ATP Masters 250Brisbane InternationalRoger Federer

Brisbane Draw 2015

The 2015 ATP tour is here and Federer's campaign kicks off in Brisbane sometime next week. It's his second appearance in Queensland in as many years since his split with IMG and decision to no longer play the Exhibition matches at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships or ATP event in Doha.

Fed's 2014 Brisbane endeavour ended with a disappointing defeat to Lleyton Hewitt in the final so I'm hopeful he can go one better this year and take home the title.

Despite only being a 250 event the field is relatively strong with players all looking to get some decent preparation for the Australian Open. I know Fed has said before he treats this purely as a tournament and not a warm up event but that's surely lip service and he will be looking to find some rhythm on the plexicushion ahead of the main event in 2 weeks time.

In terms of the draw it's looking reasonable on paper. Both Raonic and Nishikori are in the bottom half whereas Fed has landed in Dimitrov's section. You can check out the projected opponent below:

Federer's Seeded Opponents

  • Round 1: Bye
  • Round 2: Qualifier / John Millman
  • Quarter Final: Gilles Simon
  • Semi Final: Grigor Dimitrov
  • Final: Milos Raonic / Kei Nishikori

Full .PDF draw

Thoughts on the Draw

It's always a tough ask to assess a 250 draw as the small number of players mean it starts easy and gets difficult almost immediately after that. No real easing yourself into the tournament; like we saw last year blink and Roger's already in the final.

First up is a qualifier or Aussie wildcard John Millman who's career has been plagued by injury. He has only ever been in the main draw of a slam once and to be honest his resume is filled with challengers and wildcards into homesoil tournaments. He did have a good run in Sydney back in 2013 and has been into the 2nd round in Brisbane before but I can't see him winning more than 5 games here.

The quarter final if the seeding system pans out could be a tough one against Gilles Simon. We know Simon causes Roger difficulties because he is able to send him into a state of sleep with his mundane but ultra effective ground game. Roger's had the upper hand of late winning the last 5 meetings but you can never rule Simon out if he's moving well and striking it early from the back of the court. Easily one of the purest ball strikers in the game just with limited power and never enough aggression to force the issue.

The semi final matchup looks likely to be against Dimitrov whom Roger beat comprehensively in Basel at the end of last year. Apparently Dimitrov has been testing a new frame in Brisbane so he might be switching racquets for 2015. I always thought he used a Pro Staff 95 but I've read on a number of forums he was using some custom Wilson 93sq” racquet; so who knows. Dimitrov is obviously capable but he'd need Roger to have a bit of an off day to come through I think.

The final is then seeded to be against either Raonic or Nishikori. I'm expecting Nishikori to come through this section of the draw based on his form last year. There's always question marks over him when playing in back to back tournaments but coming in fresh from the off season he should be physically fine and more than a handful on this type of surface where taking the ball early pays dividends.

My early prediction is that I'll pick Fed to make the final πŸ™‚

Elsewhere in the Tennis World

Mubadala kicked off on New Years Day with Djokovic, Nadal, Murray and Wawrinka all in attendance. Murray had to battle past Lopez in his first match but then crushed Nadal 6-2 6-0 in the semi finals. Djokovic had a similarly easy time against Wawrinka who had beaten Almagro a day earlier. Unfortunately the final was a washout as Djokovic withdrew due to illness and Murray was also struggling with a shoulder problem. Not good signs for him really.

Along with Brisbane the main focus will be on Doha which has both Djokovic and Nadal in the field. Should be a fast court so would be interesting to see a Djokdal final on that surface.

Chennai also starts this week with Wawrinka looking to defend his title. He was beaten handily by Djokovic in Abu Dhabi so it will be interesting to see if he can carry some form into Melbourne where he is of course defending Champion.

Back to Brisbane and I'm assuming Roger's first match will be on Thursday. Live chat should be on as normal although I'm away for the next few days so might not be online. It all depends on the match times really so I'm hoping to catch his first match. Hopp suisse!

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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63 Comments

    1. Go on Stefan… nice win!!! I hope another Stefan and co. Ie Fedberg partnership gets a first title at Brisbane and be really successful at the first slam and hopefully the rest of the season. I have a good feeling about this season and so does Federer as he says he can’t wait to get started and is really optimistic about the new year. I hope so too. Come on Roger you can do it? ?? I STILL believe no matter what. This year I think he will go one better. Allez Allez!!!!!!!
      Chum Jetz!!!!!! Come on Rogeeeeeerrrrr

      1. Thanks! A surprise win really. A bit like Wawrinka at AO last year… πŸ˜‰
        Yeah, it feels good that Fed is on his toes. It would be amazing if he could get another GS win. Maybe next week could give us a hunch of what may be in store…

      2. Time to get negative. I’ll cheer for anyone not named Alex or Eldrin. Go Stefan!!!! πŸ™‚

        Have to spread out the wins.

