Hey Savannah, following on from our discussions recently, are you thinking what I am thinking regarding the exceedingly strong field at Charleston and Memphis and the pull outs from Dubai?
One of the regulars here, Karen, posed the above questions about Dubai, Memphis and Charleston. Her comment sent me to look at the draw for Charleston so I'll talk about that last.
Memphis is a very weak draw. The main attraction is Maria Sharapova. Melanie Oudin, who just finished playing Fed Cup and the GDF Suez semi final is the second seed. I'm having trouble deciding whether back in the day this would've been a Tier III or Tier IV. Think I'm kidding? Here's the draw.
 Maria Sharapova vs Shenay Perry
[WC] Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs Katie O'brien
Monica Niculescu vs Qualifier
Renata Voracova vs  Elena Baltacha
 Kaia Kanepi vs Arantxa Rus
Laura Granville vs WC Nicole Vaidisova
Julia Schruff vs Michaella Krajicek
Stephanie Cohen-Aloro vs  Petra Kvitova
 Kristina Barrois vs Anne Keothavong
Michelle Larcher De Brito vs Qualifier
WC Ajla Tomljanovic vs Kristina Kucova
Karolina Sprem vs  Lucie Hradecka
 Vania King vs Kathrin Woerle
Qualifier vs Marta Domachowska
Stephanie Dubois vs Lilia Osterloh
Qualifier vs  Melanie Oudin
Don't get me wrong, there are some interesting players here but if the top seed doesn't make the final there are serious decisions that will have to be made in that camp. Oudin has a cold and it remains to be seen how fresh she'll be coming into this event.
Dubai is a Premier tournament. This is the draw.
 Wozniacki vs Bye
Shvedova vs Cibulkova
Razzano vs WC Sfar
Peer vs  Wickmayer
 Bartoli vs Q Makarova
Schyder vs Dulgheru
Martinez Sanchez vs Safarova
 Na Li vs Bye
Venus Williams vs bye
Lisicki vs Q Chan Y J
Benesova vs Govoertsova
Cirstea vs  Schiavone
 Stosur vs Garbin
Srebotnik vs Pavlyuchenkova
Hantuchova vs Q Manasieva
 Dementieva vs Bye
 Jankovic vs Bye
Bammer vs Rezai
Bacsinsky vs Q Flipkens
Vesnina vs  Zvonareva
 Zheng vs Q Molik
Kleybanova vs Q Groenefeld
K Bondarenko vs Rybarikova
 Azarenka vs Bye
 Aga Radwanska vs Bye
Q Sevastova vs Dushevina
Petkovic vs A Bondarenko
Czink vs  WC Pennetta
 Petrova vs WC Vogele
WC Kirilenko vs Q Kulikova
Mirza vs Medina Garrigues
 Kuznetsova vs Bye
Dubai is a much stronger field than Memphis as it should be. There are several unseeded players who can get hot and make a run toward the semi's. The Bansidhe's fans say it was smart of her to play Memphis instead of Dubai. As I said we'll see.
The South American clay season is underway and a tournament is being played in Bogota. I haven't seen a MD for this event yet but I wanted to mention it so that no one thinks I'm ignoring South America.
The Family Circle Cup's official website hasn't updated for 2010 yet. So far the official site lists defending champion Sabine Lisicki and Jelena Jankovic as confirmed. Of course the big names are supposed to be entered but nothing official that I've found so far. I'll keep an eye out for an entry list.
A Dish Best Served Cold
Melanie Oudin defeated Elena Dementieva at the US Open last year. After a dramatic come back by the 18 year old Georgian yesterday their matchup today was expected to be close with American hopes pinned on Oudin. When Oudin won the first set it looked as if she might pull off another upset and make the final. What happened wasn't part of the Cinderella script.
Dementieva pulled herself together and systematically wore down her opponent. By the third set Oudin, who does have a cold, was mentally fried and visibly tired. The veteran showed how to put a bad set behind her and go on to win the match. Oudin showed that she is a couple of years away from being able to hang with the big girls and has nothing to be ashamed about.
Karen spoke about the WTA tournaments but there is some fascinating stuff going on in the ATP.
In support of those who believe draws are totally random at Memphis Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, James Blake, Robbie Ginepri and Sam Querrey are all in the same section. The TD must be pulling his hair out.
The TD in Marseille might be in the ICU though. Top seeds  Andy Murray and  Juan Martin del Potro both pulled out with injuries. Del Potro is said to be out until May. The top seed is now Robin Soderling who has gone deep in Rotterdam. Film at eleven.
Richard Gasquet says he is playing the South American clay swing to improve his chances at the French Open.
I haven't written a lot about tennis this week but I have been watching. I have to say I haven't been impressed. It's hard to do commentary when you keep falling asleep on the matches don't you think? I'm talking about both tours here.
I'm also annoyed that TennisTV has picked up where it left off last year. It simply dies and there's nothing you can do - clear you cache, log on and off, restart the feed - that brings it back. Ironic that the best feed comes from Russian television isn't it?
Lucie Safarova wins this weeks what not to wear prize. She'll face Elena Dementieva tomorrow in Paris.
It's nice to end on a happy note. Stan Wawrinka and his wife welcomed a new baby girl into the world on Friday. Congratulations to them both.