Kleybanova Leads Estoril Line-Up
Published April 24, 2011 09:59
ESTORIL, Portugal - During her career Alisa Kleybanova has proven she can beat just about anyone; this week everyone will be out to beat her at the Estoril Open, where the 21-year-old Russian powerhouse is top seed. The first point of resistance between the world No.25 and a third WTA title - she won at Kuala Lumpur and Seoul in 2010 - will be Olga Govortsova of Belarus.
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On the other side of the draw, Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova is seeded No.2 on a ranking of 30, and hunting her second title of the year after a win at Hobart in her adopted homeland. She opens her campaign against Renata Voracova, who arrives having won the doubles title at Fès on Sunday.
Another Czech, Klara Zakopalova, is the No.3 seed, while defending champion Anastasija Sevastova returns as the No.4 seed. Last year Sevastova was unseeded when she became the first Latvian to win a WTA title in 17 years; the 21-year-old has improved her ranking some 40 places since then to her current station of No.37, and opens her defense against Poland's Urszula Radwanska.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands, ranked just three places off her career-high at No.40, is seeded fifth; recent Charleston finalist Elena Vesnina will seek her maiden WTA title as the No.6 seed; China's Zheng Jie, rebuilding after injury, is seeded No.7; and Hungarian veteran Greta Arn is the No.8 seed.
Wildcards have been awarded to three Portuguese players: Maria Joao Koehler, Magali de Lattre and Barbara Luz, while tricky opening round matches include Fès runner-up Simona Halep against Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues - who with Voracova is seeded No.1 in the doubles event.
After a tough quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Alberta Brianti in Morocco, Melanie Oudin opens against a qualifier. In the same section of the draw, Aussie lefty Casey Dellacqua, making her first WTA appearance since Wimbledon and playing on a protected ranking after a long foot injury break, faces China's Zhang Shuai.