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Fans’ guide to the week: Feb 13-19


 

Originally published on: 10/02/12 13:18

ATP ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament
When? February 13-19
Where? Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Event type: ATP World Tour 500
Surface: Indoor, hard
Prize money: €1,207,500
Draw size: S-32 D-16
2011 champion: Robin Soderling

Roger Federer returns to Rotterdam for the first time since 2005 – when he beat Ivan Ljubicic to collect the trophy. The 30-year-old Swiss will be looking for a first tournament win of 2012 and to bounce back from his eighteenth career defeat to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

A strong field, including Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin Del Potro, Alexandr Dolgopolov and Richard Gasquet, will join the Swiss in The Netherlands.

Berdych arrives in Rotterdam fresh from picking up his seventh career title in Montpellier, while Juan Martin del Potro will be keen to avenge his quarter-final loss to Federer at the Australian Open given the chance, having proved more than capable prior to his lengthy absence from the tour in 2010 as a result of a wrist injury.

World No.18 Dolgopolov is making his first appearance in Rotterdam, but the Kiev native may have to secure a maiden win against any of the top three seeds if he is to claim his second career title, having never before beaten Federer, Berdych or del Potro in four contests.

ATP SAP Open
When? February 13-19 2012
Where? San Jose, United States
Event type: ATP World Tour 250
Surface: Indoor, hard
Prize money: $531,000
Draw size: S-28 D-16
2011 champion: Milos Raonic

Big-hitting Canadian Milos Raonic, named 2011 Newcomer of the Year, was a dark horse for many during this year’s Australian Open, having burst on to the scene and advanced to the fourth round in Melbourne a year previously. Despite falling to Aussie favourite Lleyton Hewitt a round earlier this time out, he has already picked up two ATP 250 titles – his first coming at this event – and proved his mettle as a rising star.

He faces a strong field to retain his maiden ATP crown  – Gael Monfils, Andy Roddick and Radek Stepanek are among those taking part in the second oldest tennis tournament in the US.

A three-time champion in San Jose, Roddick will look to avenge his defeat to Fernando Verdasco in the 2010 final in his last appearance at the tournament, while flamboyant Frenchman Monfils is bidding for his fifth ATP title after losing out to Berdych in the Montpellier showpiece last week.

ATP Brasil Open
When? February 13-19
Where? Sao Paulo, Brazil
Event type: ATP World Tour 250
Surface: Indoor, clay
Prize money: $475,300
Draw size: S-28 D-16
2011 champion: Nicolas Almagro

Brazilian No.1 Thomaz Bellucci leads home hopes in Brazil. The left-hander reached the final here in 2009 and will look to go one better in 2012.

Standing in his way are a plethora of players; from world No.12 Gilles Simon, who tops the bill, to Fernando Verdasco, who will be desperately seeking some form after a poor 2012 season thus far and a frustrating five-set loss to Australian Bernard Tomic in the first round of the Aussie Open.

Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina reached the semi-finals of the Vina del Mar and will hope to build on that run as he seeks a seventh career title at the Complexo Desportivo Constancio Vaz Guimaraes.

WTA Qatar Ladies Open 2012
When? February 13-18 2012
Where? Doha, Qatar
Event type: WTA Premier
Surface: Outdoor, hard
Prize money: $2,168,400
Draw size: S-56 D-28
2011 champion: Vera Zvonareva

It is the 10th anniversary of the Qatar Total Open and the majority of the biggest names in women’s tennis will be there to celebrate. New world No.1 and Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka returns to Doha for the second year in a row. A brilliant start to the year has seen the Belarusian win her maiden slam and topple Caroline Wozniacki off her post. Can she continue her impressive run?

If so, she’ll have to overcome a tough field. Caroline Wozniacki, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, US Open winner Sam Stosur and defending champion Vera Zvonareva all stand in the Belarusian’s way.

Doha tournament director, Karim Alami, said of Azarenka’s presence in the field:

“She is now world No.1 and having her here in Doha as the top seed is excellent.”

WTA XX Copa BBVA Colsanitas
When? February 13-18 2012
Where? Bogota, Colombia
Event type: WTA International
Surface: Outdoor, red clay
Prize money: $220,000
Draw size: S-32 D-16
2011 champion: Dominguez Lino

Held in the Colombian capital of Bogota, this venue has hosted tournaments including the Davis Cup and the Colombia Open ATP Tour. With 280 points up for grabs defending champion Lourdes Dominguez Lino will look to pick up her third title here – the setting of her first ever WTA win in 2006.

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