Fans guide to the week ahead: March 2 2009
Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:33
When? March 2-8
Where? Monterrey, Mexico
Event type? WTA International
Surface? Outdoor hard
Prize money? $220,000
Draw Size? 32 Singles, 16 Doubles
Big names? In preparation for the forthcoming hardcourt events in Indian Wells and Miami, the players leave the red clay in Acapulco for the hard courts of the Sierra Madre Tennis Club this week. Four of the womens top 20 are present with Polish world No.10 Agnieszka Radwanska topping the draw this week as she vies for her fifth singles title of her career. However, she might have to fend off Italian third seed Flavia Pennetta in the semis if both players get that far the world No.15 made the final last week in Mexico where she lost to an inspired Venus Williams.
Other seeds hoping to make an impact in Mexico are Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, Chinas Jie Zheng and Na Li and Hungarian Agnes Szavay.
Davis Cup World Group first round ties
Argentina v Netherlands (in Argentina)
Czech Republic v France (in Czech Republic)
United States v Switzerland (in United States)
Croatia v Chile (in Croatia)
Sweden v Israel (in Sweden)
Romania v Russia (in Romania)
Germany v Austria (in Germany)
Spain v Serbia (in Spain)
Whats what then?
Therell be an exciting feast of ultra competitive tennis served up this weekend as a multitude of the worlds best take to the courts in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group from Friday to Sunday.
Perhaps the pick of the weekends ties comes in the form of the Spain versus Serbia meeting as Mallorcan matador Rafael Nadal returns to competition in Benidorm after a brief injury break. On the other side of the net will be world No.3 Novak Djokovic who should be brimming with confidence after rediscovering some form to take the Dubai title last week.
The US team takes on a Federer-less Swiss team after the world No.2 withdrew from the tie with a back complaint. Andy Roddick, James Blake and the Bryan brothers look strong on paper as Switzerland are left with world No.17 Stanislas Warwinka as their No.1.
In Argentina, the home side will be hoping to begin their campaign strongly after losing last years final on home soil to Spain. David Nalbandian leads the South American side, while Juan Monaco, Juan Ignacio Chela and Lucas Arnold-Ker make up the team. Chela and Monaco should be feeling confident after recent successes on the South American clay court circuit.
The French team consisting of ‘young musketeers’ Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet will be hoping youth is on their side as they take on a slightly older Czech team in the form of world No.16 Radek Stepanek, Jan Hernych, Lukas Dlouhy and Tomas Berdych.
Other top players in action this weekend will be Croatias Marin Cilic as his side host visitors Chile and Marat Safin and Dmitry Tursunov who travel to Romania as part of the Russian squad.
If you fancy taking in some live tennis in Malmo this weekend, you cant. The Swedish authorities have decided to stage their tie against Israel behind closed doors. Look on the bright side, at least there wont be any Mexican Waves
Check out the many zonal ties taking place around the world this weekend by visiting the official Davis Cup website.