Henin, Clijsters, Ivanovic Headline WTA Brisbane
The Brisbane International in Australia kicks off the 2010 WTA Tour in wild fashion, featuring the return of former world No. 1 Justine Henin, fellow Belgian comeback queen and former No. 1 Kim Clijsters as the top seed, in addition to seeds Nadia Petrova, former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova, Alisa Kleybanova, Aleksandra Wozniak, Melinda Czink and Iveta Benesova.
The No. 2-seeded Petrova did herself no favor during the draw ceremony when she drew herself against Henin in the opening round.
“You would like to get a little easier opponent to get into the year and get some confidence,” Petrova said.
Other opening round match-ups of interest are Clijsters against Italian Tathiana Gabin, with the winner to likely face (WC) Alicia Molik; No. 5 Kleybanova in an all-Russian encounter against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and No. 3 Ivanovic vs. former Top 5-er Jelena Dokic.
Henin is playing her first tournament in over a year and a half after retiring in May 2008.
Last year Victoria Azarenka defeated Marion Bartoli in the final.
Pennetta Leads Weak Field at WTA Auckland
No. 12-ranked Flavia Pennetta is the top seed this week at the marquee-challenged ASB Classic in Auckland.
Pennetta is joined by seeds Na Li, Yanina Wickmayer, Francesca Schiavone, Virginie Razzano, Elena Vesnina, Aravane Rezai and Anabel Medina Garrigues.
Pennetta opens against American Jill Craybas. Rezai starts against fellow Frenchwoman Julie Coin.
Other unseeded players in the field of semi-note are Carla Suarez Navarro, Sania Mirza, Alize Cornet, Kimiko Date-Krumm, Shahar Peer and Maria Kirilenko.
Missing is defending champion Elena Dementieva, who in last year’s all-Russian final defeated Vesnina 6-4, 6-1.
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