Kim Clijsters is making her comeback to the WTA Tour at the Western & Southern Financial Group tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Clijsters was a former World No.1 and won the US Open singles title in 2005. The Belgian was runner-up in 4 Grand Slam singles finals and won 2 end of year WTA Championships. Clijsters retired 6 May 2007 to start a family. The mother of 18 month old Jada Ellie will definitely make an impact on the WTA Tour.
The 4 time runner-up in Grand Slam singles finals will rely on Wild Cards throughout the US Open Series as she will remain unranked until she has won points in 3 WTA events.
The Belgian will be an interesting player to follow, especially to see how high she can climb in the rankings and how far she can progress through the major WTA tournaments.
The Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open tournament draw consists of 56 players. The breakdown of the draw is as follows: 45 Direct Acceptances of which the top 16 are seeded, 3 Wild Cards and 8 Qualifiers.
This year the tournament has been upgraded to a Premier 5 level event. Accordingly, the tournament will show case its strongest ever field with 19 of the top 20 players entered (only Amelie Mauresmo is absent).
The star studded field will be battling it out for this major title. This event will provide a good guide as to who is in form, match tough and playing confidently leading into the upcoming US Open.
There were 8 qualifiers: Melanie Oudin, Yanina Wickmayer, Yaroslava Shvedova, Katernya Bondarenko, Ayumi Morita, Urszula Radwanska, Olga Govortsova and Tatjana Malek.
The seeding for the top 16 players who, provided they all win through to the round of 16 are:
(1) Dinara Safina versus (15) Dominika Cibulkova
(12) Marion Bartoli v. (6) Svetlana Kuznetsova
(3) Venus Williams v. (14) Flavia Pennetta
(10) Nadia Petrova v. (7) Vera Zvonareva
..which completes the head-to-head play-offs in the top half of the draw. In the bottom half of the draw, the players seeded to meet are:
(8) Caroline Wozniacki v. (11) Ana Ivanovic
(16) Virginie Razzano v. (4) Elena Dementieva
(5) Jelena Jankovic v. (9) Victoria Azarenka
(13) Agnieszka Radwanska v. (2) Serena Williams
The likelihood of all 16 seeds making it through to their seeded positions is next to zero. So watch out for some upsets.
The 3 wild cards given out by Tennis Canada were to the unranked Kim Clijsters, Maria Kirilenko and Meghann Shaughnessy.
Stay tuned for more about the Cincinnati Open and explanations of how tournament draws work, including detailing what Wild Cards, Qualifiers and Direct Acceptances are.
Today’s POST is dedicated to Pete Sampras. Sampras was born on this day in 1971 and won 14 Grand Slam singles titles; 2 Australian Open titles (1994 & 1997), 7 Wimbledon Championships (1993-95 & 1997-2000) and 5 US Open titles (1990, 1993, 1995, 1996 & 2002). Sampras is the only player to have been ranked the year end ATP World No.1 for 6 years in a row (1993 to 1998).
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