WTA Luxembourg Open 2012 Draw Preview and Analysis

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For the full draw, please click here: WTA Luxembourg Open 2012 Draw

This week’s WTA International tournament in Luxembourg has a less star-studded field than the concurrent event in Moscow, but still features many talented players aiming to boost their ranking and make the most of their last event of the season. Angelique Kerber had been the highest-ranked player on the entry list, but she has now pulled out, presumably to rest her injured foot before the WTA championships in Istanbul which begin on 23rd October.

That leaves Roberta Vinci, the world number 15, as the top seed in the 32-player draw. The Italian has had an outstanding year on the doubles court with her partner Sara Errani, but has also posted some impressive singles results, winning a tournament in Dallas and reaching the US Open quarter-finals.

Vinci is seeded to meet Sabine Lisicki in the last eight, but many eyes will be on another player in the top quarter of the draw: Venus Williams. The 32-year-old American was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome last year, but has refused to let the debilitating illness force her into retirement, and has improved her ranking to 41 after beginning the year ranked outside the top 100. The elder Williams sister has shown flashes of her brilliant best this year, beating Sam Stosur twice and reaching the semi-finals in Miami and Cincinnati. Venus hasn’t played since the US Open, so winning the title in Luxembourg would be a big ask, but she will definitely be one of the main attractions for fans and is more than capable of playing herself into contention.

The tournament’s second seed is Julia Georges, who is still struggling for consistency despite possessing a formidable power game. She could make it all the way to the final, or she could lose her first round match to Silvia Soler-Espinosa, such is the unpredictability of the young German’s form.

Jelena Jankovic, the third seed, has seen her ranking continue to tumble this year. The world number one only a few years ago, she has since lost consistency and belief, while her crowded playing schedule suggests that she is unwilling to take time off the tour in order to make changes to her game. The Serb has a tough opening match against Peng Shuai, and the talented Petra Martic is also in her section of the draw.

Others capable of making a deep run in the tournament are three players from the WTA’s youngest generation: Sorana Cristea, Yanina Wickmayer and Mona Barthel. Each of these women has had encouraging results in 2012, but performing solidly on a regular basis has proved more of a challenge, and all of them need to start playing with greater discipline if they are to break through to the tour’s upper echelons.

The playing field at the BGL BNP Paribas Open is an unusually level one, meaning that picking a winner in Luxembourg will be difficult. There is potential for many intriguing match-ups, however, and fans will be hoping that the bigger names make it through to the latter stages of the tournament.

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