WTA Heads To Bastad & Istanbul
Published July 13, 2014 12:12
Williams' withdrawal has promoted her Wimbledon conqueror, Alizé Cornet, to the position of top seed. Cornet has already picked up one title this year, in Katowice, and with World No.52 Yaroslava Shvedova the highest-ranked player in her half she has a golden opportunity to double this tally.
A good run in Sweden would also do her hopes of returning to the Top 20 for the first time since 2009 no harm, although she will be wary of the dangers posed by the three other seeds in her section, Shvedova, Annika Beck and Polona Hercog.
Leading the way in the bottom half is No.2 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. While Cornet opens up against a qualifier, Pavlyuchenkova has been paired with the in-form Grace Min, who arrives fresh from her first ever WTA semifinal, in Bad Gastein.
The Russian has fallen at the first hurdle in two of her past four tournaments and should she avoid another early banana skin, she is projected to face María-Teresa Torró-Flor and Camila Giorgi in the quarter and semifinals, respectively.
This week will also see several of the WTA's leading names head to Turkey for the first hardcourt event of the summer, the Istanbul Cup.
Caroline Wozniacki, who was the recipient of a late wildcard, headlines the field and has been handed a tricky start, meeting the highly rated teenager Belinda Bencic in the first round. Joining her in the top half will be former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, Bojana Jovanovski, Klara Koukalova and Karolina Pliskova.
Istanbul has been a fixture on the WTA calendar for the past decade now, staging an International-level tournament from 2005 until 2010 and then the WTA Finals for the past three seasons.