February 23rd, 2014
DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS Dubai, U.A.E.; Surface: hard Seeds: Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Mikhail Youzhny, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Dmitry Tursunov Floaters: Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, Igor Sijsling Notes: The defending champ Djokovic has won four Dubai titles (four of last five years) while Federer has won five…Djokovic [...]
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…
February 8th, 2014
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).
January 26th, 2014
Notes: Strong field with four Top 10ers…Tough starts for (1) Sharapova after a bye likely facing Hantuchova, (2) Kvitova after a bye likely meeting Cornet, and (8) Flipkens vs. the defending champion Barthel…Wildcards went to Caroline Garcia, Petra Kvitova and Kristina Mladenovic…Pulling from the tournament were Dominika Cibulkova, Ana Ivanovic, Kaia Kanepi and Lucie Safarova…Returning champs in the field are Barthel (2013), Kerber (2012), and Kvitova (2011).
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).
October 12th, 2013
Tough starts go to (1) Gasquet vs. either Baghdatis or Evgeny Donskoy, (5) Istomin vs. Russian (WC) Andrey Kuznetsov, and (7) Sousa vs. Stakhovsky…Seeds making their debuts at the event are Gasquet, Sousa and Mannarino…Russians have won the event 14 times since 1990…Last year Seppi beat Thomaz Bellucci in the final…Notable pulls from the event were Nikolay Davydenko (wrist) and Stan Wawrinka…Returning former champs in the field are Seppi (2012) and Tipsarevic (2011).
September 27th, 2013
Eight of the Top 10 take to the court in Beijing, with play starting on Saturday…Six current or former No. 1s in the field…Tough starts go to (3) Radwanska vs. Keys 2nd rd., (14) Ivanovic vs. Pennetta, (2) Azarenka vs. Petkovic (winner to likely face former world No. 2 Kuznetsova), (5) Errani vs. Flipkens, (13) Lisicki vs. V.Williams likely 2nd rd., and (4) Li vs. Hantuchova…Wildcards went to Francesca Schiavone, Venus Williams, and China’s Zhang Shuai and Zheng Jie…Pulling from the event were Martina Hingis (from doubles citing personal reasons) Marion Bartoli (retirement), Jamie Hampton (left ankle), Ekaterina Makarova, Romina Oprandi, Nadia Petrova (left hip), and Maria Sharapova (right shoulder)…The Williams sisters took a doubles wildcard…Former champs in the field are Azarenka (2012), Radwanska (2011), Wozniacki (2010), Kuznetsova (2009,’06), Jankovic (2008), Maria Kirilenko (2005), and Serena Williams (2004)…No player has ever won back-to-back singles titles in Beijing.
September 22nd, 2013
Tough openers for (4) Simon after a bye vs. the winner of Karlovic-Tomic, and (7) Nieminen vs. the Dutch riser Sijsling…Wildcards went to three dudes whose names you can’t pronounce…Pulling from the event were Ivan Dodig, Andy Murray (back surgery), and Tommy Robredo…Gasquet beat Simon in last year’s final…Returning champs in the field are Gasquet (2012) and Simon (2009).
July 27th, 2013
Notes: Three former No. 1s among the seeds…No Williams sisters but plenty of Top 10ers and floaters…The Top 4 seeds receive opening-round byes…Tough openers for (1) Azarenka after a bye against Pennetta or Schiavone, (4) Vinci after a bye likely against the veteran Mattek-Sands, (7) Ivanovic vs. Cibulkova, (5) Stosur vs. the rolling Lepchenko, and (2) Radwanska after a bye likely vs. the veteran Hantuchova…Wildcards went to American Allie Kiick, France’s Virginie Razzano, and Stosur…Pulling from the event were Marion Bartoli, Kirsten Flipkens, Bojana Jovanovski, Kristina Mladenovic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova…Martina Hingis and Hantuchova received a wildcard in doubles…Cibulkova beat Bartoli in the final last year…Returning champions in the field are Cibulkova (2012), Radwanska (2011), and Kuznetsova (2010).
May 3rd, 2013
Notes: Insane field with two former No. 1s and an additional Slam champ all unseeded…The Top 3 seeds are current or former No. 1s…Tough opening-round matches are (5) Na vs. Tamira Paszek then the winner of Venus and (WC) Medina Garrigues, (3) Azarenka vs. Pavlyuchenkova, (11) Petrova vs. a qualifier then likely Kuznetsova, (16) Ivanovic vs. a qualifier then likely her Serb countrywoman Jankovic, (9) Stosur vs. the clay-savvy Suarez Navarro, and (2) Sharapova vs. a qualifier then likely Peng…No blue clay this year…Former champs in the field are Serena Williams (2012) and Kvitova (2011).