The ATP World Tour 2009 season begins on January 4, with the world’s best players competing at ATP World Tour 250 events in Brisbane, Chennai and Doha. The focus then shifts to Auckland and Sydney ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open from January 19-February 2.
BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL – Brisbane, Australia
January 4-11, 2009 – Hard, $484,750
The first tournament of the ATP World Tour 2009 season, the inaugural Brisbane International, begins on Sunday, January 4, at a new $82 million tennis centre. The Centre court at the Queensland Tennis Center has been named ‘Rafter Arena’ in honor of Queensland’s former ATP World Tour No. 1 Patrick Rafter. Sixteen players in the Top 50 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings, including Australian Open finalists Novak Djokovic (No. 3) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (No. 6) will attempt to gain valuable match practise and fitness. Fernando Verdasco (No. 16), Robin Soderling (No. 17) and Tomas Berdych (No. 20) also compete alongside Richard Gasquet and Marcos Baghdatis.
CHENNAI OPEN – Chennai, India
January 5-11, 2009 – Hard, $450,000
The 14th edition of Chennai Open will be held from January 5 at the SDAT Tennis stadium in Nungambakkam, Chennai. Eight players in the Top 50 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings compete, including World No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko, Stanislas Wawrinka (No. 13), Marin Cilic (No. 23), Ivo Karlovic (No. 26), Rainer Schuettler (No. 33), 2004-05 winner Carlos Moya (No. 42) and 2006 titlist Ivan Ljubicic (No. 44). Tournament debutants Bob and Mike Bryan compete alongside Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles, Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes in the doubles tournament.
QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, Doha, Qatar
January 5-11, 2009 – Hard, $1,110,250
Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have each captured the title since the tournament was first contested in 1993. Four of the World’s Top 10 including No. 1-ranked Rafael Nadal, 2004-05 winner Federer, defending champion Murray and Andy Roddick return to the Khalifa International Tennis Complex, alongside Igor Andreev, Dmitry Tursunov, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Mikhail Youzhny.
HEINEKEN OPEN – Auckland, New Zealand
January 12-17, 2009 – Hard, $480,750
Top 10 star Juan Martin del Potro, former titlist David Ferrer, Robin Soderling, Nicolas Almagro, defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber and last year’s finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero will all compete at the historic Heineken Open, held at the ASB Tennis Centre. Auckland has previously welcomed legendary names, such as Rod Laver and John Newcombe, in addition to local favourite Onny Parun.
MEDIBANK INTERNATIONAL – Sydney, Australia
January 11-17, 2009 – Hard, $484,750
Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the World No. 6, and No. 7-ranked Gilles Simon head to Sydney where they will face competition from David Nalbandian, Tommy Robredo and Richard Gasquet and four-time former champion Lleyton Hewitt. Nineteen players in the Top 50 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings feature at the hard-court event, which was first played as a permanent annual event in 1935. The state’s premier tennis stadium at Sydney Olympic Park, site of the 2000 Olympics tennis event, is named in honour of eight-time Grand Slam champion Ken Rosewall.