Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: sailing my ship
I'm completely shocked that Suarez is unseeded for this tournament. However, looking at her current ranking, she is at 29, having lost points for not defending her finalist showing at Acapulco last year. Paola has quarterfinal points to defend at Sarasota and quite a few points to defend during the clay court season, including a quarterfinal showing at Roland Garros. A win over Jelena Dokic, the reigning champion, would give Suarez a lot of confidence.
Right now, Jelena Dokic leads their h-to-h 1-0 with a Fed Cup win in 1999. However, that win came on a hardcourt and clay is Suarez's best surface.
The only element that may hurt Suarez is that she has had some injury problems this season, and it is difficult to say whether she has conquered them yet.
Dokic, on the other hand, has to defend her championships points and has struggled early this season with three consecutive first round losses at Antwerp, Scottsdale and Indian Wells. She made the quarterfinals of Miami, but a hard court is much different from a clay court. However, Dokic did well on clay last year, winning Sarasota, making the semifinals of Amelia Island and Hamburg, the finals of Strasbourg and the quarterfinals of Roland Garros. Like Suarez, Jelena has a lot to defend and a good start at Sarasota could help her confidence immensely.
Looking at their records, I think I will give a slight edge to Dokic.