Premier; Venus Williams defending; draw here.
Top 8 seeds: Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Francesca Schiavone, Samantha Stosur, Li Na, Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska
Points of Interest: The amazing thing about the WTA is that, with a half-decent draw, you are never short for things to say in this category. To start with, Wozniacki could get the no. 1 ranking back if she reaches the semi-final – a tough prospect given her draw. Although her probable second and third round opponents (Hantuchova and Kvitova) could be expected to be weary from their exploits this week, there’s also Yanina Wickmayer and Li Na in her quarter. Both Kaia Kanepi (who’s played well in Dubai in the past) and Andrea Petkovic have a good shout in JJ’s quarter, if the perennial wait to see Ana Ivanovic come up with something in a big tournament isn’t over and Sam Stosur isn’t feeling it. I have a feeling about Vera Zvonareva and/or Svetlana Kuznetsova, though. Just saying.
International; Mariana Duque Marino defending; draw here.
Top 8 seeds: Julia Goerges, Polona Hercog, Simona Halep, Arantxa Parra Santonja, Carla Suarez Navarro, Edina Gallovits-Hall, Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Annabel Medina Garrigues
Points of Interest: I’m all about the young guns this week (and most weeks). Let’s see if Polona Hercog and Simona Halep can come up with something. I have major hopes for the latter, who was in fine fettle in Auckland. Still, someone with more than one surname will probably win this one.
International; Maria Sharapova defending; draw here.
Top 8 seeds: Barbora Zahlalova Strycova, Sofia Arvidsson, Melanie Oudin, Alla Kudryavtseva, Olga Govortsova, Rebecca Marino, Renata Voracova, Vania King
Points of Interest: This … is not a good draw. And yet I’m perversely excited. Two words: Heather Watson, who has already beaten Andrea Hlavackova in the first round and will face Olga Govortsova (probably) in the next. Two more words: Rebecca Marino, who is a lot like Delpo, only female and Canadian. And higher-ranked.