The ATP Brisbane kicks-off the 2015 Men’s Tennis Tour and brings together four of the world’s top eleven seeded players in Roger Federer (No. 2), Kei Nishikori (No.5), Milos Raonic (No.8) and Grigor Dimitriov (No.11).
The four top-seeds all receive a bye in the first round and will only have to win four matches to win the tournament which is played on outdoor hard-courts.
A strong case can be made for backing Roger Federer to start the new season with a victory as he looks to have an easy first match which should allow him to warm-up for a potential quarter-final against Gilles Simon whom Federer has beaten the last five-times they’ve encountered one another.
If seeding goes to plan, Federer will then face Grigor Dimitriov in the semi-finals, a player whom he has beaten on both occasions they’ve met (both on hard-courts).
In the bottom-half of the draw, Raonic faces a potentially tricky quarter-final against reigning champion Leyton Hewitt (score 1-1 in previous meetings). Whoever wins that should face Nishikori in the semi-finals, and the Japanese player will be hoping Raonic progresses as he holds a 3-0 superiority over him on hard-courts, whilst he has lost both his encounters with Hewitt.
Federer has won two of his three hard-court encounters over Nishikori and four of his five hard-court encounters with Raonic. He had also won ten straight hard-court matches against Hewitt until surprisingly losing to him in the last year’s ATP Brisbane Final – and, assuming he gets to the final this time around, he should be long odds-on to beat any of them.
8 points Federer @ evens Unibet, 888 Sports or 32 Red.
First Round Treble
Gilles Simon and James Duckworth met here two years ago with Gilles Simon winning 6-3 7-5, and the Frenchman who is ranked No.21 in the world is strongly fancied to advance to the second round.
Second up is Bernard Tomic to beat Sam Querrey over whom he holds a 2/2 record, including one on hard-court. He also should be motivated playing in his home country, and is expected to improve his world ranking of 56 this season.
Last, it’s worth taking a chance on another young Australian for whom great things have been predicted – Tanasi Khokkinakis. The youngster takes on the experienced Julien Bennateau, but hopefully he’ll have been practising hard in attempt to make a big impression on his home fans.
2 points Treble: Simon @ 3/13, Tomic @ 7/10 and Khokkinakis @ 17/10 with Unibet or 32 Red.