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Ana has been drawn to face either Iveta Benesova or Sanja Ancic in her first match at the Nasdaq-100 Open, which begins in Miami on Wednesday. Ana is seeded 14th for the event, the fifth biggest on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour calendar, and receives a bye into the second round. Her opening match is scheduled to take place on Friday or Saturday.
Ana’s seeding is reflected in her current ranking of 16 and the fact that two players currently ranked ahead of her – Lindsay Davenport and Mary Pierce – have withdrawn from the event through injury.
Ana has never played wildcard Ancic, the 17-year-old sister of Croatian star Mario, but has twice played world No.43 Benesova and triumphed on both occasions: she beat the Czech 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 at the Australian Open in 2005 and 6-3, 6-1 at the French Open five months later.
Should Ana reach round three she will face either Spanish No.23 seed Annabel Medina Garrigues or a qualifer. World No.1 Amelie Mauresmo, whom Ana has beaten the last two times she has played the Frenchwoman, is a likely fourth round opponent. Were Ana to spring another big surprise and beat the top seed, she could play Nadia Petrova or Daniela Hantuchova at the last eight stage.
Possible semi-final opposition at this star-studded event includes third seed Justine Henin-Hardenne, Martina Hingis and Patty Schnyder. Ana cannot face the likes of Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Elena Dementieva or Kim Clijsters until the final because they are in the bottom half of the draw whereas Ana is in the top.
Click here to view the complete women’s singles draw.
By Gavin Versi