With the Australian Open in the rear view mirror, it’s time to look forward to what lies ahead in the month of February. For those who missed it, Ana wrote last week in her diary on her official website that she has decided not to participate in this weekend’s Fed Cup tie in Belgium. Ana wrote:
“It’s been an exhausting month of tournaments. I played three tournaments in a row and it took a lot out of me. I’ve decided not to go back to Europe for the Fed Cup. I’ve only just recovered from the virus I picked up during the Australian Open, and I’m going to be very careful with my schedule and traveling this year, considering the Olympics and the packed summer months.”
I don’t have any issue with her skipping Fed Cup. I’ve always had a lukewarm feeling towards the event anyway, and staying healthy for her upcoming events and the year in general should be her top priority.
February does present us however, with two tournaments in the Persian Gulf, Doha and Dubai. Neither tournament has presented Ana with a lot of luck over the years. Last year, she was defeated in the 1st round by Patty Schnyder in 3 sets, then soon after, withdrew from Doha, citing a recurrence of the same abdominal injury which forced her to withdraw from Hopman Cup and Sydney earlier that year. On the flip side, Ana will not have any points to defend this year, which gives her the opportunity to build back up her ranking for the bigger tournaments in the spring.
The entry lists for both Doha and Dubai is filled with most of the players from the WTA top 20. Ana is likely to be seeded 16th in both tournaments, although that could be subjected to change. Nothing will come easy, as the quality of the tournament fields are pretty good. A quarterfinal at either event would be welcoming, and possibly just enough to get Ana back into the top 15 of the WTA rankings.
Until then, check out this little fun 60 second interview Ana did with The Tennis Space, a great new tennis website.