2014 Dubai Tennis Championships
Dubai, U.A.E; Surface: hard
Seeds: Serena Williams, Aggie Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani, Jelena Jankovic, Angie Kerber, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki
Floaters: Ana Ivanovic, Venus Williams, Alisa Kleybanova, Ekaterina Makarova, Sloane Stephens, Lucie Safarova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Nadia Petrova, Alize Cornet, Sabine Lisicki, Sam Stosur, Kaia Kanepi
Notes: One of the toughest 28-draw fields of the year with seven Top 10 players among the seeds, and more dangerous floaters than seeds…Challenging starts for (1) Serena after a bye vs. the Kleybanova-Makarova winner, (5) Jankovic after a bye vs. the Stephens-Safarova winner, (3) Kvitova after a bye vs. the Suarez Navarro-Petrova winner, the tired (7) Halep vs. Cornet, (8) Wozniacki vs. Lisicki (winner likely to meet Stosur), (6) Kerber vs. Ivanovic (winner to possibly meet Venus), and (2) Radwanska after a bye possibly vs. Kanepi…Wildcards went to the Williams sisters and Petrova…Former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova pulled from the event…The Williams sisters took a doubles wildcard…Returning champs in the field are Kvitova (2013) who beat Errani in last year’s final, Radwanska (2012), Wozniacki (2011), and Venus Williams (2010-09).
Rio Open presented by Claro hdtv
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Surface: clay
Men’s Seeds: Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Fabio Fognini, Tommy Robredo, Nicolas Almagro, Marcel Granollers, Juan Monaco, Pablo Andujar
Men’s Floaters: Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Horacio Zeballos, Jeremy Chardy
Men’s Notes: The new combined ATP/WTA event laid out the under-the-table appearance cash to attract the world No. 1 Nadal. “I have heard so much about the city, and now I will finally have the opportunity to be there,” Nadal said. “All around the world, when I play, I can feel the love of the Brazilian people.”…It’s a Spanish Armada attack as six of the eight seeds are Spaniards…Potential early-round testers are (5) Almagro vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov, (7) Monaco vs. countryman Horacio Zeballos, and a tired Buenos Aires finalist (2) Ferrer vs. Frenchman Jeremy Chardy…Wildcards went to Brazil’s Joao Souza, Thomaz Bellucci, and Guilherme Clezar.
Women’s Seeds: Klara Zakopalova, Francesca Schiavone, Paula Ormaechea, Alexandra Cadantu, Kurumi Nara, Maria Teresa Torro Flor, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Vania King
Women’s Floaters: Yaroslava Shvedova
Women’s Notes: How struggling is Brazilian women’s tennis? Teliana Pereira was the first Brazilian player to crack the Top 100 in 23 years in 2013…Rough overall field on the women’s side with no players in the Top 30.
Marseille, France; Surface: hard
Seeds: Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Ernests Gulbis, Andreas Seppi, Ivan Dodig, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Julien Benneteau, Nicolas Mahut
Floaters: Michael Llodra, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Nikolay Davydenko, Igor Sijsling
Notes: Tough openers for (4) Seppi after a bye likely facing the rush-and-crush Llodra, (6) Roger-Vasselin likely vs. Stakhovsky 2nd rd., and (2) Tsonga vs. the winner of Davydenko-Sijsling…Tsonga beat Tomas Berdych in last year’s final, saving a match point…Five Frenchman among the seeds…Wildcards went to Brit Kyle Edmund, Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis, and France’s Albano Olivetti…Pulling from the event were a slew of players in Tomas Berdych, Denis Istomin, Jerzy Janowicz, Lukasz Kubot, Gael Monfils, Michal Przysiezny, Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka…Returning champs in the field are Tsonga (2013,’09) and Llodra (2010).
Delray Beach Open by The Venetian Las Vegas
Delray Beach, Florida, U.S.A.; Surface: hard
Seeds: Tommy Haas, John Isner, Kei Nishikori, Kevin Anderson, Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil, Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, Marin Cilic, Lleyton Hewitt
Floaters: Sam Querrey, “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic, (WC) Marcos Baghdatis, “Iron Mike” Russell
Notes: No Ernests Gulbis or Edouard Roger-Vasselin as both of last year’s finalists choose to play Marseille this week…Tough starts for (6) F-Lo vs. Sam Querrey, (4) Anderson likely vs. Dr. Ivo 2nd rd., (5) Popsicle likely vs. (WC) Baghdatis 2nd rd., and (2) Isner vs. the hot-handed Iron Mike first round…Wildcards went to Baghdatis and Americans Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock…Pulling from the event were the constantly injured American Brian Baker and Serb Janko Tipsarevic…The Bryan brothers are the top seeds in doubles…Returning champs in the field are Anderson (2012), Nishikori (2008), Haas (2006), and Hewitt (1999).
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