2012 isn’t yet finished that already, 2013 has started in the tennis world, with the qualifications going on in Brisbane, Chennai, and Doha on the ATP Tour. Since Friday evening for those of us in the Americas (early Saturday in Brisbane), the first balls of 2013 were struck, and a few surprises already happened, to which we cannot, obviously, draw any conclusions as to what this can mean for the season. After all, those are only the first days of the new tennis year.
One of those surprises, for many, came from American Donald Young, who had a pretty disastrous 2012, but managed to win two rather comfortable qualification matches at the Brisbane International, and will try to make it three and a main draw spot against Aussie John Millman on Monday.
Another of those surprises happened in the Doha qualifications, where Ivo Karlovic lost in the first round to Peter Gojowczyk of Germany, 6-4 7-6(5). Dr. Ivo has struggled to regain his rhythm since coming back from injury, and had his share of shoulder and back problems since the end of the summer on top of it.
In Chennai, no qualification matches were completed on Saturday due to rain, and the nicest surprise for the locals came on Sunday with Prakash Amritraj, the son of Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj, who defeated third seed Yuichi Sugita in three sets in his first match of the day before having the better of Theodoros Angelinos. Amritraj will face James Ward for a main draw spot.
Brisbane does the honours of starting main draw action
It was a pair of doubles matches at the Brisbane International that started main draw action on the ATP Tour, as Eric Butorac and Paul Hanley, the number one seeds, defeated the wild card team of Chris Guccione and Lleyton Hewitt, 6-4 7-6(0), whereas Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori had the better of fourth seeds Mikhail Elgin and Denis Istomin, 7-6(5) 4-6 10-7.
Singles main draw matches start on Monday, with the return to competition of Colombian Santiago Giraldo, out since early September when he had emergency surgery for appendicitis, then another one for a peritonitis just a couple of days after. Giraldo will face Florian Mayer in the first match up on Court 2.
The old year isn’t finished yet for us, but tennis is already into the new year. Happy new year, tennis! Let’s make it a memorable one!