February 16th, 2014
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…
January 4th, 2014
Notes: Sam Stosur still injured?…Tough draws for (3) Vesnina against the Puerto Rican riser Puig, and (5) Pennetta against the former No. 1 Venus…Venus on the small-tournament guarantee-cash circuit this year?…Wildcards went to Aussies Casey Dellacqua, Olivia Rogowska and Storm Sanders…Storm Sanders is an awesome sports name, period…Pulling from the tournament were Nadia Petrova, Ashleigh Barty and Stefanie Voegele…Vesnina in last year’s final beat Barthel…Returning former champs in the field are Vesnina (2013), Barthel (2012), and Jie Zheng (2005).
December 28th, 2013
Nadal opens against Rosol who famously ousted him at Wimbledon a couple years ago…Other tough starts for (4) Berdych vs. Dr. Ivo, and (2) Ferrer vs. the pesky Dolgopolov…Ferrer beat Nadal last week at the Abu Dhabi exhibition, eventually losing in the final to Novak Djokovic…Nadal has never won Doha in five appearances…Ferrer has never won in three appearances…Murray making his first ATP appearance since back surgery…In last year’s final Gasquet beat Davydenko…Returning champs in the field are Gasquet (2013), Davydenko (2010), and Murray (2009-08).
June 15th, 2013
Women’s Notes: Sterling field featuring six of the Top 10…Wildcards went to Stosur, Na, and Brits Johanna Konta and Elena Baltacha…Four former Slam champs in the field…Tough starts for (8) Petrova vs. (WC) Stosur, (5) Wozniacki vs. the defending champ Paszek, (7) Ivanovic vs. the crafty Russian Vesnina, and (2) Na vs. Cornet, then either Bartoli or Flavia Pennetta…No. 55-ranked American Christina McHale was the last direct acceptance in the quality field…Pulling from the event were Sara Errani, Yaroslava Shvedova and Sloane Stephens…Former champs in the field are Paszek (2012), Bartoli (2011), Eraterina Makarova (2010), Wozniacki (2009), and Radwanska (2008).