Carlsbad & Bastad On The Agenda
Published July 15, 2012 11:29
Quite a few of last week's star performers are back in action this week at tournaments in Carlsbad and Bastad.
At the Mercury Insurance Open, the second stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, Coco Vandeweghe hopes to make it two dream weeks in a row. In Stanford, she became the first lucky loser since 2005 to reach a WTA final. En route to her first career final, she scored upsets over Jelena Jankovic and Yanina Wickmayer before succumbing to Serena Williams in a competitive match. She also is moving up to a career-high of No.89 on the new rankings.
Joining Vandeweghe in in San Diego is Wickmayer, whose Stanford semifinal showing propelled her past Kim Clijsters as the top-ranked Belgian. Another player aiming to take her Stanford form to Carlsbad is fellow Bank of the West Classic semifinalist Sorana Cirstea. However, she opens with a challenge in rising American teenager Sloane Stephens.
The Top 4 seeds are Marion Bartoli, Dominika Cibulkova, Jelena Jankovic and Nadia Petrova. Bartoli and Cibulkova were both quarterfinalists in Stanford, while Jankovic dropped her opener - her fourth straight loss. Petrova, who won her first title of the year last month in 's-Hertogenbosch, hopes to continue a trend that has seen a Russian win Carlsbad three of the past four years.
Fresh off becoming the first Italian to capture four titles in a season with her triumph in Palermo - where she only surrendered 20 games - Sara Errani is back on her favorite surface. The Sony Swedish Open's No.1 seed is 29-4 on clay this year.
Errani's victim in the Palermo final, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, should bring plenty of confidence with her to Bastad after her best showing of the year. However, she has a tough opener against second-seeded Julia Goerges.
Fellow Palermo semifinalist Laura Robson not only had her best career outing, but scored her best win with her second round upset of World No.27 Roberta Vinci. She also has a first round test in the form of No.3 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, who routed her in both of their previous clashes. Also in Bastad are last year's champ - Polona Hercog - and runner-up - Johanna Larsson.