Hantuchova, Ivanovic Headline in Linz
Published October 10, 2010 12:00
LINZ, Austria - The European indoor swing makes a familiar stop in Austria's third-largest city this week, with the 20th staging of the Generali Ladies Linz presented by voestalpine.
With all eight seeds ranked inside the Top 40, Daniela Hantuchova heads the $220,000 International tournament's field - albeit as the No.2 seed following the last-minute entry and subsequent withdrawal of Serena Williams due to a continuing foot injury. Hantuchova is, of course, a former champion at this event and the popular 27-year-old Slovak - twice a winner at Indian Wells - would no doubt love to repeat her success of 2007 this week.
Hantuchova faces a tough opener against Kateryna Bondarenko, while Alona Bondarenko, seeded third, has been slotted into Serena's place at the top of the draw and opens against Italy's Roberta Vinci. Hantuchova's compatriot, Dominika Cibulkova is seeded fourth; the two Fed Cup teammates could meet in the semifinals.
The second tier of seeds features, at No.5, powerful Czech lefty Petra Kvitova, who was runner-up to Yanina Wickmayer here 12 months ago; and Germany's Andrea Petkovic, at No.6. Revitalized former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic (who snapped up Serena's wildcard) is coming off a strong run in Beijing and is seeded seventh, while Klara Zakopalova is seeded No.8. The reconfiguring of the draw also sees Italy's Sara Errani promoted to No.9 seed.
In addition to Ivanovic, who lifted the trophy in Linz in 2008, wildcard places have been awarded to veteran Austrian lefty Sybille Bammer and Yvonne Meusburger, while two-time runner-up Patty Schnyder is also in the field. The 31-year-old Swiss veteran tackles 2010 doubles standout Gisela Dulko in the first round.