|Anastasia Myskina (top) and Karolina Sprem
Calcutta: The taste of things to come at next week’s WTA Sunfeast Open took shape on Saturday when the draw was announced at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Saturday afternoon by Tour supervisor Giulia Orlandi.
Also in attendance were (organisers) Globosport chief Mahesh Bhupathi and tournament director Jaidip Mukerjea, who unveiled the trophy.
Drawn in the bottom-half, there is no chance of Sania Mirza meeting top seed and world No. 13 Anastasia Myskina till the final.
But the road to the final will be a bumpy one. It looks like the third seed will have an easy ride till the quarter finals ' she is up against a yet unknown qualifier in the first round, and will face either Ma Emilia Salerni of Argentina, or Hungarian Melinda Czink in the second.
Form holding good, the world No. 34 should get past either of them ' both are much lower down the ranking order with Salerni at No. 103, and Czink at 121 ' to make the quarters.
And here’s where bumps in the road can be found with the possibility of tennis’ newest glam girl running into Karolina Sprem.
Never mind that the Croatian is ranked 51 spots below her at 85 in the world or that she hasn’t yet been able to notch up a WTA Tour win yet'
What matters more is that Sprem is the more experienced of the two, having been around on the circuit longer. And experience counts.
Should Sania, however, get past her, she will probably have to contend with world No. 16 Elena Likhotvseva in the semi-finals.
But third time may also be a charm, and after collecting the scalps of Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova, Sania just might add to her Russian repertoire.
Likhovtseva will face Ukranian Yuliana Fedak in the first round and the second will throw, potentially, either Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn or Italian Antonella Serra Zanetti in her path.
Sunitha Rao, the American of Indian-origin who made it to the main draw of a WTA meet for the first time after Marlene Weingartner pulled out on Friday, comes up against India’s Neha Uberoi.
In the top-half, Neha’s sister, Shikha (No. 151), will meet Japan’s Ryoko Fuda (No. 185) in the first round, and should she make it to the quarters, will come up slap-bang against Myskina.
The 2004 French Open champion looks to have clear route to the championship round, and will open her campaign against unseeded Edine Gallovtis of Romania in the first round.