Heads will roll in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Play begins tomorrow, and check out some of the first round matches:
Dominika Cibulkova vs. Nadia Petrova
Julia Goerges vs. Sara Errani
Ekaterina Makarova vs. Samantha Stosur
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Ana Ivanovic
Caroline Wozniacki vs. Lucie Safarova
Marion Bartoli vs. Klara Zakopalova
The top four seeds are Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska, and Angelique Kerber. Radwanska is the defending champion. The top seeds have byes in the first round. In the second round, Doha champion Azarenka will get the winner of the Cibulkova-Petrova match. Azarenka is headed Kerber's way in the draw, though Kerber has her work cut out for her, with players like Petra Kvitova and Ekaterina Makarova (or Stosur) in her quarter.
Williams is set to clash with Radwanska, if things go as "planned," and there could be another Azarenka-Williams final. Sloane Stephens, Laura Robson and Varvara Lepchenko are all playing in Dubai, and any of them could pull an upset. Lepchenko has a tough first round against Hsieh Su-Wei, however, and if she wins that, she has to face either Makarova or Stosur (I'm doing my best not to say "she has to face Makarova").