Schwartzman but with Thiem having been the first of the latest promising chasing pack to claim a Slam title, it will be worth watching his progress over the early rounds to see how he goes.
Wrist injuries are notoriously bad to come back but he must start somewhere.
From their social – he seems to be hitting the ball well in training, but worth a watch in his first match, either between a qualifier or a wildcard, to see how he shakes off the rust, but from the last eight on, you may pick up a decent price against him to get past the quarter-finals
Will Alexander Zverev rue a massively missed chance to finally get his paws on a Grand Slam? Other players just seem to want it more when it counts, but he remains one of the most consistent players on the tour, and as the top seed in France, he will look to get his season back on track.
But for our money – let’s see how a rejuvenated and resurgent Gael Monfils performs. The French LOVE their tennis and full-bloodedly get behind their players and they have quite a few to choose from.
As always it is a real quality field for the European indoor season and worth a watch during the week, especially if Monfils starts well.
Its predecessor Chennai was more of a season opener and its position in the calendar still feels a little strange when we are about to embark on the European indoor circuit and the Latin American Golden Swing, but it has gained Aslan Karatsev as its top seed – and that is some firepower for the Russian, who catapulted into the higher echelons last year as he came from qualifying to make the Australian Open semi-final.
But they say it is the second year of a breakthrough that is the hardest. There is no doubt he is the quality name amongst a fair few journeymen, in perhaps the weakest of the three fields.