10 Things To Know: This Week
Published May 18, 2014 12:14
Every week on wtatennis.com we'll bring you 10 of the most important things to know - who's playing, where, milestones... this week the Road To Singapore goes through Nürnberg and Strasbourg.
1) The WTA stars are in Nürnberg and Strasbourg for final French Open preparations this week.
There's just one week to go until the second Grand Slam of the year - and the WTA stars are headed to International-level clay court tournaments in Nürnberg and Strasbourg to prepare this week.
2) Three Top 20 players - including one Top 10 player - are in action this week.
Those players are Angelique Kerber, Sloane Stephens and Eugenie Bouchard, all of whom are hoping to rekindle their Grand Slam magic on the terre battue of Roland Garros - they've all been to Grand Slam semifinals before, Kerber achieving the feat at the US Open in 2011 and Wimbledon in 2012, Stephens doing it at the Australian Open in 2013 and Bouchard doing it at the Australian Open in 2014.
3) Kerber and Bouchard headline at the NÜRNBERGER VERSICHERUNGSCUP in Nürnberg.
Kerber and Bouchard are the No.1 and No.2 seeds, respectively. Rounding out the Top 8 seeds are Klara Koukalova, Elina Svitolina, Yvonne Meusburger, Kurumi Nara, Caroline Garcia and Annika Beck.
4) Kerber is looking for her first win on clay this year.
It has been a rough go of things for Kerber on clay this year. She was a very solid 19-8 on hardcourts but is 0-3 on clay so far, dropping her opening matches at Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.
5) Bouchard has also struggled on clay the last few weeks.
She started the clay court season well - Charleston semifinals, Oeiras quarterfinals - but Bouchard has been bundled out of her last two tournaments in the first round, and losing both matches in straight sets too, in Madrid (against Agnieszka Radwanska) and Rome (against Francesca Schiavone).
6) Stephens headlines at the Internationaux de Strasbourg in Strasbourg.
Stephens is the No.1 seed, with Alizé Cornet, Kirsten Flipkens, Andrea Petkovic, Elena Vesnina, Bojana Jovanovski, Peng Shuai and Alison Riske rounding out the Top 8 seeds in the draw.
7) Stephens is seeded No.1 at a WTA event for the first time in her career.
Before this week, Stephens' highest seeding at a WTA tournament was No.2, four times - three times in 2013 (Washington DC, Linz and Luxembourg) and once so far in 2014 (Bogota).
8) Three of the best doubles teams in the world are in action this week too.
Former co-World No.1s Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond are the No.1 seeds in Nürnberg, while Americans Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears and Australians Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua are the No.1 and No.2 seeds in Strasbourg. There are a few more dangerous teams in Strasbourg - Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan, as well as Darija Jurak and Megan Moulton-Levy.
9) WTA Trivia: Strasbourg has been won by four players who were, had been or would be No.1 - Lindsay Davenport, Steffi Graf, Jennifer Capriati and Maria Sharapova. Only two of the other 31 International events on the WTA calendar this year have been won by more No.1s - what are they?
10) Go to WTA Live powered by TennisTV to watch live action from Strasbourg this week.
* Answer: Linz (6 - Davenport, Henin, Mauresmo, Sharapova, Ivanovic and Azarenka) and Luxembourg (also 6 - Clijsters, Capriati, Ivanovic, Azarenka, Venus and Wozniacki). There's an asterisk though - until recently, both of those events were Premiers. Strasbourg has always been an International.