Caro Looks To Collect on Bastad's Clay
Published July 03, 2011 08:45
BASTAD, Sweden - World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki has never won at the seaside resort of Bastad - which, given its proximity to Danish shores, almost qualifies as a home tournament for the Dane. Add that to her early exit from Wimbledon and she will be doubly keen to get back to her winning ways as top seed at this week's $220,000 Collector Swedish Open.
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Wozniacki, who turns 21 on July 11, was runner-up here in 2009 to María José Martínez Sánchez. She won her first title on red clay at the Brussels Open in May but won't be short of rivals as she bids for a second, and her sixth title of the season.
First there's Flavia Pennetta, the No.2 seed. A shoulder injury contributed to a disappointing clay court swing, but the former top tenner was back in form at Wimbledon, nearly toppling Marion Bartoli in the third round. Czech lefty Lucie Safarova is seeded No.3, looking to go one better than her recent runner-up finish to Wozniacki indoors at Copenhagen.
Spaniard Lourdes Domínguez Lino, another veteran enjoying one of her best seasons, is seeded fourth, with Vera Dushevina at No.5 and new Wimbledon mixed doubles champion Iveta Benesova seeded No.6. Her fellow Czech and doubles partner, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (they are the doubles top seeds) is the singles No.7 seed, with Polona Hercog seeded eighth.
Martínez Sánchez is back too, but unseeded, having slid down the rankings; she could nonetheless meet Wozniacki in the quarters - if she can topple Benesova in the first round. Likewise, defending champion Aravane Rezai will be a dangerous floater as she seeks to get her season back on track. Her first round opponent is Akgul Amanmuradova.
The host nation's best hopes reside with rising Johanna Larsson, who faces Alla Kudryavtseva first up, while wildcards have been issued to Hilda Melander, Anna Brazhnikova and 17-year-old Ellen Allgurin.