The entry list for the US$25,000 Configure Express Pro Circuit Women’s tennis event in Wellington, 28 February - 4 March at the Renouf Centre has been released with a few players sure to provide some interest.
There is a former top 50 ranked player and another former top 100 player in the initial 16-player direct entry list.
The top seed is South African 19-year-old Chanel Simmonds who is a former world top-20 junior player and the winning of three US$25,000 titles last year with a reputation for being a potential star in the making. She has a current ranking of 188.
Second seed is Australian, Isabella Holland at 195 followed by Japan’s Aiko Nakamura at 221. Nakamura plays two-handed on both sides of her body and was ranked as high as No47 in the world in singles in 2007 and 64 in doubles a year later.
She has had wins over players such as Caroline Wozniacki and Flavia Pennetta and has faced legendary players such as Martina Hingis and Justine Henin as well as many other top 10 players. Her best WTA rest was making the final of the big Tokyo tournament in 2006 as well as the quarterfinals of five WTA events in her career. She also has two US$50,000 titles to her credit and two US$25,000 tournament wins. It will be her first time playing in Wellington.
Former Kiwi No1 Sacha Jones is set to be the fourth seed. Jones ranked at 231 in the world won the New Zealand Championship title in December and then switched to being an Australian player. She was ranked as high as 157 in the world and was the No11th ranked junior, but now sits as the ninth ranked Australian player.
Australians Bojana Bobusic and Monique Adamczak are the fifth and sixth entrants at 238 and 269 in the rankings followed by Japan’s Erika Takao who currently sits at 271 after being as high as 128 six years ago. The eighth seed is Russian Arina Rodionova ranked at 290. Arina’s sister, Anastasia is a top 100 ranked player for Australia.
Another player of note outside the top eight is Brit, Melanie South who has been ranked inside the world’s top 100 players.
The wildcards will be confirmed next week with qualifying to be held at the Renouf Tennis Centre Saturday 25 February - Monday 27 February.
Main draw play of the US$25,000 Configure Express Pro Circuit event starts Tuesday 27 February – Thursday 29 February from 11am with gold coin entry. Friday 1 March is singles quarterfinals and doubles final from 11am, Saturday 2 March singles semi-finals from 1pm with the final on Sunday 4 March from 1pm, $10 entry fee for the final three days.