Can Melanie Make It In Memphis?
Published February 12, 2011 08:06
MEMPHIS, TN, USA - For Georgia's Melanie Oudin, the Cellular South Cup is as close as it gets to home ground advantage on the WTA tour, and as one of nine Americans who made the direct entry cut, the 19-year-old will be doubly keen to make the most of her No.3 seeding at the International event.
This weeks's top seed, though, is the Czech Republic's Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, who has enjoyed much of her best success in doubles - she won her eleventh WTA title at Sydney last month with Iveta Benesova - but has impressed in singles of late as well.
Currently ranked No.56, Zahlavova Strycova held match points against her Top 20 compatriot Petra Kvitova in Paris last week, after a solid third round showing at the Australian Open. She's never won a singles title on the tour, but reached the final at Prague last year and seems to be ready for a breakthrough.
On the opposite side of the draw stands Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson, Memphis champion in 2006, runner-up to Maria Sharapova 12 months ago, and back as the No.2 seed. She faces a tough opener against talented American youngster Alison Riske, who is just one of 15 players making their main draw debuts here this week.
Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva is seeded fourth, ahead of 2008 champion Olga Govortsova at No.5 and surging Canadian talent Rebecca Marino at No.6. Ranked No.84 this week, Marino is seeded at a WTA event for the first time. Another Czech, Renata Voracova, is seeded No.7, with reigning Wimbledon and US Open doubles champion Vania King rounding things out at No.8.
Wildcards have been awarded to American Beatrice Capra, who shone at the US Open last year; 16-year-old Catherine Harrison, also of the US; and Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia. Coco Vandeweghe, Christina McHale and Julie Ditty can also expect plenty of local support, while one of the trickier opening round clashes sees former Canadian No.1 Aleksandra Wozniak tackle former British No.1 Anne Keothavong.
Zahlavova Strycova and Voracova are the top seeds in the doubles.