ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament
Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: Roger Federer, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon, Andreas Seppi, Jerzy Janowicz, Florian Mayer
Floaters: Gael “Force” Monfils, Nikolay Davydenko, Bernard “The Tank Engine” Tomic, Michael Llodra, Victor Hanescu, Viktor Troicki
Notes: Lotsa floaters and lotsa tricky opening matches, including (2) Del Potro vs. Monfils, (7) Janowicz vs. Hanescu then probably Llodra, (8) Mayer vs. Davydenko (then probably the Tank Engine), and (4) Gasquet vs. Troicki…Returning champs in the field are Federer (2012,’05), Llodra (2008), and Mikhail Youzhny (2007).
San Jose, Calif., USA; Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: Milos Raonic, John Isner, Sam Querrey, Tommy Haas, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, Denis Istomin, Marinko Matosevic, Xavier “X-Man” Malisse
Floaters: Lleyton Hewitt, “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic
Notes: Not a real deep field, but some tough openers with (6) Istomin after a bye possibly starting against a pumped Ryan Harrison, and (3) Sam Querrey the same against former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, and (7) Matosevic against a motivated (WC) Jack Sock, and (5) Verdasco facing the winner of Dr. Ivo and (WC) Steve Johnson…first held in 1889, this will be the final year of the SAP Open as it’s been sold to outside-the-U.S. interests…Querrey (6-7) has a career losing record in San Jose, as does the X-Man (7-8)…The Bryan brothers, the top doubles seeds, are 7-9 career in San Jose…Everybody sucks in San Jose except the Canadian Raonic, who is gunning for his third straight singles title. Other returning champs in the field are Verdasco (2010) and Hewitt (2002).
Brasil Open 2013
Sao Paulo, Brazil; Surface: indoor red clay
Seeds: Rafael Nadal, Nicolas Almagro, Juan Monaco, Jeremy Chardy, Thomaz Bellucci, Fabio Fognini, Albert Ramos, Pablo Andujar
Floaters: David Nalbandian, Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, (WC) Tommy Robredo, Horacio Zeballos
Notes: Nadal gets a bye then faces the winner of a qualifier and Ruben Ramirez-Hidaldo…openers of interest are (8) Ramos vs. G-Lo, (3) Monaco after a bye possibly facing (WC) Robredo, and second round (6) Fognini vs. Nalbandian, and (2) Almagro after a bye likely facing the hot-handed Zeballos…Nadal is making his first appearance at the event in eight years…Almagro is the two-time defending champ (also won in 2008), joined by former champs Robredo (2009) and Nadal (2005).
Qatar Total Open
Doha, Qatar; Surface: hard
Seeds: Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber, Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova, Samantha Stosur, Marion Bartoli, Caroline Wozniacki, Nadia Petrova, Maria Kirilenko, Ana Ivanovic, Dominika Cibulkova, Roberta Vinci, Sloane Stephens
Floaters: Draw not out as of Sunday.
Notes: How can Azarenka avoid Serena this week? Early tank? Bad nail job? Pull out to cut an album with boyfriend? Amazing recovery for Stephens, who days earlier couldn’t play Fed Cup for the U.S. due to an ab injury…Li Na pulled with an ankle injury…Returning champs in the field are Azarenka (2012) and Petrova (2006).
Cali, Colombia; Surface: clay
Seeds: Mandy Minella, Lara Arruabarrena Vecino, Alexandra Panova, Nina Bratchikova, Tatjana Malek, Edina Gallovits-Hall, Estrella Cabeza Candela, Sesil Karatantcheva
Notes: The kind of field that makes you ask, “Is this an ITF event? A Challenger? A public parks event?”
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