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World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and World No. 2 Maria Sharapova with third-seeded Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic will start off their French Open build-up campaign on Monday at the WTA Stuttgart tournament.
World No. 1 Azarenka, the Australian Open champion, will return to action for the first time since losing her twenty six-match winning streak to Marion Bartoli in the quarter-finals of the Miami tournament.
Maria Sharapova lost to Azarenka in the Aussie Open final and in the Indian Wells title match. Sharapova will be looking forward to make it to the final of the French Open, for the first time in her career.
When asked about this tournament, Sharapova said, "I feel like I've improved with every year that I have been playing on it and I enjoy it." She further added that "I feel like you learn so much about the construction of the points and the games - such a cat-and-mouse game. I didn't necessarily like that many years back, but I feel like I'm much better at it and I have improved physically as well."
Last season, local favourite Julia Goerges claimed the title here in Stuttgart. This year, World No. 11 Andrea Petkovic is the top-ranked German for this tournament. Other notable contenders are, China's Li Na, Australia's Samantha Stosur, and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.
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