The Weekly Watch – This Week’s Tennis Tournaments

Big hitters out in force for season openers

Well, it hardly feels like a month since the Russia book-ended their 2021 with winning the ATP Cup and then the Davis Cup Finals (oh and by the way the women’s team scooped the Billie Jean King Cup Finals too!).

Tennis players begin to arrive in Melbourne ahead of 2022 Australian summer of tennis.

And yet… here we are again, although the world is still gripped with the continuing effects of the global pandemic, tennis is trying to get itself back to normal and hopefully there won’t be as many tournament casualties as we have seen in the last couple of years.

Australia’s hard line with regards to international entries could mean a few more withdrawals from the published entry lists from unvaccinated players. 

What can we look forward to for the 2022 Aussie swing? Let’s take a look.

1 Jan ATP CupSydney, Australia
3 Jan ATP 250 Adelaide International 1Adelaide, Australia
3 JanWTA 500 Adelaide InternationalAdelaide, Australia
3 JanWTA 250 Melbourne 1 Melbourne, Australia
3 JanWTA 250 Melbourne 2Melbourne, Australia
4 JanATP 250 MelbourneMelbourne, Australia


What better way to see in a new season than another team competition, just a few weeks after the curtain closing Davis Cup Finals.

The top placed countries in the ATP Cup standings are based on the ranking and entry of the country’s number one singles player. Australia, as host, will be given a wildcard if it cannot qualify on the standings of its top player.

Teams have a maximum of five players – three decided by their singles rankings and the other two positions decided by the best singles or doubles rankings.

There are four groups of four teams who battle through the group stages, playing two singles and a doubles match before progressing to the knockout stages of the semi-finals and the final from 7-9 January.

Still with us? Novak Djokovic was named in the ATP squad for Serbia, but has withdrawn, and now surely his participation at the Australian Open must be in real doubt.

Novak Djokovic won the 2021 Australian Open after defeating Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the men’s singles finals at Rod Laver Arena.

Austria have already lost their highest ranked player Dominic Thiem, who was unable to even start his season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition in Abu Dhabi. The former US Open champion has been struggling with a wrist injury that forced him off the tour in June last year.

Team GB sees a little change from the Davis Cup side, with Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans and Liam Broady backed up in the doubles by Joe Salisbury and Jamie Murray, who comes in after Neal Skupski had the Davis Cup nod.

Other teams have been hit with the Abu Dhabi Covid-19 steam-train – Andrey Rublev is the latest from the Mubadala field to have tested positive, following Denis Shapovalov. Both are expected to be lynchpins of the Russian and Canadian teams and Rublev would well have been one to watch for the Australian Open later in the month.

ATP 250 Adelaide 1

Flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils heads up the early entry list and surprisingly world number 29 Karen Khachanov is out of the ATP Cup named team and is set to line up as second seed.

WTA 500 Adelaide

It is a very strong field to kick things off for the WTA, with world number one Ashleigh Barty leading the main draw entry list, but there has also been one high-ranking withdrawal as Wimbledon 2021 finalist Karolina Pliskova will miss the entire Aussie swing after injuring her hand in practice.

Britain’s Heather Watson, Francesca Jones and Katie Boulter are entered into qualifying rounds.

WTA 250 Melbourne 1 & 2

The imaginatively titled Melbourne 1 & 2 will split the rest of the fields in Australia into two with defending champion Naomi Osaka, British number one Emma Raducanu and 2018 Australian Open finalist Simona Halep all in the lists to start their season where the main show will kick off later in the month.

Naomi Osaka is fully focussed on a productive spell Down Under.

Britain’s Harriet Dart will be in qualifying for the double-header.

ATP 250 Melbourne

A bit more intrigue abounds as Rafael Nadal is also yet to confirm his plans for Australia. The Spaniard started his season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, looking a bit rusty in his two matches. He lost to Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov and then announced that on his return to Spain, he tested positive for Covid-19 so looks highly doubtful.

Daniil Medvedev of Russia (L) and Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

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