Week #40 preview: Stuttgart, Tokyo, Tashkent

Stuttgart (GER), Tier II, $650,000
Despite being a Tier II, Stuttgart tournament always presents a great field, that would be even great for a Tier I. This years the presence of 16 of the Top 20 players is expected, including the Top 3 players in the world: Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina, who are also fighting for WTA #1. Of course these players will be the main candidates for the title, but players such as Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Venus Williams should be also taken into account.

Tokyo (JAP), Tier III, $175,000
The smallest of the two tournaments held in Tokyo will take place this week. Danish teen Caroline Wozniacki will be the top seed and main favourite, but she will have very dangerous opponents in Spanish Anabel Medina, Chinese Jie Zheng, Estonian Kaia Kanepi, Israeli Shahar Peer and last week finalists in Seoul, Russian Maria Kirilenko and Australian Samantha Stosur. 38 year old and former top 5 making a surprising and succesful comeback this year, Kimiko Date-Krumm, has been awarded a Wildcard for the Main Draw.

Tashkent (UZB), Tier IV, $145,000
This Tier IV in Uzbekistan is one of the weakest tournaments on WTA Tour. This year it will only feature 7 Top 100 players. Chinese Shuai Peng, Russian Olga Govortsova and Romanian Sorana Cirstea are the top seeds and main favourites for the title, although local player Akgul Amanmuradova will count with the support of the crowd. It will also be a good chance to watch young upcoming players, such as Magdalena Rybarikova, Urszula Radwanska, Arantxa Rus and 15 years old sensation Michelle Larcher de Brito.

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