Watch List: Juan Martin del Potro returns, final Aussie Open tune-ups
The Watch List highlights the must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis. This week, Juan Martin del Potro makes his return at the Sydney International as the final tune-ups for the Australian Open get underway.
Fabio Fognini and David Goffin are the top two men's seeds in Sydney but the big story is the return of Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine pulled out of last week's Brisbane International but returns to Sydney to defend his title and prepare for the Australian Open. He opens against Sergiy Stakhovsky and could play top seed Fognini in the second round. Sydney also sees the return of Nick Kyrgios, who withdrew from Hopman Cup due a back injury. It will be Kyrgios' first tournament since September. He plays Jerzy Janowicz in the first round.
It's a much deeper field on the WTA side, with No. 3 Simona Halep and No. 4 Petra Kvitova topping the field. There are plenty of first round matches to keep an eye on, with Caroline Wozniacki playing Barbora Zahalavova Strycova, Agnieszka Radwanska playing Alize Cornet, and Madison Keys against Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Ernests Gulbis lead the field in Auckland. John Isner and Gael Monfils announced their withdrawals late last week, with Isner citing fatigue from Hopman Cup and Monfils citing personal reasons. Dominic Thiem also starts his season here this week. Top seed David Ferrer withdrew after winning the Qatar Open.
Casey Dellacqua and Zarina Diyas are the top two seeds in Hobart. Sloane Stephens, Alison Riske, Lauren Davis, and Christina McHale are also in the draw
Australian Open draw ceremony
The draw ceremony will take place on Friday in Melbourne.
[This post has been updated]