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Feb 21st, 2005, 08:03 PM
February 20, 2005

Myskina Looking for Three in Doha

DOHA, Qatar - Two-time defending champion Anastasia Myskina returns to Doha this week, once again looking to jump start her season at the Qatar Total Open.

For the past two years, Myskina has come to Doha with hopes of winning her first title of the season and has walked away a happy customer. In 2003, Myskina began the year 4-2 and with only one quarterfinal appearance before winning the Doha title.

In 2004, Myskina had reached the quarterfinals in three straight events before finally getting her first breakthrough at Doha.

This year, the Russian player comes to Qatar with a similar start and hoping for an identical result to the previous two stays in Doha. Myskina has a 4-2 record this season with her best result coming from last week's semifinal stint in Antwerp.

Myskina will be the No.3 seed this week - behind top seed Amelie Mauresmo and No.2 seeded countrywoman Maria Sharapova. After a first round bye, Myskina will face the winner of Iveta Benesova or Conchita Martinez in the second round.

After failing in her effort to win the Paris [Indoors] title two weeks ago, Mauresmo put together a remarkable effort on Sunday to defeat Venus Williams in the Antwerp final. Now, Mauresmo will once again occupy the No.1 seed position in Doha.

Following a first round bye, Mauresmo will take on either wild card Ana Ivanovic or Maria Vento-Kabchi in the second round.

Sharapova will make her debut in Doha after a stellar start in 2005. She brings a 9-1 record on the year to the event, which includes her semifinal at the Australian Open and title at Tokyo [Pan Pacific]. The young Russian will see either Gisela Dulko or Anabel Medina Garrigues in the second round.

Other seeds hoping to walk away with the title this week include No.4 Alicia Molik, No.5 Patty Schnyder, No.6 Elena Bovina, No.7 Silvia Farina Elia and No.8 Paola Suarez. Both Bovina and Suarez will be making their season debuts in Doha.

This is the fifth year that Doha has hosted an event on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Former World No.1s Martina Hingis and Monica Seles were the winners of the first two singles titles in 2001 and 2002. Myskina has captured the last two Doha titles, defeating Elena Likhovtseva in the 2003 final and Svetlana Kuznetsova in last year's singles finale.


Feb 21st, 2005, 08:29 PM
Ana ivanovic might be a bigger threat than expected

Feb 22nd, 2005, 02:54 PM
Vera defended Memphis. The first Russian title defense of 2005.
This will be tougher for Anastasia. Going for her first threepeat.

Feb 22nd, 2005, 03:49 PM
is there a special trophy for her if she wins it the 3rd time? i thought martina hingis got something last year...