Azarenka Tops Marquee Field In Luxembourg
Published October 16, 2011 03:54
LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Five of the Top 20 will look to finish the main playing season on a high at this week's BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open, the final $220,000 International event of the year.
World No.3 Victoria Azarenka leads the way as she prepares for Istanbul, where she will be making her third consecutive appearance at the season-ending championships. As her career-high ranking suggests, the 22-year-old Belarusian has had a strong few months, reaching the semis at Wimbledon, Toronto and Tokyo.
Forced by a foot injury to hand a walkover to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round at Beijing two weeks ago, she's hunting a third title for 2011, having won at Miami and Marbella in the spring.
Pavlyuchenkova is this indoor tournament's No.2 seed. The talented young world No.15 is still looking to break through at the bigger events but with three International titles under her belt is sure to be a contender. Ditto resurgent German Sabine Lisicki, who has vaulted some 200 places up the rankings this year after title runs at Birmingham and Dallas and is seeded No.3.
Italy's Flavia Pennetta is seeded fourth, ahead of 2007 Luxembourg champion Ana Ivanovic at No.5 and Julia Goerges, another German success story, who is seeded sixth. Last year Goerges was runner-up here to Roberta Vinci, but with the Premier-level Stuttgart title now to her credit she could well do even better this time.
Maria Kirilenko and Daniela Hantuchova, runner-up to Ivanovic in 2007, round out the seedings at No.7 and No.8 respectively.
Wildcards have been awarded to rising German Angelique Kerber and Luxembourg's own Anne Kremer and Mandy Minella, while Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova are the top seeds in the doubles, just as they were 12 months ago when they were beaten in the final by Timea Bacsinszky and the now-retired Tathiana Garbin.
The BGL BNP Luxembourg Open is being staged for the 16th time. Kim Clijsters boasts the most title wins with five, while the honor roll also includes such illustrious names as Conchita Martínez, Jennifer Capriati, Mary Pierce and Elena Dementieva.