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Source: Middle East News Online
Publication date: 2002-02-03

Doha - GUTSY Monica Seles of the United States will headline the second Qatar TotalFinaElf Open alongwith glamourpuss Anna Kournikova of Russia and Frenchwoman Sandrine Testud.

Also tipped for participation is one of the two Spaniards Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario or Conchita Martinez. But their playing in the $170,000 tourney will depend on a pull-out from the field of 32 which will be declared in the coming days.

Announcing this yesterday, Qatar Tennis Federation chief Ali al-Fardan also said that defending champion Martina Hingis had decided to rest her tired feet and would not be playing this time round in Doha. Last year she had defeated Testud in the final to become the first women's champion.

Seles is best known for her remarkable comeback after a long gap when she was stabbed in the back by a fanatical fan of Steffi Graf in Hamburg in 1993. Then reigning at the top, she did not pick up the racquet for more than two years.

Seles' ranking went into a free-fall before she stepped back on court to win several Comeback Player of the Year awards.

At present, Seles is 10th on the rankings tree and has won nine Grand Slams. The 29- year-old American has brought to the purpose more than $13 million and pocketed as many as 51 singles titles.

Kournikova, on the other hand, is still fishing for her first singles title on the Tour even after more than 90 matches. It has been a proverbial case of so-near-yet-so- far for the photogenic Russian, whose million-dollar endorsements have been more responsible for keeping her in the news, than her tennis prowess.

Kournikova's world ranking has plummeted to 99 after she was sidelined for eight months last year with an injury.

But this in no sense detracts from the magic of her game. She made her professional debut six years ago as a promising teenager and Doha could well be the place where she ends her title-drought.

One of Anna's several off-the-court distinctions is that in 2000, she was one of five female tennis players named so far to the Forbes magazine Power 100 in the Fame and Fortune list at No. 58. And, she was also selected for the 1998 People Magazine "50 Most Beautiful People" list, one of only two athletes to make the grade.

Testud is a veteran on the Tour but still a formidable force. She effortlessly made it to the final last time and presents the biggest threat to the other stars.

There will be a toss-up between Martinez and Sanchez-Vicario for the fourth wild card but WTA's decision on this will be known only after Monday. Both of them have won Grand Slams and are fully capable of causing an upset or two despite their recent decline in form.
 

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Monica has played:

Hopman, week off, Open, Tokyo, Paris and is listed for Doho and Dubai? :eek: :eek:

That is a lot of Tennis, by anyone's standards...
 

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Well, what the hell is Anna doing??? this will mean she is playing every week.. until after the ericsson.. Sure she did not play too much in Melbourne (but there was doubles, that she played)

Well with this schedule she better not plays doubles in any of the events... except for Indian Wells and the Ericsson..

Sure I can see how she wants to climb the ranking quickly. but it is pointless, if she gets injured and can not benefit from it..

Anyway, I suppose she know what she is doing. but I don't like it :(

Oh BTW I posted this article in the correct thread :)
 

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Anna should have rested two weeks and played Scottsdale before Indian Wells/Miami

this is too much

Just hope shee stays fit
 

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As a Monica fan, I am thinking the very same thing about HER! And she gets farther into most tournaments than Anna, so the schedule is even more grueling for her. :fiery:

At least, after this week, Monica should be getting first-round Byes.

What a VERY strange decision for both of these injury-prone players. :eek:
 

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Great draw for a tier III . Hope Arantxa gets that wild card; a few more points wouldn´t go amiss before she starts defending...

Its true though, there seems to be quite a few players playing week in week out on different continents at the moment.
 

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Monica should really have skipped Paris, then the schedule wouldn't sound so bad. Playing that grueling final in Tokyo, then rushing to Paris and having no Bye there to give her a little rest, that is really tough.

She will really have to win the title there to justify this! And her draw is NOT easy.
 

