Photo: Corinne DubreuilYulia Putintseva (RUS)
CAGNES-SUR-MER, FRANCE: Now into its 16th straight year as a host venue on the ITF Pro Circuit, and its seventh as a $100,000 tournament, Cagnes-Sur-Mer will feature at least one former champion in action when the main draw gets underway.
Maria-Elena Camerin of Italy won the title back in 2009 and she may be joined in the main draw by 2004 champion Severine Beltrame, the last home grown winner, who will be looking to claim a main draw spot via the qualifying event.
The tournament starts Monday (qualifying takes place this weekend) and since its inaugural year in 1998, when it was a $10,000 tournament, there have been thirteen different nations producing singles champions. France and Italy being the only two nations to have produced more than one winner with three and two title winners respectively.
No player has managed to win back-to-back singles titles and with the withdrawal of defending champion Yulia Putintseva of Russia this trend is set to continue for another year.
Over the years this has certainly proven to be the place for tennis fans to witness on court upsets as no seeded player has won the title since Laura Pous-Tio of Spain triumphed as the number eight seed back in 2005. That year the tournament was in its penultimate year of offering prize money of $75,000.
You will need to look further back to find the last number one seed to make an appearance in the singles final and this honour goes to Giulia Casoni of Italy who lost out in the 2000 final to Iroda Tulyaganova of Uzbekistan. Tulyaganova was herself seeded and this final is, to date, only one of six to produce a seeded champion in Cagnes-Sur-Mer.
To find the last top seed to walk away with the title you need to go right back to the very first tournament in 1998 where Belgian Nancy Feber won!
This shows the high quality of play that attending tennis fans can expect to see each year in Cagnes-Sur-Mer!
Could this year be the year that his barren run for seeds comes to an end?
This tournament has always attracted top class tennis talent and 2013 is no exception with direct acceptances for eight WTA Top 100 ranked players in the main draw. In fact, all 21 direct acceptances into the main draw hold a Top 150 ranking.
2012 - Yulia Putintseva (RUS)
2011 - Sorana Cirstea (ROU)
2010 - Kaia Kanepi (EST)
2009 - Maria-Elena Camerin (ITA)
2008 - Viktoria Kutuzova (UKR)
2007 - Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
2006 - Martina Muller (GER)
2005 - Laura Pous-Tio (ESP)
2004 - Severine Beltrame (FRA)
2003 - Stephanie Cohen-Aloro (FRA)
2002 - Emilie Loit (FRA)
2001 - Jana Hlavackova (CZE)
2000 - Iroda Tulyaganova (UZB)
1999 - Lucie Ahl (GBR)
1998 - Nancy Feber (BEL)