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Nadia Petrova hopes to Defend Title

March 2, 2007 02:49 PM

Amelia Island, Fla., (February 24, 2007) – The reining Bausch & Lomb Championships winner and World No. 7, Nadia Petrova, confirmed that she would be returning to defend her title at the 2007 Bausch & Lomb Championships. World No. 12 and power-hitter, Dinara Safina also committed to play the 28th annual event along with World No. 13 and 2006 Bausch & Lomb Championships quarterfinalist Patty Schnyder. ”The tournament is pleased to have our 2006 champion back and we look forward to watching her defend her title. As one of the top Russian players in the world, Petrova will be a tough contender.” stated John Arrix, tournament director. “Our April draw is coming together nicely.  Adding Safina, Schnyder and Petrova to the list will make for a very competitive event.”

Petrova, Safina and Schnyder will join two-time 2006 Grand Slam champion and 2001 Bausch & Lomb Championships titlist Amelie Mauresmo, Serbian stars Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic to compete for the $600,000 purse and the distinction to hoist the Waterford trophy. With two former champions ready to capture their second Bausch & Lomb Championships crown, both players and fans can expect some tough, competitive action throughout the week as the tournament returns to the oceanfront resort of Amelia Island Plantation, April 2 – 8.

Returning for her seventh Bausch & Lomb Championships appearance (1999, 2000 ’01 ’03 ’04 ’05, ’06), Nadia Petrova captured her first 2007 Sony Ericsson WTA tour singles title earlier this month at Paris where en route she eliminated Dinara Safina in a straight set quarterfinal match, followed up by the upset of reining Paris champion Amelie Mauresmo in a closely contended third set, tie-break. Petrova’s 2006 season was one of her best to date highlighted by the victorious capture of five Tour singles titles and cracking into the Top 3 world rankings. Her first title came at Doha, where she defeated Mauresmo in thefinals. Petrova then conquered three consecutive clay court titles at Amelia Island, Charleston and Berlin.  Her fifth title came during the fall season at Stuttgart. Petrova also placed in the finals at Moscow and Linz. She claims career quarterfinal or better runs at all four majors, including her 2006 quarterfinal berth at the Australian Open.

As one of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s most promising young stars, Dinara Safina has opened with an outstanding 2007 performance. In her first tournament of the season at Gold Coast, she proclaimed her desire to return to the Top 10 by defeating the No. 1 seed, Martina Hingis to capture the hardcourt title. Known as one of the most powerful servers on the Tour, Safina showed her strength at both Paris and Antwerp where she reached the quarterfinals of both events. As her best season to date, Safina’s 2006 record was highlighted by career-first quarterfinal rounds at Roland Garros and the US Open. She gained her 8th career semifinal run and after reaching her 13th quarterfinal of the season, Safina moved from No.11 to No. 10, her career Top 10 debut. Safina makes her third (2004,’06) Bausch & Lomb Championships appearance in April.

Patty Schnyder returns to the Bausch & Lomb Championships for her 11th straight appearance. She reached her best round, the quarterfinals in 1999, 2003 and at the 2006 Bausch & Lomb Championships. Schnyder is fresh off her second straight Top 10 season having finished in 2005 ranked at No. 7 in the world and last year she remained inside the Top 10 for the first time throughout the entire season, ending the 2006 season at No. 9. Schnyder has struggled in the opening season this year, falling prior to the quarterfinals in her first four events. The left-handed Swiss, made a recent comeback at Dubai where she did reach the quarterfinal round. In 2006, Schnyder saw an extremely consistent season with quarterfinal finishes at 15 of her 25 events, a runner-up at two events and a six-time semifinalist. She was a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open, having also reached that position in 2005 and in 2004 was a semifinalist.

 

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