No Novak or Rafa or Roger, but five of the men’s Top 10, Serena Williams out again with injury, Andy Roddick and James Blake trying to play through injury, Mardy Fish on a tour of France, and a loaded WTA Dubai field highlight this week of play on the ATP and WTA circuits:
REGIONS MORGAN KEEGAN CHAMPIONSHIPS; Memphis, Tenn., USA; Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: John Isner, Andy Roddick, Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, Milos Raonic, Alex Bogomolov Jr., Julien Benneteau, Kevin Anderson, Bernard Tomic
Floaters: Gilles Muller, James Blake, (WC) Sam Querrey, Olivier “The Roach” Rochus, (WC) Ryan Harrison, Ernests Gulbis, Xavier “X-Man” Malisse
Notes: Blake attempts return from chronic knee injury; seeds Bogomolov Jr. and Tomic make their debuts at the event; unfortunate draw for American wildcard Jack Sock against fellow wildcard Harrison; openers of interest include (1) Isner vs. Muller in a serve-a-thon; Blake vs. Sweeting, winner to likely play (WC) Querrey for American watchers; (5) Bogomolov Jr. vs. hot-handed The Roach; tired (4) Raonic vs. Gulbis; and the injury-riddled (2) Roddick vs. X-Man; former champs in the field are Roddick (2011,’09,’02) and Querrey (2010).
OPEN 13; Marseille, France; Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Mardy Fish, Janko Tipsarevic, Juan Martin Del Potro, Richard Gasquet, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Ivan Ljubicic, Andreas Seppi
Floaters: Nicolas Mahut, Nikolay Davydenko, Michael Llodra
Notes: How does Mardy Fish end up in Marseille rather than Memphis? Is that an F-U for not enough guarantee cash?; seeds Fish, Del Potro, Dolgopolov make debuts in Marseille; tough openers include Tsonga after a bye likely vs. countryman Mahut, and Del Potro after a bye likely vs. a resurgent Davydenko; wildcards went to Frenchmen Arnaud Clement, Florent Serra and Paul-Henri Mathieu; Fish handed a bye then a really cake draw; defending champ Robin Soderling out with illness/injury; returning champs in the field are Llodra, Tsonga (2009) and Clement (2006).
COPA CLARO; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Surface: red clay
Seeds: David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Gilles Simon, Kei Nishikori, Juan Monaco, Stanislas Wawrinka, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, Juan Ignacio Chela
Floaters: (WC) Fernando “Gonzo” Gonzalez, David Nalbandian, (WC) Horacio Zeballos, Juan Carlos Ferrero
Notes: Why the hell is Simon here rather than Marseille?; seeds Simon and Nishikori make debuts at event; tough openers include (6) Wawrinka vs. (WC) Zeballos, and (4) Nishikori vs. the former No. 1 Ferrero; former champs in the field are Almagro (2011), Ferrero (2009), and Nalbandian (2008).
DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS; Dubai, UAE; Surface: hard
Seeds: Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Sam Stosur, Aggie Radwanska, Marion Bartoli, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic
Floaters: Julia Goerges, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Daniela Hantuchova, Maria Kirilenko, Ana Ivanovic, Lucie Safarova, Sabine Lisicki
Notes: Six of the Top 10 players lead an impressive field which includes two unseeded former Slam winners; tough openers include (1) Azarenka after a bye vs. Goerges or Kuznetsova, (7) Schiavone vs. Ivanovic, (4) Stosur after a bye likely facing hot-handed Safarova, and (5) Radwanska vs. Lisicki; Vera Zvonareva and Li Na pulled with injury/illness; Woz, the lone former champ in the field, defeating Kuznetsova in last year’s final.
MEMPHIS INTERNATIONAL; Memphis, Tenn., USA; Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: Nadia Petrova, Ksenia Pervak, Lucie Hradecka, Marina Erakovic, Pauline Parmentier, Elena Baltacha, Johanna Larsson, Magdalena Rybarikova
Floaters: (WC) Melanie Oudin, (WC) Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens, Rebecca Marino
Notes: Rough looking challenger-like field led by No. 32-ranked Petrova; tough openers include (4) Erakovic vs. rising American Stephens, and (2) Pervak vs. big-hitting Canadian Marino; third wildcard went to under-powering American Lauren Davis; Rybarikova beat Marino in last year’s final, with Sofia Arvidsson (2006) the other former champ in the field.
WHIRLPOOL MONTERREY OPEN; Monterrey, Mexico; Surface: hard
Seeds: Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani, Sorana C�rstea, Alexandra Dulgheru, Gisela Dulko, Greta Arn, Mathilde Johansson, Lourdes Dominguez Lino
Floaters: Coco Vandeweghe, Jelena Dokic, Kimoko Date-Krumm, Alize Cornet
Notes: More horrendous seed representation, with the field led by the No. 24-ranked Vinci, but some interesting floaters in the mix; openers of interest include (1) Vinci vs. the explosively erratic American Vandeweghe, and (2) Errani looking at a tough second rounder against Cornet; wildcards went to (3) C�rstea, Mexico’s Ximena Hermoso, and Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova; Serena Williams pulled from the event citing a left knee injury; no former champs are in the field.
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