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Ana has been drawn to face either China’s Shuai Peng or Czech Eva Birnerova in her opening match at the Bausch & Lomb Championships, which begin in Amelia Island on Monday. Ana is seeded sixth and receives a first round bye.
Peng will be favourite to overcome Birnerova, who pulled out of last week’s Sony Ericsson Open with a neck injury. Ana has met the Chinese player once before, winning 6-2, 6-4 in Sydney last year.
Sven: Hi Ana! I was just wondering if you liked the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, Belgium and the atmosphere during the tournament? And if so, if you will be coming back next year? Greetz Sven (Antwerp, Belgium)
Ana: I haven’t decided my schedule for next year but I am sure I will play there again in the future. The crowd were very loud, they were cheering for Kim so much, but they were fair, they did not shout when I was serving or anything like this. It was a great atmosphere.
Fred: How heavy is your racket? Do you add weight?
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour yesterday announced “landmark” changes to the sport of women’s tennis. The reforms, which were approved by the Tour Board in Miami, will come into effect in 2009 and represent arguably the biggest alterations since the WTA was formed in 1970.
Aimed at increasing fan enjoyment and ensuring that the top players compete against each other more often, and without injury, the reforms include:
Shortened season: the Tour Championships will end in October, thereby creating an off-season of at least nine weeks
Ana and Maria Kirilenko lost 7-6, 4-6, 12-10 to Emilie Loit and Nicole Pratt in the first round of the doubles event at the Sony Ericsson Open.
Playing their first match together since last year's US Open – Ana has not played doubles of any kind since then – the youngsters produced a stirring comeback from a set and 4-1 behind. They won five games on the bounce to force a Super tiebreak.
They trailed throughout the decider but came within two points of victory, only for the more experienced French-Australian pairing to win through.
Ana is in doubles action today alongside Maria Kirilenko. Playing their first match together since last year's US Open, they face the French-Australian pairing of Emilie Loit and Nicole Pratt.
The match is scheduled to begin sometime after 5pm local time (10pm Central European Time). The court has not yet been decided. Click here for live point-by-point scoring
Photo: Stephanie Morel
A career-best performance by Yaroslava Shvedova knocked Ana out of the Sony Ericsson Open in the second round. The Russian was excellent throughout and triumphed 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 23 minutes.
Ana and Maria Kirilenko have been drawn to face Emilie Loit and Nicole Pratt in the first round of the Sony Ericsson Open women's doubles event.
The youngsters, who are appearing together for the first time this year, have a 12-8 win-loss record in doubles competition. Their combined ranking is currently 98. The French-Australian pairing whom they face in round one are 37-20 and have a combined doubles ranking of 100.
The winners of the tie will face the victors of the Svetlana Kuznetsova/Nadia Petrova vs Nathalie Dechy/Vera Zvonareva match in round two.
Ana visited the Baptist Children's Hospital in Miami yesterday. She spent time with patients and their families and brought them some small gifts.
“It was a very rewarding experience,” said Ana. “I love spending time with children and they were so sweet. Seeing how positive they were was very touching, and it makes you realize how lucky you are. As players we can get upset when we lose, but really we should just think how lucky we are just to be healthy.”
Photos: Action images.
Ana will play either Russian qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova or wild card Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova in the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open. The 19-year-old is seeded 12th for the Tier I event and receives a bye in round one.
The tournament is mandatory for players and therefore the draw resembles a Grand Slam. Only the injured Amelie Mauresmo and Elena Dementieva are absent from the top 20. World No.18 Serena Williams is scheduled to make her first appearance since winning the Australian Open in January.