7th seeded Safin, winner of the 2000 US Open and 2005 Australian Open, is entered in the ATP Tour's Moscow draw, but could face top seeded Nikolay Davydenko also of Russia in the quarterfinals. The winner of that quarterfinal most likely would meet yet another Russian, 3rd seeded Mikhail Youzhny in the semifinals.
On the bottom half of the men's draw, two more Russians could face off in the quarterfinals, as 2nd seeded Igor Andreev could meet 5th seeded Dmitry Tursunov. 4th seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu of France is seeded to meet the winner of that quarterfinal.
Tursunov defeated Mathieu 7-6(8-6), 1-6, 6-4 Sunday in the championship match at the Open de Moselle at Metz, France to win his second title of the year. Tursunov was born in Moscow but now lives in California after moving to the USA at age 12.
The Russian turned professional in 2000 and helped Russia win the Davis Cup in 2006. His best ever major finishes were in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2005 and 2006.
Nine of the 32 competitors of the men's draw are Russian while 11 of the 32 players of the women's draw are Russian. 5 of the top 10 WTA Tour players are Russian. All are entered at Moscow with the exception of Australian Open champion and world number six Maria Sharapova, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.
In the women's draw, last week's Stuttgart finalist, Nadia Petrova could meet two other Russians before facing 3rd seeded Elena Dementieva in the quarterfinals. The winner of that match would then take on most likely either Wimbledon champion and 6th seeded Venus Williams of the USA or world number one Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, who won her third title of the year last week at Stuttgart.
Jankovic wore down Williams in the Stuttgart semifinals last week in three sets after Williams led 7-6, 5-6 and will be seeking her third title in a row.
Williams however played some of her best tennis until midway through the second set and I think she will play better this week. In the final Williams or Jankovic could face either Safina or 2004 US Open champion and 5th seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, also of Russia.
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