Are You Ready For Frantic February?
February is a busy month on the ATP Tour with 12 tournaments
The busiest month on the 2019 ATP Tour calendar begins on Monday. In February, there will be 12 tournaments contested in eight countries across four continents, with plenty of thrilling tennis to be played.
Three ATP 250 tournaments begin next week, with the inaugural Cordoba Open joining events in Montpellier and Sofia. Fabio Fognini leads the field in Cordoba, with former World No. 7 David Goffin and Rolex Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov headlining in Montpellier and Sofia, respectively. The following week marks the first of four ATP 500 events in February, with World No. 3 Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka all competing. Also in action will be Top 10 stars Kevin Anderson (New York Open) and Dominic Thiem (Argentina Open), who will be aiming to defend their titles during a busy week.
Week three of Frantic February will see Thiem and Diego Schwartzman attempt to lift their second titles at the ATP 500 event in Rio de Janeiro, with Juan Martin del Potro scheduled to make his 2019 ATP Tour debut at the Delray Beach Open. In Marseille, defending champion Khachanov will return to action at the Open 13 Provence.
In week four, Roger Federer (Dubai) and Rafael Nadal (Acapulco) will be joined by a number of Top 10 stars at the final two ATP 500 events of the month, with Sao Paulo hosting the second of two events in Brazil.
Following the relocation of the Ecuador Open, the first edition of the Cordoba Open will be take place from 4-10 February. Top 20 stars Fognini, Schwartzman and Marco Cecchinato will all compete for the first clay-court trophy of the 2019 ATP Tour season in the opening leg of the five-tournament swing through Latin America, aptly coined the "Golden Swing".
Open Sud de France
Australian Open semi-finalist Lucas Pouille will attempt to lift his second straight title at the Open Sud de France. Last year, Pouille became the sixth French champion in the eight editions of the event, beating three-time champion Richard Gasquet in the championship match.
Young stars Khachanov, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev will be joined by Wawrinka for the fourth edition of the event in the Bulgarian capital. Last year, Mirza Basic defeated Marius Copil in a surprise final.
ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament
Zverev, Cilic and Nishikori will feature in Rotterdam, alongside Wawrinka. The event, first staged in 1974, was won for a record third time by Federer in 2018. As a result of his final victory over Grigor Dimitrov, Federer returned to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, a position he held for a total of six weeks during the 2018 ATP Tour season.
New York Open
Following its relocation from Memphis to Long Island in 2018, the second edition of the New York Open will be headlined by Anderson and John Isner. In last year's championship match, Anderson lifted his first tour-level trophy since 2015, beating home favourite Sam Querrey in a final-set tie-break.
Thiem will be aiming to lift his third title in Buenos Aires. The Austrian first triumphed in the Argentine capital in 2016 (d. Almagro), before returning last year to claim his second trophy (d. Bedene).
Rio Open presented by Claro
Former champion Thiem will also headline in Rio de Janeiro, alongside Fognini, Cecchinato and Schwartzman, the defending champion. Nadal won the inaugural edition of the event in 2014, defeating Alexandr Dolgopolov in the championship match.
Open 13 Provence
Last year's titlist Khachanov will bid to become the first man since Thomas Enqvist in 1998 to win back-to-back titles in Marseille. The event, first held in 1993, has seen six French men lift the trophy, including Guy Forget (1996), Fabrice Santoro (1999), Arnaud Clement (2006), Gilles Simon (2007, 2015), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2009, 2013, 2017) and Michael Llodra (2011).
Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com
Former champions Del Potro (2011) and Anderson (2012) will attempt to snap a three-year streak of home champions in Delray Beach. Last year, #NextGenATP star Frances Tiafoe joined countrymen Querrey (2016) and Jack Sock (2017) on the honour roll after beating Peter Gojowczyk to lift his maiden ATP Tour trophy.
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Federer is scheduled to return to action for the first time since the Australian Open in Dubai. The seven-time champion will aim to capture his 100th tour-level title at the ATP 500 event, won by Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in 2018.
Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC
Australian Open runner-up Nadal is scheduled to make his return in Acapulco, alongside Zverev, Anderson and Wawrinka. The Spaniard lifted the trophy in 2013 (d. Ferrer) and also reached the championship match in 2017 (l. to Querrey).
The final event in the "Golden Swing" will feature Malek Jaziri, Joao Sousa and Leonardo Mayer. Between 2008 and 2013, each of the six editions of the event in Sao Paulo were won by Spanish players.