From one great European city to another, this week, the men's and women's tour catch up with each other in Madrid for the combined super event, the 3.5 million eruo Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, held in the Magic Box.
The draw for the women's side seems particularly werid/interesting at first glance. The bye rounds appeared randomly assigned, but not random enough since Serena Williams, the No.1 Seed, got a bye into the 2nd ground, and 7th seed, Jelena Jankovic received one too, but werid enough No. 3 seed Venus did not as well as the other seeds. Then after revisiting the draw, I realized the four byes are awarded to the semi-finalist of last week's tournament in Rome.
It seems like the tour has back to back important tournaments three times a year, Indian wells/Miami, Rome/Madrid, Tokyo/Beijing, and the players decided not to have a break in between Indian Wells/Miami, but for the two other occasions (this being one of them), in order to take care of the players who go deep in the first tournament, the semi-finalists are awarded byes in the next tournament.
So far, Henin, who's a favorite to win the French Open, lost in the 1st round alongside Maria Sharapova, who's coming back from a shoulder injury since Indian Wells. Both Williams sisters are in the draw, as well as most of the top 20 in the world, this should be a real good indicator of what to expect in French, which is happening in a little more than two weeks. I'm not one to make prediction, Jelena should do quite well, some tennis forum poster referred to her as the "green thing", I thought it was crude, but her dress is REALLY green, with Clijster out, Henin losing early, Sharapova failing in her first comeback attempt, the attention is all on the Serbian duo (Jankovic and Ivanovic), who're both sort of on a comeback trail, as well as the Williams sisters.
Something note-worthy is that Chinese player, Li Na, has decided to donate her prize money from this tournament to the victims in the most recent earthquake in China. My thoughts and prayers are out to the victims and their families in the devastating disasater.