Serbia's Ana Ivanovic to play in Monterrey Open

Mexico City, Mar 28 (EFE).- Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, who is ranked 17th in the world, said she planned to play in the Monterrey Open, which will take place April 1-7 in northern Mexico.

Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, the world No. 3, pulled out of the WTA event in the industrial city of Monterrey.

The 25-year-old Ivanovic won the French Open in 2008 and is a former world No. 1.

"I am excited to play in Monterrey. It will be my first visit to Mexico as a professional, although I visited Merida, in the Yucatan, and Mexico City many years ago," Ivanovic said.

German world No. 6 Angelique Kerber; France's Marion Bartoli, who is ranked 11th in the world; Russia's Maria Kirilenko, the world No. 13; and Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who is ranked 25th in the world, are among the players expected to compete in the hardcourt event.

The 5th edition of the Monterrey Open, which will offer $235,000 in prize money, will feature its last three champions Bartoli (2009), Pavlyuchenkova (2010 and 2011) and Hungary's Timea Babos (2012).

The 19-year-old Babos, who is ranked 122nd in the world, was the surprise champion of last year's Monterrey Open, rolling to the title with wins over 3rd-seeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the round of 16, 2nd-seeded Italian Sara Errani in the semifinals and Romanian Alexandra Cadantu in the final.

The Monterrey Open is one of Mexico's main tennis tournaments along with the Acapulco Open, whose winners were Spain's Rafael Nadal and Italy's Sara Errani earlier this month.