Jarka Goes to Guangzhou as Top Seed
Published September 12, 2010 12:00
GUANGZHOU, China - The Landsky Lighting Guangzhou International Women's Open features a distinctly Asia-Pacific feel this year, with some of the region's brightest talents in the draw of the $220,000 International tournament.
Jarmila Groth enjoys the top seeding, for the first time at a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event. Currently ranked No.60, the amiable Slovak-born Aussie is enjoying her best season to date, highlighted by fourth round runs both at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, where she gave Venus Williams a tough two-set workout.
Groth also reached the semis at Istanbul, where she fell to eventual champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a tight third set, and in the opening round of the just-completed US Open she took the first set off Maria Sharapova. A title run here could give her just the boost she needs to push through to the next level.
Best known for her doubles exploits, which include reaching the semis at Flushing Meadows with Zheng Jie last week, Chinese Taipei's Chan Yung-Jan is the singles No.2 seed. Big-serving Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan - who upset Jelena Jankovic to reach the quarters at Cincinnati - is seeded third, followed by Japan's Ayumi Morita at No.4 and another Chinese Taipei prospect, Chang Kai-Chen, at No.5.
Rounding out the seedings, Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski, the youngest direct-entrant into the main draw, will seek to make her breakthrough as the No.6 seed. Italy's Alberta Brianti, who was runner-up to Shahar Peer last year, is back as the No.7 seed, while French Open quarterfinalist Chanelle Scheepers is seeded eighth.
Wildcards have been awarded to three Chinese players: Lu Jing-Jing, Han Xinyun and Xu Y-Fan. Other Asian interest will focus on India's Sania Mirza, Thailand's 33-year-old Tamarine Tanasugarn (who faces a tough first round against rising Romanian talent Simona Halep), China's Zhang Shuai and Japanese teenager Kurumi Nara, who plays Chang in the first round.
Amanmuradova and Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva are the top seeds in the doubles competition.