Barbora Strycova and Carla Suarez Navarro lead the draw at the inaugural Ladies Open Biel-Bienne, live from Biel, Switzerland from 10-16 April 2017.
WTA Biel 2017 tournament schedule
Who is playing WTA Biel in 2017?
The draw for the inaugural Ladies Open Biel-Bienne features homegrown Swiss stars, including Martina Hingis - the original 'Swiss Miss' - in doubles and a diverse range of top-quality WTA players when the first edition of WTA Biel kicks off on Monday 10 April.
World no. 18 Barbora Strycova, a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist who has been a runner-up at several Premier events including Dubai and Birmingham in 2017, heads the field as the Czech veteran looks for her first title in 2017. She's joined by the similarly experienced Carla Suarez Navarro, the diminutive Spanish player with the beautiful one-handed backhand who has been ranked as high as world no. 6. Suarez Navarro has taken a hit in the rankings recently and slid to world no. 23 due to a persistent shoulder injury, but her comeback has been gathering pace after she reached the semifinals of last week's Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey - can the former top-10 player find her best form ahead of the clay-court season at the Ladies Open Biel-Bienne?
Swiss talent is well represented with former world no. 7 Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic among the homegrown players in the draw for WTA Biel. Bencic, the Rogers Cup champion in 2015 and a former US Open quarterfinalist, burst through into the top echelons as a 17-year-old but is currently looking to rebuild her form after a back injury. Golubic took the title last time she played at home, at the Ladies Open Gstaad in 2016 - could she do the same thing in Biel?
Other notable players in the draw for the Ladies Open Biel-Bienne in 2017 include Budapest champion Timea Babos, last year's Stuttgart runner-up and recent Charleston semifinalist Laura Siegemund and feisty Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.
WTA Biel 2017 seeds
|1||18||Barbora Strycova||SF (Sydney)|
|2||23||Carla Suarez Navarro||SF (Monterrey)|
|3||30||Timea Babos||Champion (Budapest)|
|4||35||Roberta Vinci||QF (St Petersburg, Brisbane)|
|5||37||Laura Siegemund||SF (Charleston)|
|6||42||Alize Cornet||Runner-up (Brisbane)|
|7||46||Julia Goerges||SF (Auckland, Budapest)|
|8||47||Monica Niculescu||Runner-up (Hobart)|
About the Ladies Open Biel-Bienne
Replacing the Katowice Ladies Open on the WTA calendar for 2017, the Ladies Open Biel-Bienne brings top-flight tennis to Switzerland in the spring before the clay-court season gets underway.
Offering one last chance for the WTA's top players to compete on hard courts before the tour moves on to the red clay of other European cities, the Ladies Open Biel-Bienne joins the Ladies Open Gstaad, a summer clay-court tournament, which returned to Switzerland in 2016 after a 20-year absence. Switzerland formerly played host to a prestigious WTA tournament in Zurich between 1984 and 2008, which included Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams among its champions, and holds ATP World Tour events in Geneva, Gstaad and Basel over the course of the year.
There has never been a better time to celebrate Swiss women's tennis, with five-time singles Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis still tearing it up on the doubles circuit. The resurgent Timea Bacsinszky, a French Open semifinalist in 2015 - two years after being all but retired and working in a hotel - is joined by younger stars Viktorija Golubic and Belinda Bencic, the latter of whom had become a Grand Slam quarterfinalist, a Rogers Cup champion and was ranked inside the top 10 while still a teenager. Octagon, the sports marketing and management company which represents both Hingis and Bencic, is involved in putting on the Ladies Open Biel-Bienne.
WTA Biel is played on indoor hard courts in the bilingual city of Biel-Bienne, which sits on the border between the French- and German-speaking parts of Switzerland on the shores of Lake Biel and at the foot of the Jura mountains. Biel (as it has officially been known since 2005) is the home of the Swiss National Tennis Centre.
The Ladies Open Biel-Bienne replaced the Katowice Open, itself the successor to the Danish Open, in 2017. WTA Katowice was played for four years, three of them on hard courts, and included 2015 US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci and 2016 WTA Finals Singapore champion Dominika Cibulkova among its winners.
WTA Biel offers prize money of $226,750 and features a singles draw of 32 players as well as a doubles draw of 16 teams.
2017 WTA Biel tournament information
|Dates||10-16 April 2017|
|Venue||Swiss National Tennis Centre|
|Surface||Hard courts (indoor)|
|Draw size||32 singles/16 doubles|
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