Looking Ahead To Kuala Lumpur
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Eighteen WTA events will take place this year in Asia-Pacific, with the tour swinging through Australia and Oceania at the beginning of the season and returning to the Far East after the US Open. The BMW Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur falls on the first week of March, signaling the end of the first swing.
First staged in 2010, the BMW Malaysian Open has become an anticipated event in the region – in 2014, it was televised to a global audience of over 300 million households across 47 countries. Won by Alisa Kleybanova at its inaugural staging, Kuala Lumpur has since been captured by Jelena Dokic, Hsieh Su-Wei, the second Taiwanese to secure a WTA title, Karolina Pliskova and Donna Vekic, who at 17 during the 2014 staging became the WTA’s youngest titlist in almost seven years.
This year, the International-level draw is headlined by top seed Caroline Wozniacki, along with Sabine Lisicki, who accepted a wildcard to participate. This is the first time Lisicki will participate in the event, and she’s seeking to make this one her first title of the season. Wozniacki, on the other hand, seeks to erase any bad memories from her last time in Kuala Lumpur – the Danish player’s first and only match in the Malaysian capital was a loss in which she was upset by Chinese qualifier Wang Qiang in the first round.
In addition to the top-ranked players, a pair of WTA Rising Stars have their eyes on the BMW Malaysian Open title as Japan’s Kurumi Nara and Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski return to Kuala Lumpur. Nara has had a great start to her season, reaching the semifinals in Hobart and Jovanovski is looking to better her 2011 quarterfinal run at this event. The 2013 champion, Hsieh, also returns as a wildcard entry. The doubles specialist has won two career singles titles, both in Asia.
(Article originally posted on wtatennis.com)