DONGFENG MOTOR WUHAN OPEN
Wuhan, China; Surface: hard
Seeds: Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Eugenie Bouchard, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Sara Errani, Dominika Cibulkova, Ekaterina Makarova, Lucie Safarova, Flavia Pennetta, Andrea Petkovic
Floaters: Alize Cornet, Shuai Peng, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Venus Williams, Caroline Garcia, (Q) Donna Vekic, Sam Stosur, Madison Keys, Sabine Lisicki
Notes: It’s the debut of the Premier 5 Series event in China…Victoria Azarenka pulls from the event with a foot injury, and announces she will miss the rest of the year…Potential tough starts include (1) Serena Williams after a bye vs. her nemesis Cornet, the struggling (6) Bouchard after a bye vs. the resurgent Peng, (4) Sharapova after a bye vs. countrywoman and former world No. 2 Kuznetsova, (5) Radwanska after a bye vs. the Venus/Garcia winner, (16) Petkovic vs. the comer (Q) Vekic, (12) Cibulkova vs. the big-hitting Keys, and (14) Safarova vs. the likewise big-hitting Lisicki…If the seedings hold, Serena would from the QF on play Bouchard, Sharapova/Wozniacki, and Halep in the final…Pulling from the event in addition to Azarenka were Li Na (announced retirement) and Sloane Stephens…China now has six women’s pro events.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: Kei Nishikori, Ernests Gulbis, Leonardo Mayer, Julien Benneteau, Pablo Cuevas, Joao Sousa, Pablo Andujar, Nick Kyrgios
Floaters: Marinko “Mad Dog” Matosevic, Jarkko Nieminen, Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer, Benjamin Becker
Notes: Cushy draws for the top seeds — (1) Nishikori gets a bye then opens against the (WC) Omar Jasika/Rajeev Ram winner, and (2) Gulbis gets a bye then opens against a qualifier…Potential tough starts for the burnt-out (8) Kyrgios vs. Mad Dog, (3) Mayer after a bye vs. the veteran Nieminen, (5) Cuevas vs. Tuna Melzer, and (6) Sousa vs. Becker…Wildcards were awarded to Japan’s Taro Daniel, Australia’s Omar Jasika and Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic…Pulling from the event were Kevin Anderson, Juan Martin del Potro, Marcel Granollers, Mikhail Kukushkin, Milos Raonic, Dominic Thiem and Dmitry Tursunov…Last year Sousa upset No. 1 seed David Ferrer and then beat Benneteau in the final…Sousa (2013) is the lone returning former champ in the field.
Shenzhen, China; Surface: hard
Seeds: David Ferrer, Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet, Tommy Robredo, Gilles Simon, Santiago Giraldo, Vasek Pospisil, Andreas Seppi
Floaters: Gilles Muller
Notes: Yet another first-time event in China…Thin field aside from the seeds — for an ATP 250 event they must have handed out a good amount of under-the-table appearance fees…(3) Gasquet after a bye could face a test from the giant-serving Muller…Wildcards went to China’s Gao Xin, Belarus’ Egor Gerasimov, and Murray…Withdrawing from the event were Roberto Bautista Agut, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Tobias Kamke, Blaz Kavcic, Donald Young and Mikhail Youzhny.
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