Why the Hong Kong Open might be the must watch event of early January

The Hong Kong Open begins on January 1.

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You might be tuning in to the United Cup to watch nation versus nation and catch the action of Novak Djokovic playing for Serbia and Iga Swiatek playing for Poland. You could do that, and there would be nothing wrong with that. The United Cup is a fun and unique event.

Or you might be watching a lot of the Brisbane International so you can see how well Rafael Nadal does in his comeback tournament and if he is fit enough to play in the Australian Open in two weeks. Or maybe you are watching because Aryna Sabalenka could take a step toward regaining the WTA No. 1 from Swiatek. There would be nothing wrong with watching that event.

The ASB Classic is one you should watch as well. A potential Coco Gauff matchup versus Emma Raducanu, Caroline Wozniacki, or Elina Svitolina in the final would be fantastic. But perhaps no early January tournament is going to be more fun to watch than the Hong Kong Open.

The Hong Kong Open is not to be missed

The Hong Kong Open doesn't have the best of the best players on the ATP tour, though there are some very good ones. The reason you should watch the tournament is for the personalities. There will be few matches where you don't see a player have a meltdown, even if they are ahead, or play with such passion that it becomes infectious.

The top seed is Andry Rublev who has all the skills to be a top-three player, but has to overcome his own emotions on the court as much as he has to try to beat his opponent across the net. But one still finds themselves rooting for Rublev. We want him to defeat himself and be great.

Frances Tiafoe is the three seed. Tiafoe's exuberance is contagious and he is one of the most-liked players on tour. He is a nice guy who deserves nice things. Win or lose, he is going to have a smile on his face at some point.

Finally, Arthur Fils is one of the best under-20 players on the tour. The Frenchman plays with a flare and knows how to work the crowd. He is just one reason not to miss the Hong Kong Open.

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