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WTA Heads To Québec City & Tashkent

Dominika Cibulkova and Monica Niculescu lead the seeds at the Bell Challenge and Tashkent Open this week.

Published September 08, 2012 12:00

WTA Heads To Québec City & Tashkent
Akgul Amanmuradova

While some players take a bit of a break this week after the last Grand Slam event of the year, others will be getting their fall seasons going right away, as the WTA heads up north to Québec City and out east to Tashkent.

It's going to be a very special week in Québec City, as the Bell Challenge celebrates its 20th straight year as a WTA stop, having begun in 1993.

This year the top seed goes to Dominika Cibulkova, who has been inching closer and closer to the Top 10 this year, reaching the quarterfinals or better eight times and currently weighing in at No.14 in the world. It will be her first indoor hardcourt event of the year, though if last year is anything to go by, she could do a lot of damage - she went 9-1 on indoor hardcourts last year, reaching the Linz final and winning in Moscow, which was in fact her first WTA title.

Rounding out the seeds are Yanina Wickmayer, Mona Barthel, Aleksandra Wozniak, Romina Oprandi, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Petra Martic and Lucie Hradecka. Wozniak recently became the first Canadian woman in 20 years to reach the quarterfinals of the biggest WTA event on Canadian turf, the Rogers Cup; Zahlavova Strycova is the defending champion here this week.

It may not have been on the calendar for as many years as Québec City, but the Tashkent Open in Tashkent is in its 14th year, having begun in 1999.

Topping the seeds this year is Monica Niculescu, who had a phenomenal finish to last year - she went into the US Open ranked No.68 and finished the year at No.30 - but has struggled a lot in recent months. Between Wimbledon and the US Open she couldn't play any WTA events due to a left hand injury, including the disappointment of having to withdraw from the Olympics.

The World No.33 will be playing Tashkent for the fourth time and has done well here every time she has played, reaching back-to-back quarterfinals in 2008 and 2009 and then going one step further to the semifinals in 2010.

Rounding out the seeds are Urszula Radwanska, Alizé Cornet, Magdalena Rybarikova, Alexandra Cadantu, Bojana Jovanovski, Alexandra Panova and Galina Voskoboeva. Also in the draw is Akgul Amanmuradova, a two-time finalist here who describes the tournament as her fifth Grand Slam.

"It's one of the toughest draws in the history of the Tashkent Open, and every match will be tough and the winners unpredictable," Uzbek No.1 Amanmuradova said at the draw ceremony at the Olympic Tennis School on Saturday. "With four of the eight seeds winning a WTA title this year, it's going to be tough."

Follow all of the action from Québec City and Tashkent this week right here on wtatennis.com. Also check out the draws by clicking here.

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