QATAR TOTAL OPEN 2014
Seeds: Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani, Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Dominika Cibulkova, Roberta Vinci, Samantha Stosur, Carla Suarez Navarro, Sloane Stephens, Eugenie Bouchard, Kirsten Flipkens
Floaters: Francesca Schiavone, Daniela Hantuchova, Venus Williams, Lucie Safarova, (WC) Alisa Kleybanova, Kaia Kanepi, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Flavia Pennetta, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Sorana Cirstea
Notes: Sixteen of the Top 20 post for Qatar, missing among others world No. 1 Serena Williams who pulls citing a back injury that also forced her to miss Fed Cup…The American Stephens skipped Fed Cup last week citing injury but is in Doha…Floaters galore will test a number of seeds early…Tough openers include (1) Li after a bye possibly vs. the Slam winner Schiavone, (9) Ivanovic vs. Hantuchova, (3) Kvitova after a bye possibly facing Venus, (16) Flipkens vs. Safarova, (10) Cibulkova vs. (WC) Kleybanova, (7) Halep after a bye possibly facing Kanepi, (15) Bouchard vs. the upset specialist Mattek-Sands, (4) Errani after a bye likely vs. her countrywoman Pennetta, (13) Suarez Navarro vs. Pavlyuchenkova, and (2) Radwanska after a bye likely vs. Cirstea who has twice beaten the world No. 4…Wildcards went to Kleybanova, France’s Caroline Garcia and Slovak Jana Cepelova…Joining Serena with tournament withdrawals were Victoria Azarenka, Jamie Hampton, Bojana Jovanovski, Madison Keys, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Sabine Lisicki and Ekaterina Makarova…Maria Sharapova is at the Sochi Olympics sidelining as a commentator…Last year Azarenka won her second straight title, defeating Serena Williams in the final…There are no former champions in the field this year.
ABN AMRO WORLD TENNIS TOURNAMENT
Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tommy Haas, Mikhail Youzhny, Grigor Dimitrov
Floaters: Gael “Force” Monfils, Dmitry Tursunov, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, Florian Mayer, Marin Cilic
Notes: Haas making his first-ever Rotterdam appearance…Top seed and defending champ Del Potro tough start against Gael Force…Other challenging beginnings for (8) Dimitrov vs. Tursunov, (6) Haas vs. Hot Sauce, and (5) Tsonga vs. the hot-handed Mayer (winner to likely meet Cilic)…Wildcards went to Murray and Dutchmen Thiemo de Bakker, Jesse Huta Galung and Igor Sijsling…Pulling from the event were Jurgen Melzer, Benoit Paire, Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka all citing injury…Former champs in the field are Del Potro (2013), Murray (2009), and Youzhny (2007).
US NATIONAL INDOOR TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Memphis, Tenn., USA
Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: Kei Nishikori, Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, Lleyton Hewitt, Yen-Hsun Lu, Marinko Matosevic, Sam Querrey, Michal Przysiezny, Mikhail Kukushkin
Floaters: Alex Bogomolov Jr., (WC) Marcos Baghdatis, “Iron” Mike Russell, “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic
Notes: Interesting starts for the low-confidence (6) Querrey vs. the American-turned-Russian Bogomolov Jr., (3) Hewitt after a bye possibly vs. (WC) Baghdatis, (7) Przysiezny who is 0-1 career in Memphis vs. the grinding American “Iron” Mike, and (2) F-Lo after a bye possibly vs. the serving machine “Dr.” Ivo…Memphis has counted nine year-end No. 1-ranked players among its winners…Nishikori beat F-Lo in last year’s final…Wildcards went to Baghdatis, Nishikori and Aussie comer Nick Kyrgios…Pulling from the event were Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil, Dudi Sela and Janko Tipsarevic…The Bryan brothers are the top seeds in doubles…Former champs in the field are Nishikori (2013) and Querrey (2010)…No one has won three consecutive Memphis titles, but Nishikori will endeavor to join two-time winners Tommy Haas (2007-06), Todd Martin (1995-94) and Jimmy Connors (1984-83, ’79-78).
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Surface: red clay
Seeds: David Ferrer, Fabio Fognini, Tommy Robredo, Nicolas Almagro, Marcel Granollers, Robin Haase, Juan Monaco, Jeremy Chardy
Floaters: Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez
Notes: World No. 1 Rafael Nadal pulled from the event citing a stomach virus…Ferrer shooting for third title in a row…Wildcards went to Ferrer and Argentines Facundo Arguello and Guido Pella…Returning champs in the field are Ferrer (2013-12), Almagro (2011), Robredo (2009), and Monaco (2007).
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