SONY OPEN TENNIS
Williams In The Hunt For Sixth Miami Title
World No. 1 Serena Williams will look to win her sixth Sony Open Tennis title as she headlines a blockbuster field at Crandon Park. The American top seed lifted the trophy in 2002-04 and 2007-08 and finished runner-up in 1999 and 2009.
The 31-year-old Williams is playing her first tournament since reclaiming the World No. 1 WTA Ranking in Dubai, where she reached the final (l. to Azarenka). She opens her campaign against either former Top 10 player Flavia Pennetta or Johanna Larsson. Upcoming Briton Heather Watson or Belgian No. 31 seed Yanina Wickmayer are potential third-round opponents for Williams, with seeds Dominika Cibulkova and Lucie Safarova also in the American’s section.
Last week’s Indian Wells runner-up Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 9 seed in Miami, is a possible quarterfinal challenge for Williams. The Dane, who was a semifinalist here last year (l. to Sharapova), is projected to meet Li Na in the fourth round on the Chinese woman’s comeback from the ankle injury she suffered in her Australian Open final defeat. The 31-year-old Na has never advanced past the quarterfinals at Crandon Park in six previous visits.
View Singles Draw
In a stacked second quarter of the draw, fourth seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska will be challenged in the early stages by the likes of seventh seed Petra Kvitova, No. 10 Marion Bartoli, three-time former champion Venus Williams and upcoming American Sloane Stephens. Radwanska, who overcame Maria Sharapova in the 2012 final, opens her title defence against either Su-Wei Hsieh or Lesia Tsurenko. She has a projected third-round contest with Mona Barthel, the No. 27 seed, and could face Williams or Stephens in the fourth round.
World No. 3 Victoria Azarenka and last week’s Indian Wells champion Sharapova are on a semifinal collision course in the bottom half of the draw. The 23-year-old Azarenka, who lifted the trophy at Crandon Park in 2009 (d. S. Williams) and 2011 (d. Sharapova), could face Madison Keys in her opener, should the American wild card beat a qualifier in the first round. The Belarusian is in the same section of the draw as 2012 WTA Newcomer of the Year Laura Robson, No. 15 seed Roberta Vinci, No. 20 Carla Suarez Navarro and No. 32 Alize Cornet.
Sixth seed Angelique Kerber is a possible quarterfinal opponent for Azarenka. The German is coming off a semifinal in Indian Wells (l. to Wozniacki) and opens her campaign against either 2010 Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone or a qualifier. Also in that section are 2008 runner-up Jelena Jankovic and 11th seed Nadia Petrova.
Sharapova looks to continue her winning streak when she faces either Canadian wild card Eugenie Bouchard or a qualifier after a first-round bye. The Russian’s first seeded test could come against No. 29 Elena Vesnina in the third round and she is projected to meet either No. 21 seed Klara Zakopalova or No. 14 Maria Kirilenko in the fourth round. Sharapova beat Kirilenko on Friday in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.
Twelfth seed Ana Ivanovic or eighth seed Sara Errani are possible quarterfinal opponents for Sharapova. Ivanovic opens against either Annika Beck or Urszula Radwanska, with 2006 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova a potentially dangerous, unseeded, challenge in the third round. Similarly, former World No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova is unseeded and could meet Errani in the second round, should she beat Tsvetana Pironkova.
Get the VIP treatment and go behind the scenes with the 2013 Priceless Experiences Program Presented by MasterCard. Go
This exclusive venue features an upscale restaurant, trendy bar and lounge area which allow guests the opportunity to escape the heat.Go