Wimbledon Champion Kvitova Headlines In Linz
Published October 09, 2011 01:59
LINZ, Austria - With just two weeks left to run on the main tournament schedule for 2011, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova heads a top-drawer field at the 21st staging of the Generali Ladies Linz.
The 21-year-old Czech lefty is just as comfortable indoors as she is on grass - her four-title haul this year includes the Paris indoor event and, indeed, she was runner-up to Yanina Wickmayer here two years ago. Having made her Top 5 debut last week she'll be hard to beat at the $220,000 event - but will need to hit the ground running against Canada's Rebecca Marino, who also possesses a big serve and has gained considerable ground this season.
Following the withdrawal of Beijing runner-up Andrea Petkovic due to a knee injury, Flavia Pennetta has been made the No.9 seed, filling the No.2 seed's slot at the bottom of the draw. The classy Italian enjoyed a great week in China, reaching the semis of the singles - she was stopped by eventual champion Agnieszka Radwanska - and the final of the doubles with Gisela Dulko. If she keeps that momentum she, too, will front as a tough opponent for anyone.
Former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic has accepted a wildcard and is the No.3 seed, with young Russian star Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova seeded fourth. Germany's Sabine Lisicki and Julia Goerges, both now Top 20 players thanks to bracing title wins and strong results at the Slams, hold down the No.5 and No.6 seedings respectively. Dominika Cibulkova will continue her hunt for a maiden WTA title as the tournament's No.7 seed while her fellow Slovak Daniela Hantuchova, the champion here in 2007, is seeded eighth.
Elsewhere, resurgent Austrian No.1 Tamira Paszek is in the same quarter of the draw as Pavlyuchenkova and Lisicki, while other local interest rests with wildcard Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, who did well on home soil by reaching her first WTA final at Bad Gastein in July.
Reigning Australian Open champions Dulko and Pennetta are the top seeds in the doubles, ahead of Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova, who have gained stature in recent months and won their first title together in Seoul a couple of weeks ago.