May 11th, 2014
World No. 1 Serena Williams is the top seed this week at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, otherwise known as the Italian Open, but she may not even set foot on the clay after withdrawing from Madrid last week with a thigh injury.
April 20th, 2014
Notes: Eight-time winner Rafael Nadal heads the field, and after a bye likely starts against Davydenko…(14) Marcel Granollers after a bye likely starts against The Worm…Wildcards went to Argentine Facundo Arguelleo, and Spaniards Roberto Carballes Baena, Inigo Cervantes, Daniel Gimeno-Traver…Withdrawing from the event were Pablo Andujar, Federico Delbonis, Richard Gasquet, Ivo Karlovic and Juan Monaco…David Ferrer is 0-4 in Barcelona finals…Fabio Fognini has never won a match in Barcelona (0-4)…Nadal beat Almagro in last year’s all-Spanish final…The two-time champ Bryan brothers are the top seeds in the doubles…Former singles champs in the field are Nadal (2013-11,’09-05), Robredo (2004), and Verdasco (2010).
March 30th, 2014
Notes: Serena is shooting for her third Charleston title in a row…Surprising lack of floaters…(10) Maria Kirilenko vs. (Q) Bencic could be interesting…Wildcards went to Melanie Oudin, Nadia Petrova, and Shelby Rogers…Qualifying to the main draw were Swiss Belinda Bencic. Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens, Aussie Jarmila Gajdoeova, Russian Alla Kudryavtseva, Portugal’s Michelle Larcher de Brito, American Grace Min, the Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko, and China’s Zheng Saisai…Notable pulls from the event were Alize Cornet, Casey Dellacqua, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands…Former champs in the field are Serena Williams (2013,’12,’08), Stosur (2010), Jankovic (2007), Nadia Petrova (2006), and Venus Williams (2004).
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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).
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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).
November 3rd, 2013
Friends Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci led Italy to their fourth Fed Cup title in eight years.
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October 22nd, 2013
Previewing the WTA Championships.
October 20th, 2013
Controversy came with the end of the season as Kerber received a late wildcard for the Linz tournament, which she won, allowing her to edge Wozniacki for a Top 8 spot. “I do not understand that (the WTA) can suddenly change the draw and allocation of wildcards that way,” Wozniacki said. “There are many things that have been done in an unsportsmanlike and unethical manner. And you can hear from other players. They think it’s so ridiculous.”…
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).
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.
August 11th, 2013
How tough is the Cincinnati draw? Former Slam champ Svetlana Kuznetsova barely got in, while former French Open champ Francesca Schiavone didn’t, and has to play the qualifying.
August 4th, 2013
Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Li Na, Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Roberta Vinci, Maria Kirilenko, Samantha Stosur, Kirsten Flipkens, Sloane Stephens, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic