Russians ready to dominate Indian Wells
Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:34
The women’s draw for the $4.5 million BNP Paribas Open has been made with the top end of the seedings dominated by Russians. The men’s draw is made on Tuesday.
With the absence of the Williams sisters in California, the top seed in Indian Wells is Aussie Open runner-up Dinara Safina and she will open up against either Bulgarian Tsetvana Pironkova or Kiwi Marina Erakovic in the second round. All 32 seeds receive first round byes.
Safina has been placed in the same half as fourth seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva who could have to get past in-form Czech Iveta Benesova in the third round.
Also in the top half are former world No.1 and 17th seed Amelie Mauresmo, ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki, tenth seed Marion Bartoli sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and eighth seed Victoria Azarenka, who has won two titles already this year.
The second seed at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is Jelena Jankovic and she is joined by fellow Serb and defending champ Ana Ivanovic in the bottom half of the draw.
Third seed Elena Dementieva will no doubt take some beating, while accomplished hard court players Flavia Pennetta (12th seed), Alize Cornet (11th seed) and Dominika Cibulkova (14th seed) are all in the same half.
British No.1 and Tennishead blogger Anne Keothavong will face Olga Govortsova in round one she will be making her Indian Wells main draw debut.
The winner will face 28th seed Peng Shuai from China in the second round before a potential meeting with Safina in round three.
Just seven places separate Govortsova and Keothavong in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings, the Belarussian is 58 to Keothavongs current listing of No.51.
The 25-year-old from Middlesex will go into the first round clash, which will take place on either Wednesday or Thursday, having won their only encounter.
Keothavong enjoyed a comfortable 6-2, 6-0 victory over the 20-year-old from Minsk on indoor carpet in Poland back in 2006.
WTA Tour website
Read Annes first Indian Wells blog