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Tennis: Top stars in short supply this week

With Indian Wells on the horizon, it is a low-key week in the tennis calendar with the women taking centre stage in Lyon and Monterrey.

World number 30 Camila Giorgi tops the bill in France, with the 30-year-old Italian chasing a fourth career title and her first since winning in Montreal in August of last year.

The top seed is 11/2 to triumph in Lyon, but faces a tricky opener against home favourite Caroline Garcia, while Viktorija Golubic, Alison Van Uytvanck and Shuai Zhang are also housed in her half of the draw.

Golubic was a gallant runner-up last year, losing to rising Danish star Clara Tauson in the final, and the Swiss star is 11/1 to go one better.

Giorgi had lost to Tauson in the quarter-finals, while the Italian also lost in the last eight of this event in 2020, as she went down in three sets to Daria Kasatkina.

Sofia Kenin landed the spoils in Lyon in 2020, which came on the back of her title triumph in the Australian Open, so the trophy should not be taken for granted.

Anna-Lena Friedsam was runner-up to Kenin here two years ago, but is now the world number 134, so is understandably rated a 50/1 chance to take the title.

The American also defeated Van Uytvanck in the semi-finals two years ago and the Belgian is another back for more, available at 15/2 to improve on that effort and claim silverware.

Cornet spearheads strong French challenge

As expected in Lyon, the French challenge is a strong one, with Alize Cornet potentially the leading home hope.

Cornet reached the quarter-finals of last month’s Australian Open, where she claimed the scalps of Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep, and that form must put her bang in the mix.

The 32-year-old is a six-time winner on the WTA Tour and although her last title triumph came in Gstaad in 2018, she looks a live contender on home soil at 7/1.

Cornet has a decent draw to work with - she opens up against a qualifier - and there don't appear to be too many hazards before a potential semi-final showdown with either Ana Konjuh or Sorana Cirstea.

Other French contenders include Garcia - who is 16/1 - Oceane Dodin, Kristina Mladenovic and Elsa Jacquemot.

Raducanu ruled out of Monterrey

Emma Raducanu rose to stardom with her victory at the US Open last year, but things haven't gone to plan for the British number one since then.

Raducanu was forced to retire due to injury in Guadalajara last week and has now withdrawn from competition in Monterrey, with her set to return at Indian Wells at the beginning of March.

The Brit's withdrawal in Mexico is a big blow, but there are still plenty of stars on show with 2021 champion Leylah Fernandez - who was beaten by Raducanu in the Flushing Meadows final - one of the headline acts.

Elina Svitolina, Madison Keys, Sara Sorribes Tormo and Ajla Tomljanovic are other household names heading to North America hoping to get their hands on the trophy.

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