The Weekly Watch – This week’s tennis tournaments

Early form for key players

Does anyone remember when tennis was the thing to look forward to at the start of the year? You do? Most of us have become legal and medical researchers overnight, trying to unpick the mess made of the Novak Djokovic situation, but anyway, here we are with Week 2 of the season, and what we can look forward to.

10 JanWTA 500 Sydney Tennis ClassicSydney, Australia
10 JanWTA 250 Adelaide 2 Adelaide, Australia
10 JanATP 250 Adelaide 2Adelaide, Australia
10 JanATP 250 Sydney Tennis ClassicSydney, Australia

WTA 500 Sydney Tennis Classic

After doing a clean sweep of the singles and doubles titles in Adelaide, Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn from the Sydney field so it will give WTA Finals champion Garbine Muguruza the highest seed billing as she makes her return to the tour.

She finished 2021 strongly and is a former Australian Open finalist so will fancy her chances in Melbourne.

WTA 250 Adelaide 2

Top seed Aryna Sabalenka is trying the “if at first you don’t succeed” method of tournament play – having crashed out rather unceremoniously in her opening round in Adelaide 1, she is back for more.

Sabalenka could certainly be one to watch – she can be scarily consistent on the tour, and has gotten closer in Slams to the big prize last year, but has she got the capability to take that extra step and make it a maiden Slam this year? Worth watching out for her in the lower WTA 250 group this week.

ATP 250 Sydney Classic

The Russian ATP Cup team were without the Sydney top seed Aslan Karatsev. Things really caught light for the Russian this time last year, playing the doubles in last year’s team before running all the way through qualifying to the semi-finals. 

A positive test for Covid-19 meant that he had to pull out of the tournament and will kick start his season in Sydney.

Meanwhile man of the moment for Team GB in the ATP Cup Dan Evans might be worth a watch this week. He played superbly in both the singles and a brace of doubles and put a struggling Cameron Norrie in the shade. 

And of course, there is an old guy called Andy Murray also trying his luck in Sydney. He has been moving ok but his decision making has seemed to be still a work in progress. He could do with a win at least heading into Melbourne.

ATP Adelaide 2

What a start to the year it has been for Gael Monfils. The flashy crowd-pleaser can often be accused of style over substance, but he has started the year extremely well with a run to the final already in Adelaide – and he’s back for more.

It feels like he has been around forever, but when it comes to the Slams, he has a smattering of quarter-finals and a couple of semi-finals to his name. If we look at a more open-than-usual men’s draw at the Australian Open, who is to say he can’t be a thorn in the side of some of the younger whippersnappers challenging for the major titles.

Tennis fans will be able to watch most matches through betting streams or via subscriptions to Amazon Prime or TennisTV.