APIA INTERNATIONAL SYDNEY
Sydney, Australia; Surface: hard
Men’s Seeds: John Isner, Gilles Simon, Andreas Seppi, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, Florian Mayer, Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, Jeremy Chardy, Marcel Granollers
Men’s Floaters: Kevin Anderson, Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, Bernard “The Tank Machine” Tomic
Notes: Weak field with no Top 10 and only two Top 20 participants…wildcards went to Aussies James Duckworth, Matthew Ebden and John Millman…Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet pulled from the event…Aussie intrigued with Tomic opening against countryman Marinko Matosevic…Top-seeded Isner a question mark after inuring his knee at the Hopman Cup…No. 2 Simon after a bye likely looking at a tough match-up against veteran and 2012 winner Jarkko Nieminen…Returning champions in the field are Nieminen (2012) and Simon (2011).
Women’s Seeds: Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber, Sara Errani, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Samantha Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki, Nadia Petrova
Women’s Floaters: Tamira Paszek, Jelena Jankovic, Daniela hantuchova, Lucie Safarova, Dominika Cibulkova, Maria Kirilenko, Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges, Yanina Wickmayer
Notes: Strong field, with seven of the eight seeds ranked in the Top 10…Tough openers include Paszek vs. Jankovic, (5) Kvitova vs. Cibulkova, and (2) Kerber after a bye likely facing last week’s Auckland tournament runner-up Wickmayer…(4) Li starts against American Christine McHale, and (6) Stosur against China’s Jie Zheng…Li (2011) is the lone returning champ in the field.
Auckland, New Zealand; Surface: hard
Seeds: David Ferrer, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Tommy Haas, Sam Querrey, Jerzy Janowicz, Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer, Martin Klizan, Thomaz Bellucci
Floaters: Yen-Hsun Lu, Benoit Paire, David Goffin, (WC) Gael Monfils, Brian Baker, Xavier “X-Man” Malisse
Notes: Ferrer is the two-time defending champion….Seeds Janiwicz and Klizan make their tournament debuts…Tough openers include Ferrer after a bye against the winner of up-and-comers Lu and Paire, (8) Bellucci vs. Goffin, (5) Janowicz vs. Baker, and (7) Klizan vs. X-Man…Returning champs in the field are Ferrer (2012-11,’07) and Kohlschreiber (2008).
MOORILLA HOBART INTERNATIONAL
Hobart, Australia; Surface: hard
Seeds: Hsieh Su-wei, Sorana Cirstea, Klara Zakopalova, Yaroslava Shvedova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Francesca Schiavone, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Sloane Stephens
Floaters: Shuai Peng, Alize Cornet, Laura Robson, Mona Barthel
Notes: Only one Top 25 player in Hsieh…Tough openers include Taipei’s Hsieh vs. China’s Peng, (8) Stephens vs. Britain’s Robson in a battle of young guns, and an upset alert in (2) Cirstea vs. the defending champion Barthel…Wildcards went to Aussies Ashleigh Barty, Jarmila Gajdosova, and Bojana Bobusic…Barthel (2012) is the lone returning champion in the field.
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