GUADALAJARA, Mexico - The inaugural edition of the Abierto Zapopan 125K has drawn an compelling field of up-and-comers and players seeking to recapture their best form, with Alizé Cornet and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova as the top two seeds.
No.1 seed Cornet also faces the first round's most intriguing match-up against 19-year-old wildcard Sofya Zhuk. The pair previously met in the first round of Indian Wells just over a year ago, which the Russian took 7-5, 6-4 for her maiden WTA win. However, Zhuk has not won a main draw match at WTA level in the ensuing 12 months, and with those points dropping off this week will need a deep run in Guadalajara to maintain her current World No.154 ranking.
Schmiedlova is one of a number of players who will be aiming to end lean spells in Mexico. The Slovak, who faces Mandy Minella in the first round, reached her fifth WTA final in Hobart in January, but has not won a match since then. Also entering the tournament with negative 2019 win-loss records are No.5 seed Evgeniya Rodina (2-7), who has a tough opener against 20-year-old compatriot Anna Blinkova; Heather Watson (2-6), who starts against Nao Hibino; Olga Danilovic (3-6), who faces a qualifier; and Ana Bogdan (0-4), who takes on former World No.12 Yanina Wickmayer in the first round.
In better form is the unseeded former World No.31 Zarina Diyas, who reached the semifinals of the Indian Wells 125K two weeks ago and backed that up by qualifying for the BNP Paribas Open main draw this week. The Kazakh will be a tough test for No.3 seed Tatjana Maria in the first round, with the victor then facing either Watson or Hibino. Meanwhile, looming for the winner of Cornet and Zhuk could be 21-year-old Veronika Kudermetova, the Russian who cracked the Top 100 last month after a stellar start to the season that included a quarterfinal showing in Shenzhen and wins over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Belinda Bencic.
Former World No.5 Sara Errani's latest comeback also continues in Mexico. The 2012 Roland Garros runner-up has won just one out of five matches this year, and last week saw her ranking plummet to World No.234 - but she will be bolstered by her 2-0 head-to-head lead over opening opponent, No.4 seed Irina-Camelia Begu.
ABIERTO ZAPOPAN 2019 DRAW
 Alizé Cornet (FRA) vs. [WC] Sofya Zhuk (RUS)
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) vs. Qualifier/Lucky Loser
Ana Bogdan (ROU) vs. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
Qualifier/Lucky Loser vs/  Kristyna Pliskova (CZE)
 Tatjana Maria (GER) vs. Zarina Diyas (KAZ)
Heather Watson (GBR) vs. Nao Hibino (JPN)
Qualifier/Lucky Loser vs. Olga Danilovic (SRB)
Anna Blinkova (RUS) vs.  Evgeniya Rodina (RUS)
 Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) vs. Marie Bouzkova (CZE)
Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) vs. Anhelina Kalinina (UKR)
Fanny Stollar (HUN) vs. [WC] Renata Zarazua (MEX)
Sara Errani (ITA) vs.  Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)
 Magda Linette (POL) vs. Qualifier/Lucky Loser
Qualifier/Lucky Loser vs. Qualifier/Lucky Loser
Fiona Ferro (FRA) vs. [WC] Giuliana Olmos (MEX)
Mandy Minella (LUX) vs.  Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK)