CINCINNATI – May 16, 2006 – A preliminary list of players intending to play the 2006 Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open includes some very familiar names, including the defending champion.
Three top 20 players are on the list, including 2005 W&SFG Women's Open champion Patty Schnyder, 2004 French Open champ Anastasia Myskina, and former world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova. Other notable names include exciting youngster Tatiana Golovin, India's Sania Mirza and 2004 Cincinnati Finalist Vera Zvonareva.
"It's great to have the defending champion coming back, and it'll be very exciting for our fans to be able to see Myskina here," said tournament director Bruce Flory. "Hantuchova and Mirza were both very popular here last year, so we're thrilled our fans will get to see them again. We've been hearing about Golovin for awhile, and the fact that she reached the semifinals in Miami shows she's a great player too."
Here are the players who've indicated an intention to play, their country of origin, and some information about each:
Patty Schnyder / Switzerland – Winner of ten Sony Ericsson WTA singles titles and defending champ in Cincinnati; reached quarters at the Australian Open in January and the final at Charleston in April
Ana Myskina / Russia – '04 French Open winner; has reached the quarters of the Australian Open, U.S. Open & Wimbledon
Daniela Hantuchova / Slovakia – Defeated Serena Williams at the Australian Open in Jan.; Reached the semis in Cincinnati in '05
Tatiana Golovin / France – Sitting on a career-high ranking; recently reached the semis in Miami and Paris; ranked No. 18 last April after defeating Venus Williams in Charleston
Jelena Jankovic / Serbia – Reached the quarters in Cincinnati in '05; has one WTA Tour singles title and career wins over top-tenners Serena Williams and Nadia Petrova
Sania Mirza / India – Possibly the most famous athlete in India; In '05, she reached the quarters in Cincinnati and the fourth round of the U.S. Open
Vera Zvonareva / Russia – 2004 Cincinnati singles finalist; quarterfinalist at the French Open in 2003; has won three Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles titles
Elena Bovina / Russia – Ranked No. 14 last year but has fallen in rankings due to a shoulder injury; reached the quarters at the 2002 U.S. Open
The complete list of players expected to play the 32-draw tournament will be announced in early June.
About the 2006 Tournaments
The W&SFG Women's Open is the only Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event in the American Midwest and will be held July 15-23 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, just north of downtown Cincinnati.
The 2006 W&SFG Women's Open will be followed by the W&SFG MASTERS August 11-20. World No. 1 Roger Federer is the defending champion of the men's event which should include all the stars of the men's tennis galaxy, including Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Lleyton Hewitt, to name a few.