Trio Of Tournaments On Tap This Week
Published February 18, 2012 09:29
WTA stars are scattered throughout the world this week, as this is the only week of the year with three events on the calendar - a Premier event in Dubai and International events in Monterrey and Memphis.
The big story at the 12th staging of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on outdoor hardcourts will be World No.1 Victoria Azarenka and her 17-match winning streak to start the year being on the line. She is fresh off her third title of 2012 in Doha, the others coming at Sydney and the Australian Open.
Although she is yet to advance beyond a quarterfinal this year, Caroline Wozniacki is the only former Dubai titlist in the draw and is looking to return to the form that saw her capture last year's trophy without dropping a set. Petra Kvitova did not win a match in her two previous appearances in Dubai, but she is a greatly improved player since then as she seeks her first title of the season. Although she is also titleless in 2012, Samantha Stosur just reached her first final of the year in Doha.
Also on outdoor hardcourts, across the globe in México will be the fourth staging of the Whirlpool Monterrey Open. Frequent doubles partners Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani are the Top 2 seeds in singles. Vinci is looking for her first title of the season after a 2011 that saw her capture three of her six career titles. Errani's year has been highlighted by her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open. An unseeded player to watch is Alexandra Panova, as she is fresh off her best career result - a run to the final in Bogotá.
Errani and Vinci, who are pursuing their sixth WTA title as a duo, are also the No.1 seeds in doubles.
On indoor hardcourts in the United States, the Memphis International is being held for the 11th time. Top seed Nadia Petrova's 10 WTA titles are almost as many as the rest of the field has combined - 13. Two of those titles are owned by defending champion Magdalena Rybarikova.
2011 Memphis runner-up Rebecca Marino is back again, as is 2006 champion and 2010 runner-up Sofia Arvidsson. Several up-and-coming American teenagers will be looking to showcase their talents on home soil, including 17-year-old Madison Keys and 18-year-old Sloane Stephens, who is the youngest player in the Top 100.