August 18th, 2013
Notes: Will Isner pull out after his draining run in Cincinnati? Probably…Not a lot of floating talent, and all 16 seeds receive first-round byes…Potentially tough opening-round match-ups for seeds after byes include (11) Nieminen vs. (WC) Fish, (9) Melzer vs. the rising Dutchman Sijsling, and (5) Paire vs. Blake…Other wildcards went to Berdych, Spain’s Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, and Belgian Romain Bogaerts…Pulling from the event were Carlos Berlocq, Nikolay Davydenko, Marcel Granollers, Tommy Haas, Albert Ramos, the doping-suspended Viktor Troicki, and Horacio Zeballos…Isner is the two-time defending champion, last year beating Berdych in the final.
July 20th, 2013
Notes: Two-time defending champ Serena Williams obviously didn’t like the under-the-table appearance fee to appear in Stanford, passing on the event and last week playing the tiny Swedish Open in Bastad, which was willing to pony-up some major cash…Tough starts are (1) Radwanska after a bye possibly facing the former Slam champ Schiavone, (8) Rybarikova vs. the explosive Keys, and (2) Stosur after a bye likely facing the powerful Goerges….Wildcards went to American Nicole Gibbs and Croat Ajla Tomljanovic…Pulling from the event were Marion Bartoli (hamstring), Kirsten Flipkens, Sabine Lisicki (wrist), and Maria Sharapova (hip)…Since 1990, 20 of the 23 champions have been Slam winners, but this year there are no returning champions in the field.
December 30th, 2012
Notes: Not the prettiest field for the million-dollar oil-laden event, as the top dogs take the exo cash this week in Abu Dhabi…”Gasquet Back!” says the ATP website!…(8) Andujar opens against the Wimbledon Nadal-killer Rosol, and (3) Kohlschreiber will likely meet Monfils in the second round…Of the seeded players, only Youzhny and Troicki have career winning records in Doha…Davydenko (2010) is the lone returning champ in the field.
September 23rd, 2012
Notes: Openers of interest include (3) Radwanska after a bye possibly vs. Jankovic, (17) Petrova vs. Peng, (2) Sharapova after a bye possibly vs. Lisicki; wildcards went to Kimiko Date-Krumm, Caroline Garcia, and Ayumi Morita; Maria Kirilenko was seeded but pulled with a back injury; returning champs in the field are Radwanska (2011), Sharapova (2009,’05), and Date-Krumm (1995).
September 22nd, 2012
Former Slam finalists Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Caroline Wozniacki lead the title charge Sunday in pro tennis.