QATAR TOTAL OPEN
Doha, Qatar; Surface: hard
Seeds: Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska, Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova, Belinda Bencic, Lucie Safarova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Roberta Vinci, Karolina Pliskova, Timea Bacsinszky, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, Elina Svitolina, Sara Errani
Floaters: Julia Goerges, CoCo Vandeweghe, (Q) Donna Vekic, (Q) Ana Konjuh, Caroline Garcia
Notes: Serena is out with the flu, but seven of the Top 10 post in Doha…Tough starts for (12) Kuznetsova vs. Goerges, (6) Bencic after a bye vs. Vandeweghe, (8) Suarez Navarro vs. Vekic, the struggling (13) Wozniacki vs. Kohjuh, and the struggling (2) Halep vs. Garcia…Wildcards were awarded to Oman’s Fatma Al-Nabhani, Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard and Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay…Withdrawing from Doha along with Serena were Maria Sharapova (arm), Mona Barthel, Irina-Camelia Begu, Alize Cornet, Camila Giorgi and Peng Shuai…The streaking Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza are the top seeds in doubles…Getting some potential Olympic doubles practice with wildcards are Romania’s Halep/Raluca Olaru, and Czechs Kvitova/Barbora Strycova…Safarova beat the absent Victoria Azarenka (who is playing Acapulco this week) in last year’s final…Former champs in the field are Safarova (2015) and Halep (2014).
DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Dubai, U.A.E.; Surface: hard
Seeds: Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Roberto Bautista Agut, Viktor Troicki, Feliciano Lopez, Martin Klizan, Philipp Kohlschreiber
Floaters: Nick Kyrgios, Tommy Robredo, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Marcos Baghdatis
Notes: The world No. 1 Djokovic is joined by two other Top 10ers in the field…Interesting starts for (1) Djokovic vs. Robredo, who the Serb has lost to twice, including their last meeting on hardcourt two years ago, (6) F-Lo vs. G-Lo in an all-Spanish, (8) Troicki vs. Baghdatis, and (7) Klizan vs. Kyrgios…Wildcards went to India’s Yuki Bhambri, Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan and Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri…Pulling from the tournament were Roger Federer (knee surgery) and Janko Tipsarevic…The absent Federer is the two-time defending champ, beating Djokovic in last year’s final…Federer and Djokovic have won the last seven titles between them…Djokovic (2013,’11-09) is the lone former champ in the field.
Sao Paulo, Brazil; Surface: clay
Seeds: Benoit Paire, Thomaz Bellucci, Pablo Cuevas, Federico Delbonis, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Paolo Lorenzi, Nicolas Almagro, Pablo Andujar
Notes: No Top 20 talent in the ugly field…The top-seeded Paire took a last-minute wildcard, and additional wildcards went to Brazil’s Guilherme Clezar and Thiago Monteiro…Fabio Fognini pulled from the event citing an ab injury…Cuevas edged Luca Vanni 7-6 in the third in last year’s final…Former champs in the field are Cuevas (2015), Delbonis (2014), and Almagro (2012-11,’08).
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