Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Who's Coming To Town?

The player lists have been confirmed for a while now, so it’s time to have at look at who’s coming! Starting with the women…

The field for the upcoming ASB Classic is not quite as strong as it was in 2007 or 2006. I believe there is some kind of restriction against top ten players playing in Auckland this year, but I don’t know the details. If anyone does know, please tell me, I’d be interested to find out. Regular tournament supporters such as Daniela Hantuchova, 2006 champion Marion Bartoli and reigning 2007 champion Jelena Jankovic are currently all in the top ten. Good for them, bad for Auckland.

But it is still a very strong field, and one that I’m really looking forward to seeing.

The top four seeds should be Vera Zvonareva, Katarina Srebotnik, Maria Kirilenko and Michaella Krajicek. Now that’s a strong line up. Zvonareva has been the Classic’s beaten finalist the past two years, and everybody will be hoping that she can go far this time as well. Srebotnik is a very skilled player who has had lots of success. In fact in 2005 Srebotnik not only won the ASB Classic singles title, she also won the doubles title with the woman she beat in the singles final, Shinobu Asagoe. That’s neat. Kirilenko is a star. The glamorous and amorous Russian has played at Auckland before, but I’ve never seen her play so I can’t wait to see her. Plus she wears pretty dresses. And it will be Dutch phenom Michaella Krajicek’s first time in Auckland, that’s exciting. Will she be sporting her short haircut? I hope so.

Any one of those women could win the whole tournament, and that’s no stretch.

But the main attraction of the event has got to be Lindsay Davenport. The former world number one is the biggest star to ever play at the ASB Classic. And the new mother has proved that she can still play winning tennis. Who wasn’t impressed with the results she got after her return last season? To borrow a phrase from the Nature Boy Ric Flair, she may not be as good as she once was, but she can be as good once as she ever was. Davenport is one of the favourites to win this thing. It will be very interesting to see where she gets placed in the draw and which seeds she is close to.

Okay, I’ll quickly name drop some of the other players I’m excited about:

Anabel Medina Garrigues, she’s good! Tamira Paszek, popular young prodigy! Eleni Daniilidou, two-time champ, she’s tough to beat in Stanley Street! Camille Pin, semi-finalist last year, she’s got points to defend! Meilen Tu, former champ! Akiko Morigami, two hands on both sides! Martina Muller, I like her! Anastasia Rodionova, watch out, she got disqualified once! Ashley Harkleroad, she’s great fun! Aravane Rezai, she’s got game!

Like I said, I think it’s a great field. I just hope that everybody shows up as promised. If they do it should be a terrific six days of tennis.

Next time the men!

I like pictures. Here's one of Vera Zvonareva with a smile on her dial.

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