Week #1 preview: Brisbane, Auckland, Hopman Cup, Hong Kong exhibition

Brisbane (AUS), International, $220,000
2010 season starts in Australia with this International tournament that this year has an extraordinary interest as this is the first appareance of former WTA #1 Justine Henin on her comeback. There is also a big expectation to watch fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters, who came back to the Tour last year to win the US Open. And it is also interesting to see former Top-10 Alicia Molik also coming back to the WTA Tour and if former #1 Ana Ivanovic has finally overcome her last season slump. Nadia Petrova, Daniela Hantuchova and Jelena Dokic are other big names featured.

Auckland (NZL), International, $220,000

As usual, this first week of the season a tournament is held in New Zealand. Italians Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone, Chinese Na Li and Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, who received an invitation after her 1-year ban was lifted, are the top seeds and main favourites for the title. Other candidates for the title include Aravane Rezai, Shahar Peer, Dominika Cibulkova, Sania Mirza and Maria Kirilenko.

Hyundai Hopman Cup, Perth (AUS)
The mixed teams competition is a classic in this first week of the year. This year the teams of Australia, Spain, Romania and USA will compete for a place in the final in the group A, with Russia, Great Britain, Germany and Asian champion Kazakhstan in group B. Samantha Stosur, Maria Jose Martinez, Sorana Cirstea, Melanie Oudin, Elena Dementieva, Laura Robson, Sabine Lisicki and Yaroslava Shvedova are the WTA players representing their countries.

Hong Kong Tennis Classic, Exhibition

Some of the best world players will be in the exhibition touranment in Hong Kong, featuring a novel format with 4 teams, each one with 2 top WTA players and a retired ATP player. Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka will play for the European team, Venus Williams and Gisela Dulko for the American Team, Maria Sharapova and Vera Zvonareva for the Russian team and Jie Zheng and Ayumi Morita for the Asia-Pacific team.

No comments: