Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Preview of Amelia Island

The Bausch and Lomb Championships begin tomorrow, with Maria Sharapova in the same quarter with Dinara Safina, Alona Bondarenko, Anabel Medina Garrigues, and Caroline Wozniacki. The Daniela Hantuchova quarter also includes Lindsay Davenport and Agnes Szavay. Sharing a quarter of the draw with Patty Schnyder and Marion Bartoli are Virginie Razzano, Sybille Bammer and Alize Cornet. The last--and most interesting--quarter features Agnieszka Radwanska, Anna Chakvetadze, Amelie Mauresmo, and Victoria Azarenko, in addition to some potentially dangerous young players: Dominika Cibulkova, Sara Errani and Sorana Cirstea.

Sharapova is the top seed, of course, and Davenport and Mauresmo are past champions--Davenport has won the tournament three times (one of the more interesting finals of recent years was the 2005 contest between Davenport and Silvia Farina Elia, whose use of an expert clay trick bag confounded Davenport to no end, yet Davenport still found a way to win).

Withdrawn from the tournament are defending champion Tatiana Golovin, defending finalist and 2006 champion Nadia Petrova, Venus Williams, Elena Dementieva, and Vera Zvonareva.

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