Reigning champion Jelena Jankovic will headline the WTA Copa Claro Colsanitas in 2014 as the former World No. 1 returns to Bogota to defend her title.
With most of the world's leading stars competing in the WTA Premier event in Dubai this week, the Bogota field is often quite weak but there's a number of top players heading to Columbia this year in search of easier points.
Held on clay, the Copa Claro Colsanitas is a favourite tournament for the specialists on the red dirt. There's a number of players who head to Cali the week before and then continue on after Bogota to Florianopolis in Brazil so they can pick up as many points as possible on their favourite surface.
Reigning champion Jankovic has announced she will return to the Centro de Alto Rendimiento in Bogota in 2014 to defend her title. The 29-year-old was the top seed last year when she defeated Argentine and first-time finalist Paula Ormaechea in straight sets in the final to claim the 13th title of her career.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Paula for such a great tournament this week, playing so well and beating such good players. I'm sorry I had to beat you today, Paula. But I think you're playing really good tennis and I wish you the best of luck for the rest of the upcoming season,” said Jankovic after the victory.
"I had a wonderful week here. It's been an amazing experience. I'm so happy I was able to come here to Bogotá for the first time and winning my 13th WTA title here makes the experience even better," she continued.
It was no easy feat for the Serbian though, after Jankovic had to claw her way through her first round clash against USA’s Julia Cohen 6-4, 5-7. 6-2. After two straight sets victories in the second and third rounds respectively, Jankovic was forced to work hard for victory in her semi-final encounter against Italy’s Karin Knapp. It was the first time the pair had played against each other as Knapp pushed her higher ranked opponent into a deciding set, but Jankovic ultimately prevailed in a tiebreaker.
Jankovic is a former World No. 1 and Grand Slam finalist. She is currently ranked as World No. 6 and most recently the Serbian reached the quarterfinals in Indian Wells in early March.
She will be joined by America’s Sloane Stephens in the draw in 2014. Not unlike Jankovic, Stephens was also a quarterfinalist in Indian Wells, however the 21-year-old is yet to contest a clay-court tournament for the season to date.
Colombia’s Mariana Duque will also contest the title in Bogota. The current World No. 107 reached the second round last year but eventual champion Jankovic knocked her out in straight sets.
The full players list will be announced within the next few weeks. The tournament will offer total prize money of $250,000 in 2014 as Tournament Director Jhan Fontalvo hopes for another successful edition in Bogota.
The Copa Claro Colsanitas will take place between 7 April – 13 April 2014.