The deadlines for the first WTA and ATP Tour events of the season are already upon us, as of Monday.
So that means that – literally – the season never ends.
It’s a crazy, never-ending circle and there’s barely time to spend more than a week on the beach and heal those battered, broken bodies before the players amp up a high-intensity pre-season training block.
No wonder so many of them break.
And we may well see many of them not physically ready to start the 2020 season. The spillover effect is real.
Slim pickings for the men
On the men’s side, it’s significantly more complicated.
The ATP Cup begins during the first week of the season (which includes the Doha tournament) and ends at the end of the second week.
Unless you’re one of the top two singles player from your nation, you aren’t likely to play much, according to what several players in that position have said. But the problem is that there aren’t any alternative ATP tournaments that second week.
The third week has Adelaide and Auckland. But many players don’t like playing the week right before a Slam.
(Oh, did we mention that the meat of the ATP Cup and the women’s tournament in Brisbane run concurrently at the same venue? That’ll be fascinating).
Also: Daniil Medvedev is playing pretty much everything, even though he bowed out of Davis Cup this week.
(Tournament commitments compiled from a variety of sources. We’ll fill in the later additions as they come in).
Brisbane and Adelaide for some
Here are the WTA Tour top 25, and a few other players of interest.
With them are the events they plan to play to start the 2020 season.
1) Ashleigh Barty (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
2) Karolina Pliskova (Brisbane)
3) Naomi Osaka (Brisbane)
4) Simona Halep (Adelaide)
5) Bianca Andreescu (Hawaii) (Auckland)
6) Elina Svitolina (Brisbane)
7) Petra Kvitova (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
8) Belinda Bencic (Shenzhen)
9) Kiki Bertens (Brisbane)(Adelaide)
10) Serena Williams (Auckland)
11) Aryna Sabalenka (Shenzhen)
12) Johanna Konta (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
13) Madison Keys (Brisbane)
14) Sofia Kenin (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
15) Petra Martic (Auckland) (Adelaide)
16) Marketa Vondrousova (Adelaide)
17) Elise Mertens (Shenzhen) (Hobart)
18) Alison Riske (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
19) Donna Vekic (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
20) Angelique Kerber (Hawaii) (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
21) Karolina Muchova (Brisbane)
22) Dayana Yastremska (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
23) Maria Sakkari (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
24) Amanda Anisimova (Mubadala WTC) (Auckland)
25) Sloane Stephens (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
Coco Gauff in Auckland
Coco Gauff (Auckland)
Venus Williams (Brisbane) (Adelaide)
Caroline Wozniacki (Auckland) (Kooyong)
Maria Sharapova (Mubadala WTC) (Hawaii) (Kooyong)
Cici Bellis (Auckland) (Hobart)
Samantha Stosur (Brisbane)(Hobart)
Eugenie Bouchard (Auckland)
Doha the only option
For the men, the choices are very limited. They’re either playing the ATP Cup, or they’re not playing that week at all – the key week, two weeks before the start of the Australian Open).
There are still some spots to be filled at those Middle East exhibitions; as well, there well could be some wild cards among these players announced for Auckland or Adelaide.
1) Rafael Nadal (Mubadala WTC) (ATP Cup)
2) Novak Djokovic (Mubadala WTC) (ATP Cup) (Adelaide)
3) Roger Federer
4) Dominic Thiem (ATP Cup)
5) Daniil Medvedev (Mubadala WTC) (Diryah Tennis Cup) (ATP Cup) (Auckland)
6) Stefanos Tsitsipas (Mubadala WTC) (ATP Cup)
7) Alexander Zverev (ATP Cup)
8) Matteo Berrettini (ATP Cup)
9) Roberto Bautista Agut (ATP Cup)
10) Gael Monfils (Diryah Tennis Cup) (Mubadala WTC) (ATP Cup)
11) David Goffin (Diryah Tennis Cup) (ATP Cup)
12) Fabio Fognini (Diryah Tennis Cup) (ATP Cup) (Auckland)
13) Kei Nishikori (Hawaii) (ATP Cup)
14) Diego Schwartzman (ATP Cup)
15) Denis Shapovalov (ATP Cup) (Auckland)
16) Stan Wawrinka (Diryah Tennis Cup) (Doha)
17) Karen Khachanov (ATP Cup) (Auckland)
18) Alex de Minaur (ATP Cup) (Adelaide)
19) John Isner (Diryah Tennis Cup) (ATP Cup) (Auckland)
20) Grigor Dimitrov (ATP Cup) (Kooyong)
21) Felix Auger-Aliassime (ATP Cup) (Adelaide)
22) Lucas Pouille (Diryah Tennis Cup) (ATP Cup) (Adelaide)
23) Andrey Rublev (Doha)
24) Benoit Paire (ATP Cup)
25) Guido Pella (ATP Cup)
Andy Murray (ATP Cup)
Milos Raonic (Hawaii) (Doha) (Kooyong)
Vasek Pospisil (Doha)
Juan Martin del Potro
Hyeong Chung (Canberra Challenger)