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Dubai Preview

by J.M.

What a fantastic start to the year! After reaching her first grand slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open a few weeks ago, Myskina has won her 1st WTA tournament of the year at Doha and 3rd career title all up. She was absolutely relentless during the tournament to the point where she did not even lose one set, a remarkable feat in itself. By winning at Doha, Myskina has conclusively proved her ability as a tennis player to the world as, for the first time in her career, she has cracked the world’s top ten ranked female tennis players. Congratulations!

High on confidence, Myskina now travels to Dubai where she will be seeded 5th behind Justine Henin (1), Amelie Mauresmo (2), Jennifer Capriati (3), and Monica Seles (4). Unfortunately, she has not received a 1st round bye because she is not a top 4 seed and thus may not be given adequate time to recover from her full week of tennis at Doha. Nevertheless, she still has a great chance to at least put in a quarterfinal appearance, which she accomplished last year when she nearly defeated Venus Williams.

The Draw:

Anastasia has been situated in the very top quarter of the draw and will have to play a qualifier in the 1st round. This should be quite an easy match then, regardless of the player, as Myskina is not known for being upset by a lower ranked player but rather someone who causes difficulty for those higher ranked than her!

2nd Round:

Tamarine Tanasugarn: this Thai number 1 also won her first tournament of the year and in her career at Hyderabad two weeks ago but was easily defeated in Doha last week by a qualifier. Myskina and Tanasugarn have never played but if they were to meet, it is likely Myskina would win in two sets.

Angelique Widjaja: surprise Bali champion in 2001, this young player has beaten the likes of Tanasugarn, Kournikova, Bedanova, Molik and Kruger. Myskina has not played her before but she should win in two, as her power will be able to dominate Widjaja’s game.


Justine Henin: a recent semi-finalist at last week’s tournament in Antwerp, this would be Anastasia’s most probable QF opponent unless she is defeated by recent finalist in Doha, Elena Likhovtseva, who has stretched Henin to 3 sets in both their meetings. As the number 1 seed, Myskina would normally consider this as a tough match. However, Myskina won their last encounter in straight sets 7-6 6-2 in August last year and will have this added confidence going into the match if they were to meet.


Jennifer Capriati: she hasn’t won a match in 2003 and has not won a tournament since the 2002 Australian Open; still recovering from eye surgery; possible early round victim to Kuznetsova or Martinez in the QF who slaughtered her in their last encounter in Switzerland 6-0 6-3 last year. Myskina lost both meetings against Capriati in relatively tough circumstances. Myskina can handle her pace of shot and if she moves into the net more, can shorten the rallies and produce a volley winner!

Conchita Martinez: was on fire last week in Doha before having to retire against Russian Lina Krasnoroutskaya in the QF; has a chance of beating Grande, Daniilidou and Capriati as far as their head-to-head records are concerned! Anastasia should win easily in two tough sets in this win as Martinez’ moonballs might cause problems for Myskina’s pace of shot unless she is able to push Martinez deep into the court where a short moonball could provide her with the initiative to produce a winner.


Mauresmo: recovering from an injury; could go out to Schnyder in the QF; has a 2-0 head-to-head record against Myskina.

Seles: lost 2nd round last week as number 1 seed in Doha; still possible injured; hasn’t played Myskina before.

Schnyder: strong player who has shown she can beat the world’s best in Charleston last year; Myskina hold 2-0 head-to-head record against her.


1st round: Myskina d. Qualifier 6-2 6-2

2nd round: Myskina d. Tanasugarn 6-4 6-2

QF: Myskina d. Henin 2-6 7-5 6-1

SF: Myskina d. Martinez 6-2 6-3

Final: Seles d. Myskina 6-3 3-6 6-1

Good luck Anastasia! was created and is maintaned by Pierre Cantin and may not be reproduced in any form without my written consent. If ever you find material here which you beleive is yours and would like either to get credit for it or simply for me to put it down, please e-mail me.