well, i liked my own post so much that i want to pus it here too, lol
once again the first round features a real PAW-dare regarding shahar - can she beat panova?
if the PAWs are any indication of an upset - yes, shahar can.
some stats -
shahar's 2005 campaign is on a roll - reached the QF of two tournaments already, as well as reaching the final round of qualifying in the aussie open. her record so far stands at a remarkable 12-3, with two of those losses going to eventual tournament winner, and the last of them to the extremelly talented sesil kartencheva.
panova though, had a quite a heck of a start as well. she may only stand 4-4, but she's already reached a QF in aukland and the third round of the first grand slam, including an upset against talented jankovic.
her losses too were to great players - top seeds twice: italian farina elia, and american veteran amy fraziar. the last of the three losses went to molik, another player on the run this year.
once again, as expected on the WTAtour - shahar faces another chance for an upset win. last week she improved her best win to date one place - from 67 (srebotnik last year in seuol) to 66 - the 6th seeded marta domochowska. this week it won't be a piece of cake against the 81st ranked russian (her ranking tomorrow, according to theboiledegg)
another difference between last week and this one is that panova has already featured in the "first round loss" this year - just last week, losing to jill craybas in 3s, the last going 7-5 the americans way.
shahar still has a week before last years hyderabad points will come off. this means she has a chance for a top 100 finish already! the top 100 point cut is the 357.5 points of laura granville - that means shahar will have to acclaim 55.25 points - not an easy task, but the chances will be boosted should shahar win the match - 12 round points plus 4 more quality points.
panova is seeded third - a bad omen for shahar in india - last year's debut was halted by asia's sweetheart tammy tansagarne - seeded third...
if shahar wants to prove she's consistent - her's a very good way to show it.
i wish her the very best of luck.
i personnaly think she can, and will make it.
(tried to give it a WTA style analysis, lol - tell me if you liked it! and please forgive any mistake i might have made!)