ATP Brisbane will run from the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane, Australia from January 1st to January 8th. The event is among a host of small tournaments that will lead up to the 2017 Australian Open from Melbourne Park. Despite the fact that the Brisbane title only brings a small amount of ranking points to the winner, the 2017 event will be a well-contested one. Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, and Stan Wawrinka, three players ranked in the world's Top 5, will all contest the Brisbane draw according to the current players list.

Milos Raonic is defending champion

Raonic has a limited history at the Brisbane event, however his three appearances have generally been fruitful for the Canadian. He suffered a first-round defeat in 2012 at the tournament, however Raonic made the Brisbane final in 2015, a final that he lost to Roger Federer. In 2016, the Canadian would avenge that loss with a victory over Federer in the championship match. The win would mark Raonic's only title from the 2016 season.

Kei Nishikori, who will be a part of the International Premier Tennis League next week, has contested the Brisbane draw numerous times in his career.

He is 11-6 in matches played in the event, however he has yet to win a title at the tournament or even make the final. Nishikori will try to reverse that trend in early 2017 as part of his preparations for the Australian Open.

Stan Wawrinka is a bit of a surprise entrant into the Brisbane draw. The veteran, who will turn 32 years old in 2017, has never entered the tournament despite making his professional debut way back in 2001.

Wawrinka announced his intentions to contest the Brisbane draw in October: “I’m excited to be heading to Brisbane International for the first time in my career. I’ve heard such great things about the event and the beautiful city of Brisbane, and it feels like the right time to change-up the start of my season,” (qtd. at the home page for the event in an October 10th article).

Rafael Nadal adds to tournament's depth

When one looks down the players list for the event, it's clear that the tournament will not have any kind of shortage of star power. Dominic Thiem will contest the event, Rafael Nadal is on the players list, and so is David Ferrer. Furthermore Lucas Pouille is expected to be in the draw while Grigor Dimitrov is also expected as well. The players list is subject to change, however even with one or two withdrawals involving key players, the Brisbane tournament would still look very competitive.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!