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Didn't Sandrine Testud play something like 8 weeks in a row last year? That was crazy. Martina Hingis had the whacky schedule last year. This year it seems to be Monica and Anna's turn. Slow down, girls. There are still 11 months left of this year!
 

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I agree with all voices here. Both Monica's and Anna's schedules for the next several weeks are insane! I can understand wanting to play while you still have momentum or wanting to get a higher ranking, but these two are so injury prone they are asking for injury especially on the upcoming hardcourts which are really tough on a players feet, ankle and joints. Last year, when both Monica and Anna got injured (right about IW's and Scottsdale) both ladies cited the pounding of hard courts as one of the reasons they sustained foot injuries.

However, it is their choice. Both Monica and Anna have been pro long enough to know what their bodies will take or not. However when you consider the schedule that both ladies are currently keeping, especially Anna with exhibition schedule last fall and off the court activities in between, I think both players are headed for burnout by the middle of the season.
 

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OMG why Monica she'll get injured at this rate playing so many weeks in a row!Well more points for Monica=Better ranking!:D
 

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I don't know what's in Seles'mind either! Maybe she's working so hard to have a nice #seeds at RG!!!!
 

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Anyone who says Anna is not dedicated to tennis must be crazy. She obviously wants to win and get her ranking back up. I, too, am worried about an injury. She wants to get her ranking up so bad I guess she is trying not to think about it. Monica is to be worried about as well, as she suffered from a similar injury. I just hope that these two can handle all that tennis!
 

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Vanity said:
Anyone who says Anna is not dedicated to tennis must be crazy. She obviously wants to win and get her ranking back up. I, too, am worried about an injury. She wants to get her ranking up so bad I guess she is trying not to think about it. Monica is to be worried about as well, as she suffered from a similar injury. I just hope that these two can handle all that tennis!
Very good point Vanity, but if Anna and Monica end up hurt again, which very well could happen, then both ladies will be back to square one!:(
 

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I don't think it is a big problem. She is unseeded, she is losing quite a few early rounds, she'll be losing some more of those because she will draw Top players in early rounds in some tournaments anyway. So the number of tournaments shoudl not deceive. She is not playing as much of tennis as she played, say. same time last year. The problem is that to play less she has to actually play more. Her current realistic goal should be to get to the seeding zone as soon as possible to cut on early losses. Then she'll be able to play less. The first step should be Top 35-40, which would practically guarantee her seed at 96/128 draw tournaments. Basically, she is 3-4 decent tournaments ( SF, QF ) away from that. It is absolutely critical for Anna to get there by RG/Wimbledon time at the very latest. It would be just great ( even if very unlikely ) to get there by IW time or Ericsson time. And the only way to increase her chances for that is playing more.
 

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Very good point apoet...

Monica recovers better from injuries than Anna.. she will come back and reach semis/finals right away, as she did last year...
Anna takes awhile to find her form after coming back from injury.
 

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Hope Arantxa gets in! :)
 

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I agree with all of you, the two of them are playing far too much tennis, especially Anna, she needs to take it easy. I just hope that she doesn't even think of playing doubles though.

YS does make a good point though, the unfortunate thing with Anna not being unseeded, she may have a few first round losses or early losses, just because she'll play good players early on, so I think that thought has probably entered her mind, which is why she is playing such a busy schedule.
Monica though, can't really say the same about, because you know that in all these tournaments she plays, she's going to reach semis and finals.

I hope both girls know what they are doing, because tennis without them, just isn't the same.
 

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:( Why is Seles playing a Tier III! :( Grrrr, let other people have a chance! :(

Seles and Anna are both overdoing it and then should remember that they have to take a break to recuperate from all their matches and such.

It seems like Anna will play Acapulco (she has a sponsorship with a Mexican phone company), Indian Wells, Miami, then a break though probably only one week since Ameila Island and Charleston are next! :(

Anna don't be a Dokic! ;) You too Seles! LOL! :D
 
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