Breaking down the Field
– Miami 2004
TOP 16 SEEDS:
Has had a fruitful year so far, won a title but still is lacking the consistency that saw him average an 11th place finish from 33 tournaments in 2003. Has first real big points to defend – runner-up points, so motivation is not a concern.
You will never get a slack performance from sandg, plays with perhaps the most patience and strategy out there. Already a finalist at 2 big events – Tokyo and Paris this year, he definitely is conditioned for this 2 week event.
Will easily be able to adapt to the hot conditions in Miami which are extremely similar to those in South Africa. Has had a rusty start to the year but seems back on track with a finalist finish in Doha, will need to be aggressive and believe in himself.
Speedster_ debuted here exactly a year ago so will have his first points coming off. Has improved dramatically in the space of one year, has not experienced many big tournaments with lots of players this year, but Indian Wells success makes him a player to look out for.
Streaky player came out smoking in the United Arab Emirates. Petosp is the defending champion here so the pressure is on.
Brash and vicious player with an attitude. Captured Tokyo already this year, but injured his groin in Dubai. He seems to be back in track with a solid tournament in Indian Wells, he will be hoping his Tier I tournament success continues.
A former semi-finalist here, the underestimated and underrated Spaniard should put in a decent performance here. However when will the title drought end?
8. K&J fan
He probably can go a long way with his talent alone, but the massive player field and pressure as Belgium’s No 1 may overhaul him. This should be a unique test for him.
Buitenzorg’s game style is simple, he opts for the upsets and hopes for the best. In large WTA Tournaments like Miami this is not such a bad strategy, hence he is a dangerous floater here.
Last year we commented how his “confidence was playing hide and seek” after his Wimbledon title. His confidence levels have proven the opposite in 2004, after a 3rd in the Gold Coast, he has continued his form to three more top 10 finishes. Watch out for a late run from aussie_stars here.
It is common for a lot of players to have a spectacular year and then find themselves in a mini slump struggling to emulate their form, (Hantuchova 2003 and now Schuettler 2004). Pintaled seems to be one of them, but who know, maybe she will be able to turn it around here.
Surpassed Grice as the top Singaporean and now in new territory as a player raked inside the top 15. Although a finalist at the Aussie Open, has yet to prove that he can continue to contend for major titles. Surrendered an early good position in Indian Wells, hoping to execute better here.
Haven’t heard much from the pesky and persistent Polish Sir. Was in a genuine position to win Acapulco but stumbled, doesn’t usually fancy big tournaments, but he did win Rome last year. Hardcourt is not his favourite surface however.
Like Je_ne_sais_quoi, is in new territory but has had the results to back it up. Has a heart bigger than most and isn’t afraid to release his emotions. Making his debut here.
He likes the American tournaments, remember when he won San Diego and Toronto in a week’s space last year. Always dangerous, but always unpredictable. Likely to reach the semis as he is to crumble from his first few picks.
Unlike aussie_stars, last year’s US Open champion’s game remains in muddled straits. Unlikely to live up to his seeding.
SEEDS 17-32 to watch:
Current leader of the vastly growing and improving Israeli contingent, has had reasonable success in 2004 but nothing spectacular.
Highest ranked American will receive home support here.
Sentimental favourite has been mixing it with the best youngsters all year, this should be set to continue.
The real world number one player this year, followed up his Aussie Open victory with a triumph in Acapulco. Seemed unsettled in Indian Wells by rushing his picks but if there is a player likely to rebound from a lackluster performance – it’s Geoffry.
Cracked into the top 30 for the first time a few weeks ago. Prefers one week tournaments than 2-week ones, but will make life miserable for her fellow players if he begins well.
Will be ready to rumble after resting whilst his peers went to battle in the Middle East. Like silent140, has an advantage of playing at home. His game adapts to hardcourts like these in Miami, quite nicely.
Not a candidate for any mental toughness awards but a solid player who is more than capable of finishing in the top 10.
Might be the last tournament at which there won't be a seeding alongside his name.
Doha winner has already specialised the qualities required to be a PAW champion, so she should know how to yield a high score total here.
Slovenian has played auspiciously to start the year at all events. A much better player than his ranking suggests.
Here's a player well worth keeping an eye on. Just the way he carefully chooses his picks in Indian Wells suggests he will contend for many more tournaments to come.