The draws for the 2004 Estoril Open produced a number of mouthwatering clashes in both the men's and women's competitions on Sunday, with former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic facing Spanish sensation Rafael Nadal, and women's top seed Elena Bovina meeting former Roland Garros winner Iva Majoli.
Tournament director Joao Lagos was joined at the draw ceremony by Portuguese TV host Marta Leite Castro from RTP, along with Majoli and defending men's champion Nikolay Davydenko.
"I think we have some fantastic first round matches," said Lagos. "Nadal against Ivanisevic is something special. The newcomer and one of the old guys, so charismatic, so I think this is very interesting. Also, from a Portuguese point of view, we have the two newcomers - Diogo Rocha and Leonardo Tavares - playing against each other in the first round, giving them a big chance to go ahead in the draw as well.
"In the women's draw, Iva Majoli, Elena Bovena could be the final. It's great to show such a good first round match and is very interesting for the Portuguese fans, who can also look forward to some good weather at the start of the event. It's the Easter holidays, and we have some very good matches to attract the fans, especially the younger ones."
In the men's draw, top seed Rainer Schuettler will be looking to kick-start his 2004 season after going 2-7 in the opening three months. He takes on Victor Hanescu of Romania in the first round.
Defending champion Davydenko will open his campaign against Czech Radek Stepanek with a potential quarterfinal meeting against Schuettler, while third seed Agustin Calleri - last year's runner-up - will be hoping to shake off last week's Davis Cup loss against Belarus when he meets a qualifier in the first round.
Davydenko, who went on to finish 2003 at No. 44 in the world, said he was looking forward to returning this year. "It's a great tournament," said Davydenko. "I'll be trying to win it again, and it's important for me to get my season going and we will see what happens this week."
In an all-Argentine clash, No. 5 seed Juan Ignacio Chela takes on wild card Guillermo Canas. Chela won their only previous meeting on clay in Acapulco two years ago.
In the bottom half of the draw, second seed Nicolas Massu meets rising French star Richard Gasquet and the winner of that match will face either Ivanisevic or Nadal in the second round.
Ivanisevic, who played only three ATP tournaments in 2003 after suffering from shoulder, elbow and knee problems, retired against Nadal in the second round of the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami last month with a shoulder injury after losing the first set 6-4 to the 17-year-old Spaniard, who reached his first career final in Auckland in January (l. to Hrbaty).
Marat Safin, the No. 8 seed who reached the quarterfinals in Estoril in 2002, opens his bid against Frenchman Cyril Saulnier having won their only previous meeting in St. Petersburg in 2002. And Lagos was looking forward to seeing the Russian back again this year.
"Safin was No. 1 in the world when we organized the Tennis Masters cup in Lisbon and would have been the year-end No. 1 if Gustavo Kuerten hadn't won the last two matches of the season," said Lagos. "So we hope he can start the clay court season well here in Estoril in order to have a good season because international tennis needs Marat Safin in good condition."
In the women's draw, second seed Alicia Molik of Australia meets Henrieta Nagyova while third seed Emilie Loit takes on Els Callens of Belgium.
Talking about her first round match, Majoli said: "It's going to be a very tough match playing against the top seed. It's the first tournament of the year on clay for me, but I will play my best and we will see what happens."
04-11-2004, 05:29 PM
where can I find the rest of the draw :) ?
04-11-2004, 05:42 PM
Main Draw ~ Singles
1 Rainer Schuettler v Victor Hanescu
Olivier Rochus v Gregory Carraz
Radek Stepanek v Nikolay Davydenko
Q v 7 Gaston Gaudio
3 Agustin Calleri v Q
Julien Boutter v Olivier Patience
WC Diogo Rocha v WC Leonardo Tavarers
WC Guillermo Canas v 5 Juan Ignacio Chela
8 Marat Safin v Cyril Saulnier
Antony Dupis v Thierry Ascione
Q v Mariano Zabaleta
Xavier Malisse v 4 Tommy Robredo
6 Max Mirnyi v Bohdan Ulihrach
Q v Irakli Labadze
Goran Ivanisevic v Rafael Nadal
Richard Gasquet v 2 Nicolas Massu
04-11-2004, 06:27 PM
Goran Ivanisevic - bad draw :fiery:
04-11-2004, 07:22 PM
best event of week
Marat against big serving frenchies :mad:
go Marat, time to bring them down a peg or two :)
go Rafa :) hope Gasquet wins his 1st rd then we'll see Rafa kick ass :D
Kolya ok draw :) go defend some pts :)
Hanescu :) nice starter should win :)
Max :) good luck :)
04-11-2004, 08:23 PM
lol... if Nadal can spank Ivanisevic on hard, do they really think Ivanisevic can do anything to make it interesting on clay?
04-11-2004, 08:24 PM
this tournament will be fun :) and I'm glad it has a good website.
Julien Boutter :D
Tommy Robredo :D
Rafael Nadal :D :D
04-11-2004, 08:37 PM
Good luck to Gaudio, Gasquet and devilish Chela.
Bad luck to Massu and irritating Malisse.
04-11-2004, 09:10 PM
Good luck to
Tommy Robredo! :banana:
:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:
04-11-2004, 09:49 PM
Marat :D - cmon, time to get things together! Lets rule :)
Goran :D - though draw :(. CMON!
04-11-2004, 10:14 PM
GO Schuettler and Marat:D!!!
04-11-2004, 10:46 PM
Too bad the Rafa/Goran match couldnt' take place when Goran is healthy. Oh well.
04-12-2004, 12:00 AM
04-12-2004, 01:39 AM
come on MARAT!!!! it's CLAY!!!
oh! he's playing doubles with Labadze too! 1st round against the top seeds. gee!
04-12-2004, 03:58 AM
Good Luck Tommy and Max :)
04-12-2004, 05:23 AM
Richie v Rafa in the 2nd round.....Should thank Richie now for allowing that not to happen....he always gets shit draws!!
Good luck Richard, Rafa & Marat :banana:
04-12-2004, 07:26 AM
Best of luck to Diogo Rocha and Leonardo Tavares. It's a shame they must meet in the first round. May the best man win and good luck to all Portuguese players.
04-12-2004, 08:00 AM
Good luck to Gaudio, Calleri, Zabaleta and Boutter.
04-12-2004, 12:55 PM
Good Luck Marat lets kick some butt :D:D
04-12-2004, 01:32 PM
Good Luck to Gaston and Agustin :)
04-12-2004, 01:34 PM
Good luck Gaston time to forget about the start of the season and a new beginning.
Vamos Mariano it's time to get past the quarter finals.
04-12-2004, 02:01 PM
Gasquet VS Nadal would be cool to watch:)!
04-12-2004, 03:00 PM
Why did Gaudio & Chela not play Davis Cup?
04-12-2004, 03:39 PM
chela didnt want to, and Gaston is going thru the worst moment of his career, + he played really bad against spain last year.