Loaded Men’s Dubai; Venus; Woz — ATP/WTA Previews
DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Dubai, U.A.E.; Surface: hard
Seeds: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Janko Tipsarevic, Andreas Seppi, Mikhail Youzhny
Floaters: Viktor Troicki, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Marcos Baghdatis, Michael Llodra, Nikolay Davydenko, Bernard Tomic
Notes: Six Top 10 players, a boatload of dangerous floaters, and some tough openers for seeds (1) Djokovic vs. Serbian countryman Troicki, (7) Seppi vs. Mathieu, (4) Del Potro vs. Baghdatis, (5) Tsonga vs. net-rushing countryman Llodra, and (6) Tipsarevic vs. Daydenko…Easy start for (2) Federer against Tunisian wildcard Malek Jaziri, then the winner of Al Montanes-Marcel Granollers before then likely facing either (6) Tipsy, Davydenko or Tomic…Sterling records for seeds Djokovic (23-3) and Federer (34-4) in Dubai, not so much for Tipsarevic (4-5) and Seppi (0-5)…Federer beat the absent Andy Murray in last year’s final…Returning champs in the field are Federer (2012,’07,’05-03) and Djokovic (2011-09).
ABIERTO MEXICANO TELCEL
Acapulco, Mexico; Surface: clay
Men’s Seeds: David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal, Nicolas Almagro, Stan Wawrinka, Jurgen Melzer, Thomaz Bellucci, Benoit Paire, Horacio Zeballos
Men’s Floaters: Fabio Fognini, David Nalbandian, Tommy Robredo
Men’s Notes: The Spanish Big 3 of Ferrer, Nadal and Almagro are the Top 3 seeds…Nadal makes first appearance at the event since winning the title eight years ago…Openers of interest include (4) Wawrinka vs. the Italian grinder Fognini, and that’s about it…Sweet start for Nadal who opens against a qualifier, then plays the winner of a wildcard and a qualifier…Pulling from the event were Jeremy Chardy, Juan Monaco (hand), and Fernando Verdasco (neck)…Ferrer is attempting a fourth consecutive Acapulco title, and is joined by fellow returning champs Almagro (2009-08) and Nadal (2005).
Women’s Seeds: Sara Errani, Carla Suarez Navarro, Alize Cornet, Irina-Camelia Begu, Kiki Bertens, Francesca Schiavone, Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Romina Oprandi
Women’s Floaters: Arantxa Rus, Flavia Pennetta
Women’s Notes: The women’s field boasts one Top 10er and one French Open winner…Pulling from the event were Sofia Arvidsson, Edina Gallovits-Hall, Polona Hercog, Anna Tatishvili, and Vera Zvonareva…Tough starts include (5) Bertens vs. the former junior No. 1 Rus, and (7) Dominguez Lino vs. the veteran Pennetta…Returning champs in the field are Errani (2012) and Pennetta (2008,’05).
DELRAY BEACH INTERNATIONAL TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Delray Beach, Fla., U.S.A.; Surface: outdoor hard
Seeds: John Isner, Tommy Haas, Sam Querrey, Kei Nishikori, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Kevin Anderson, Feliciano Lopez, Xavier Malisse
Floaters: Jesse Levine, Ivo Karlovic, Igor Sijsling
Notes: (1) Isner struggling with a bad knee, and opens against Levine who he struggled to beat last year in Delray; (2) Haas, who pulled from a tournament last week citing illness, starts against the hot-handed Sijsling who in Rotterdam beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga…(4) Nishikori tough start against big-serving Karlovic…wildcards went to Americans Querrey (vs. Mike Russell), James Blake (vs. qualifier) and Jack Sock (vs. Matthew Ebden)…Former champs in the field are Anderson (2012), Nishikori (2008), Haas (2006) and Malisse (2005).
WTA BRASIL TENNIS CUP
Florianopolis, Brazil; Surface: outdoor hard
Seeds: Venus Williams, Yaroslava Shvedova, Kirsten Flipkens, Chanelle Scheepers, Magdalena Rybarikova, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Kristina Mladenovic, Annika Beck
Floaters: Kimiko Date-Krumm, Monica Niculescu
Notes: Venus Williams takes the top seed and the appearance money at the inaugural Brasil Tennis Cup, making her first appearance in 2013 since the Australian Open after a back injury…Interesting openers for (5) Rybarikova vs. the ageless upset-maker Date-Krumm, and (6) Medina Garrigues vs. Niculescu…Otherwise this field is pretty awful and it will be all about how Venus takes to the court…Tournament winner gets $40K, which won’t cover Venus’ shopping for the week.
BMW MALAYSIAN OPEN
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Surface: outdoor hard
Seeds: Caroline Wozniacki, Hsieh Su-wei, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Ayumi Morita, Misaki Doi, Donna Vekic, Eleni Daniilidou, Kristyna Pliskova
Floaters: Vera Dushevina, Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Notes: Like Brazil, tournament organizers shell out the cash for one star (Woz) and the rest of the field is ITF Futures level…The No. 8 seed Pliskova comes into the week ranked No. 99…New venue for the event this year, the Royal Selangor Golf Club. Next year the event moves to Hong Kong…Wildcards went to Malaysian Aslina Chua, the American Mattek-Sands, and the Russian No. 3 seed Pavlyuchenkova…(3) Pavlyuchenkova starts against her countrywoman Dushevina, and (6) Vekic against Mattek-Sands…Su-Wei beat Petra Martic in last year’s final, and is the lone returning champ in the field.
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