Roger is headed to South America. Andy was in Miami with Nico. Serena and Vika are going to Sao Paulo and Maria and Ana met up in Milan.
No, we’re not detailing the vacation plans of the tennis elite over December, but instead their busy exhibition schedules, competing at stops around the globe as they begin to prepare for the 2013 Australian Open.
Perhaps the most eye-popping of agendas is that of Federer, the current world No. 2, who will play three exhibitions in ten days beginning Thursday. He’ll meet Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in Sao Paulo before taking on Juan Martin Del Potro in Buenos Aires the following week and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in El Campin, Bogota, Dec. 15.
The South American swing is a part of a collection of events that also includes the Bryan brothers, 2012 Australian Open finalist Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, four-time winner Serena Williams, defending champion Victoria Azarenka and Tommy Robredo, all joining Federer, Bellucci, Del Potro and Tsonga.
In a You Tube video released last month Federer is clad in Brazilian national colors playing the country’s favourite past times of volleyball and soccer, becoming a national star beside soccerphenom Kaka.
The video, titled “What if Federer was Brazilian?” has received over 4 million views.
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, Andy Murray was close to his South Florida training base for the inaugural Miami Tennis Cup, held at the Sony Open site of Crandon Park. Nicolas Almagro won the event, beating recently retired Andy Roddick in the final.
While Wozniacki, Serena and Azarenka will all visit Sao Paulo alongside Federer, it’s Sharapova who is double dipping, coming from an exhibition in Milan over the weekend with Ana Ivanovic. They paired up to play singles and doubles against Italian stars Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani.
December is ending with the re-appearance of Australian Open finalist Rafael Nadal, who is set to play competitive tennis at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi for the first time since his shocking Wimbledon loss to Lukas Rosol in June.
Nadal will be joined by Novak Djokovic, his Melbourne bester, as well as Murray, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Janko Tipsarevic.
So much for the beach and kicking their feet up—these players are honed in on bringing their A-games to Melbourne.