Aravane Seeks Momentum In Morocco

Aravane Rezai and Dinara Safina are the big names in town for the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Morocco.

Published April 17, 2011 09:51

Aravane Seeks Momentum In Morocco
Aravane Rezai
FÈS, Morocco - France's Aravane Rezai, coming off an encouraging performance in the Fed Cup play-offs, will be top seed at this week's Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Fès. But the 24-year-old, whose Madrid title defence looms later this month, won't be short of competition at the $220,000 International event.

Against Spain in Lleida, Rezai scored a rousing three-set win over Anabel Medina Garrigues, and although she went down in straight sets, was far from embarrassed by an in-form María José Martínez Sánchez in Sunday's reverse singles. In North Africa she'll look to build on those results after a difficult start to the season.

As it happens, her rivals in Morocco will include one of the members of the victorious Spanish squad: Lourdes Domínguez Lino, who secured victory for her country in the fourth rubber against Pauline Parmentier. Having won the title at Bogotá in February and enjoying a place back in the Top 50, she promises to threaten as the No.3 seed.

Wedged between them at No.2 is Yaroslava Shvedova, the reigning Wimbledon and US Open doubles, who has struggled with a left knee injury this year. Hungarian veteran Greta Arn, another surprise titlist in 2011 (at Auckland) is seeded fourth, and drawn to play Austria's Patricia Mayr-Achleitner in the first round.

At No.5, Germany's Angelique Kerber is the highest seed still gunning for a maiden title, while former world No.4 Jelena Dokic, who won her first title in nine years at Kuala Lumpur last month, is seeded sixth. Simona Halep, who made it all the way to the final here last year as a qualifier, before falling to Iveta Benesova - returns as the no.7 seed.

Alizé Cornet, currently ranked one place behind the Romanian teenager at No.67, rounds out the seedings at No.8. Assuming she gets past Andrea Hlavackova in the first round, Cornet could bump into former world No.1 Dinara Safina in the second.

As well as Rezai, wildcards have been awarded to Moroccans Fatima Zahrae El Allami and Nadia Lalami, while the Czech duo of Hlavackova and Renata Voracova are the top seeds in the doubles.

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