Aussie power trio in action
Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios and Sam Stosur are each seeded highly at respective ATP and WTA claycourt events across Europe this week.
Nick Kyrgios will return to the site of his first ATP final when he contests this week’s Millennium Estoril Open in Portugal.
Kyrgios, seeded second at the ATP 250 claycourt event, receives a first round bye before tackling the winner of the match between Daniel Munoz de la Nava and Inigo Cervantes.
He faces a projected quarterfinal match against No.6 seed Borna Coric in what would be a battle between two of the ATP’s #NextGen stars.
In 2015, Kyrgios stormed to the Estoril final – then his deepest run at an ATP tour event – before falling to Richard Gasquet in the final.
Another Australian, Bernard Tomic, is the top seed at this week’s Istanbul Open.
Like Kyrgios, he has received a first-round bye, and opens against Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
Tomic, the world No.22, will be aiming for his first win in the claycourt season after falling in the opening round in Bucharest last week.
Sam Stosur, meanwhile, is seeded No.4 at the WTA Prague Open.
She faces Sorana Cirstea, the Romanian former world No.21 who famously upset the Queenslander in the opening round of Australian Open 2012 when Stosur was the reigning US Open champion.
Cirstea has since slipped to world No.131 but enters the tournament with momentum after winning three matches in the qualifying round.
Stosur is seeded to meet fifth seed Barbora Strycova in the quarterfinals and has landed in the top half of the draw headed by No.1 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Her appearance in Prague forms part of a heavy claycourt schedule that will take her through Madrid, Rome and Strasbourg ahead of the French Open.
She has already played in Charleston and then competed on clay for Australia in Fed Cup before heading to Europe.
In Rabat, Morocco, Anastasia Rodionova has been a late inclusion in the main draw.
The Australian fell in the final round of qualifying at the WTA International-level event to Silvia Soler-Espinosa, but entered the main draw as a lucky loser following the withdrawal of last week’s Istanbul champion Cagla Buyukakcay.
Rodionova next faces Germany’s Tatjana Maria.