Anna said in interview last week that she is very anxious to win a round at her hometown tournament. But as an unseeded player you are always up against the luck of the draw. I'm going to be more cautious in my expectations than you, MaretBellyButton.
First round is really tough as expected. Safina is a top ten player now. She had a rough time in Stuttgart this week while Anna's been in Moscow all week getting some R&R and preparing, so that could help her. Anna will still have to play extremely well but she can do it!
In terms of the chase for rankings, Anna is still not too far off Top 20 but she needs to win a round here to keep on track. There are several other players jockeying for position including Tatiana Golovin and Marion Bartoli who have picked up lots of points in Stuttgart and Tokyo respectively. Mary Pierce isn't defending her Moscow title so will drop out of Top 20 and below Anna this week.