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Fans’ guide to the week: July 26″August 1

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Originally published on: 27/07/10 10:43

Farmers Classic

When? July 26 – August 1
Where? Los Angeles, USA
Event Type: ATP World Tour 250
Surface: Hard
Prize Money: $619,500
Draw Size: S-28, D-16
2009 Champion: Sam Querrey

Andy Murray makes his debut at the Farmers Classic as the US Open Series continues in Los Angeles after picking up a late wildcard. This will be Murray’s first tournament since his semi-final run at Wimbledon and as the No.1 seed he looks set make an impression on the hard-courts.

The world No.4 has to fight off some tough contenders, most notably in-form Mardy Fish, who he is on course to meet in the quarters. Fish has beaten Murray twice this year and after winning the Atlanta Tennis Championships last week, will be looking to make it three. Can Murray hold him off?

Defending champion Sam Querrey has moved over 10 places in the rankings since his win last year. After reaching a career high of 19 this month and winning 3 titles in 2010, most recently at Queens, Querrey will want to continue his success on home turf. Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis also hopes to improve after a struggling since his win in Sydney.

Other contenders hoping to make an impression are James Blake, Feliciano Lopez, Ernest Gulbis and Janko Tipsarevic.

 

ATP Studena Croatia Open

When? July 26 – August 1
Where? Umag Croatia

Event Type: ATP Tour 250
Surface: Clay
Prize Money: €450,000
Draw Size: S-28, D-16
2009 Champion: Nikolay Davydenko

Nikolay Davydenko can’t seem to get enough of the dirt as he returns to Croatia to defend his title. After losing in the third round to eventual champion Andrey Golubev in Hamburg last week, the Russian hopes to put an end to early round exits. 

In his way is home favourite Ivan Ljubicic who hopes to find the form that helped him win Indian Wells earlier this year. Since then, he has suffered with an intercostal muscle injury and hasn’t progressed beyond the third round anywhere, most notably making a shock exit in the first round of Wimbledon. Ljubicic and Davydenko are 4-4 in their head to head, the Russian winning their last meeting 7-6(5) 7-5 at the Paris Masters in 2008.

No.2 seed Jurgen Melzer has had quite a year and will want to continue the form that saw him win in SW19 and reach the final in Hamburg last week. Can Jurgen make two finals in two weeks?  No.4 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero will also want to go one better than last year’s final appearance and claim a third ATP Tour title this year.

Germany’s Philipp Petzschner makes his debut at the tournament and Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela returns after being knocked out in the first round in 2009.

 

Bank of the West Classic

When? July 26 – August 1
Where? Stanford, USA
Event Type: WTA Premier
Surface: Hard
Prize Money: $700,000
Draw Size: S-32, D-16
2009 Champion: Marion Bartoli

Marion Bartoli is going to have a difficult time defending her title as Stanford becomes home to a whole host of world-class players as they battle it out for the Bank of the West Classic title.

Those looking to impress at the WTA Premier event include strong contenders Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Agniezska Radwanska, all seeded at this year’s tournament.

No.3 seed Radwanska is chasing her first title in two years, and faces possible match ups with Daniela Hantuchova and former No.1 Dinara Safina.

After a difficult grass season, Sam Stosur returns as the No.1 seed in her first tournament since her premature exit from Wimbledon. Elena Dementieva occupies the No.2 spot returning after calf-strain prevented her from competing at Wimbledon and finishing her semi-final match against Francesca Schiavone at Roland Garros.

Also on the injury comeback is former No.1 Dinara Safina who was given a wildcard into the competition. Another wild card was given to Serb Ana Ivanovic, whose search for a turnaround in form continues.

 

Istanbul Cup

When? July 26 – Aug 1st
Where? Istanbul, Turkey

Event Type: WTA International
Surface: Hard
Prize Money: $ 220,000
Draw Size: S-32, D-16
2009 Champion: Vera Dushevina

French Open Champ Francesca Schiavone tops the seeds at the Istanbul Cup this week competing in her first tournament Wimbledon. She faces Brit Anne Keothavong in the first round which looks to be a challenging meeting.

Wimbledon semi-finalists Petra Kvitova and Tsvetana Pironkova also make an appearance and are ready to show what they’ve got on the hard-courts. Kvitova plays 20 year old Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, who has reached the last eight twice in the past three weeks.

British No.1 Elena Baltacha joins Keothavong this week and if Anne can get leap over the Shiavone hurdle, the two could meet in an all-British second round clash. Baltacha leads the head to head 2-1 winning their most recent encounter at Eastbourne in 2007. It will be interesting to see which one survives. Good luck ladies!

Vera Dushevina also returns to defend her title, along with compatriot Anna Pavlyuchenkova and former world No.7 Swiss Patty Schnyder.

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