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).
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).
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 11th, 2013
Rafael Nadal gave Milos Raonic a lesson on the hardcourts in the Sunday Montreal final.
August 10th, 2013
The match was marked by an exchange at the net where after a Djokovic touch shot, Nadal ran up and drove a backhand that hit Djokovic in the face after glancing off his racquet. An angry Djokovic turned away from Nadal who was raising his hand in apology, which drew a shrug from Nadal.
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).
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.
May 2nd, 2012
Players are getting their first taste of the smurf turf in Madrid.
November 3rd, 2011
Here’s Sorana Cirstea training for Dancing With the Stars.