      3. Yeah Gaurav, They made 15 and 13 last year!!! They wait for Jonathan’s post like hunters! Anyway, I’m also in the list!!!! πŸ™‚ Only making 2 first comments… haha…

      4. That’s mean guys πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™

        Just kidding :-p :-p :-p

        But it’s not my fault if I am on the same time zone as Jonathan. His posts usually come exactly at the time I get back from work…

        Anyway GO everyone! As long as Jonathan keeps posting it doesn’t matter who sees it first πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  1. Always exciting to start the year. I didn’t know that Roger was playing in the middle east because of IMG. It makes more sense to play Brisbane. Better for family, etc.
    I’m always surprised how many injuries there are this time of year. Let’s hope Roger stays happy and healthy.

    1. Well I don’t know if that is official but I remember an IMG rep saying they didn’t invite Fed to Mubadala after the split as they said something like he was no longer a big draw lol. Surely has something to do with it.

      1. Yes, I remember that. I think it was the “tournament” director or someone? And if I remember it, I’d guess it was late 2012, when Roger was still world no. 1. πŸ˜€
        And, of course we saw just how *huge* a draw other top players were in the Middle East with the IPTL, didn’t we? πŸ™‚ Ooops.

  2. 18th season, bodes well for 18th slam plse Rog! Nice to hv you easing us into the season Jonathan! Yes Simon always a tricky draw but hoping Rog riding DC confidence all the way!! Think he plays Wed evening!

  3. Hi Jonathan Susie and all
    Love your write-ups and have been following you and your faithful followers for a couple of years. Have never left a comment before but intend to start. I’d like to say I am Roger’s most devout fan but I’m sure that would be subject to a challenge from many of your readers! Always look forward to your column Jonathan and anxiously waiting for the season to start and will be cheering Roger on at every opportunity. Happy New Year to you all from a very, very, snowy Canada.

  4. Excited to see this post, hope you had a great off-season J! Good to have Fed back down under and for another tennis season to be on the road. Fingers crossed Fed can start 2015 the right way with a title and some momentum for the first slam of the year. It’s been a hot summer in Aus so far, hoping the temperature cools down as Melbourne rolls around. Anyway, let’s make this year a good one, looking forward to sharing some great tennis moments πŸ˜€

    P.S. Is Edberg still on the coaching staff this year or is that over?…

      1. Right now, about 35-40 Celsius consistently, not sure about Melbourne though, pretty sure Tiley said there will only be one day over 40 within the two weeks compared to last year’s heatwave. Either way, they’ll be prepared, just upgraded MCA to get a third court with a roof (take that USO, still building the first…)

  5. Decent draw, hope Roger can reach the final. Its a odd start to 2015 for Djoker, Stan, Murray and Nadal. Abu Dhabi exho is pretty bad considering score line. Seems like lack of effort except for Murray but heck everyone goes home happy to get some cool cash to start 2015 season. Is Edberg still part of Roger’s coaching team this season?

    1. Not sure, only seen some renders but haven’t had chance to look on Twitter of Forums. Will post it when I see it. Seen a jacket that was white with neon details.

      1. Good to know that full match is uploaded – not always possible to watch it ‘live’ – thanks for that Jonathan. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi everyone,

    Happy new tennis season! Welcome back and thanks for the draw post Jonathan. A great line-up as a 250 tourney. Hope Fed won’t go sleepwalking against Simon and he will get 1000 carrier match wins there, means a trophy. Allez!

    Ah okay his first match will be on Thursday? Thought he’s playing on Wednesday night…Can’t wait!

      1. You were saying? What on earth was going on there? That was a lot tougher than needed! Oh well, I look forward to reading Jonathan’s report, assuming he’s going to be doing one.

  7. Good start for Nadal (!) – another defeat to a player ranked 127 (and aged 34, last year on tour) – he seems to be making a habit of losing to players ranked over 100 πŸ˜‰ Long may it continue.

    1. That’s a key statistic that is never accounted for in the GOAT discussion. You cannot be the greatest of all time, if you have a pathetic record against players outside the top 50, or 100 for that matter, during your prime years, and have been consistently getting knocked out the toughest slam of the year.

      Numbers aren’t the be all, and end all of the GOAT debate. To be considered the GOAT, you’ve got be playing like the greatest, *all the time*. This guy can’t even play all the time to begin with.

      1. Hey there Sid…agree. And ditto on ‘this guy can’t even play all the time’ – he seems now to be casting some doubt as to whether he’ll play the AO, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/11329209/Rafael-Nadal-in-doubt-for-Australia-Open-following-first-round-defeat-to-world-No-127-Michael-Berrer-in-Qatar.html
        ‘ I also want to play in the Australian Open, which is a tournament I like a lot. I don’t know if that will be the case either, but I am going to work for it. If not I will be playing at Rio and Buenos Aires.’ Sounds as though he’s working up to pulling out and waiting for the clay season again. Ridiculous.
        According to Fedex Jonathan, his record against lefties is actually better: against right handers, .829, against left handers, .886.
        Serajul is possibly right but I can’t think why he would deliberately throw the match – he’s had very little match practice for some considerable time so this would not be a good move, and would hardly be recommended for a further challenge of the title in Australia. But who knows with Nadal, the perennial cheater.

      1. Logically, he should struggle against [good] left handed players because that would pose an anti-pattern. Verdasco, for example, has given him trouble. Beaten him a couple of times, I think, and nearly pulled up a miracle at AO 2009. But then again, there really aren’t a whole lot of good lefties out there.

      1. Hahaha…oops! Yeah, that was close Alison – aargh, nearly had to choke on my words! Millman ranked 153 (but he is only 25); never heard of him before (apparently he’s had quite a few injuries), but he’s a Brisbane native so had probably been practicing on these courts for weeks! Feds not at his best, but not that bad; Millman did play pretty well actually – good serving and he was hitting deep; had Feds on the back foot a few times. What’s important is that Feds got the win and broke him twice in last set.
        Djokovic out now against Ivo – could see his understandable frustration – just goes to show how great Feds did at Basel. Djokovic only had to face 21 aces – remember against Feds at Basel – 33 aces!

  8. Regarding Nadals match that in my opinion is a complete rouse. It was a deliberate loss to M Berrer. The first set he kills him 6-1 and then goes and loses in 3 and 4 as he thought last time I came back from a so called injury he pretty much clean up the titles and grand slams along the way. People were questioning the injury and how he was playing like superman on hard courts without any rust at all. I have a sneaky feeling come oz open he will all of a sudden find his game again and go on a tear. If that happens I will be absolutely at Defcon 1 with rage, emotions, anger if he’s in the final again. Unless he loses then I will be happy and content. And please please please not djokovic in the final either I definitely don’t want him to win 5 AO in the open era. Come on Roger at Brisbane. Win your first title their to kick off the season to reign supreme again.

  9. Nadal is certainly a strange one. How can one call him the GOAT with this much inconsistency.

    Another strange one is Serena. Today she lost easily to Bouchard at the Hopman Cup. She almost looked out of it like at Wimbly.

    Pospisil is one to watch this year if he stays injury free. Last year was a back injury for months and before that was mono.

    Wonder why they changed the schedule to have Roger play on Thursday? No day off for him if he makes it to the final. The only player not to play yet?

  10. YAY!!! Tennis season is back…Good to be back!
    Please can Federer quit with feeding dolphins, whales, and all kinds of animals in Australia till he wins the trophy.
    We can’t have any kind of accident happening to that forehand can we πŸ™‚
    On a good note, Juan Martin DelPotro will be making an appearance at Sydney, I’m really happy for him.
    For Nadal, oh well, as far as I wake up every morning and hear he lost a match, i’m good πŸ™‚
    How come Nadal didn’t make the recent 30 Under 30 Forbes list and Djokovic did? #puzzle

    1. Aaaw, don’t be mean Utch…Feds looked so relaxed and happy feeding those dolphins – and that’s surely a good thing. πŸ™‚

      Good to hear about Del Potro – last thing I read was that his appearance at AO was in doubt. It didn’t sound as though he was very confident re the wrist.

    2. Hi Utch… you know what I was thinking the same as he was feeding the “wild” dolphins, one of them could of easily bite his right hand off and injure it badly. Also in the video you could see in his face he was a bit weary and scared a bit. But the media was their to boost Brisbane as a holiday resort. They are great at using stars especially a legend like Federer to show off the place that there in.
      Anyway like yourself any results saying Nadalhas llost is a good thing. One more day before Federer kicks off his season. I really hope its going to a really great one. Come on Roger πŸ™‚

  11. Well not the trashing we were expecting, but good to see Fighterer back in action, shaking off the rust.

    In other news, Nadal out, Djokovic out, Murray still feeling the pain in his left shoulder. Whopp-ta-dee.

    1. Hi Gaurav….wow very unexpected result for Djokovic. Mind you though Federer was having a bit of a tough time himself. With his serve percentffirst not that good at 59%. I hope that nadal, , djokovicand murray continue this trend oflosing eespecially at the oz open which is not far away. Anyway Roger still in, lets hope he improves and gets his 1000 match win and the title.

    2. Has overdone the tourism! Hope he was paid well for all that!
      Novak doesn’t hv the chip or slice return to deal with Dr Ivo, or the net rushing! Good for old Karlovic! Taking Berdych to win Doha!
      Also think Klizan cld trouble Grigor!
      Interesting start to the season!

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