Thursday, 15 January 2009
Australian Open Predictions (Women's)
Well now onto the woman's draw.
Jelena Jankovic will be the No.1 seed here. She is definitely a force in tennis currently - a Lindsay Davenport of her time; someone we'd expect to be in the latter stages of most tournaments, however when it comes to Grand Slams I'm not sure if she will prevail especially in the Australian Open. Most of the time I find that there's always somebody better in the tournament than Jankovic; therefore I always think she will only make the semis or finals. This year I have a similar feeling. I'm just not sure the Australian will be hers - I think she has a better shot at Roland Garros or the US.
Expected Appearance: Semifinals
Serena Williams has always been a strong competitor at the Australian Open and with 2008 being one of her best years I think it is plausible that Serena will be in the latter stages of the event. Lets remember that Serena took this title in 03,05 and 07. If history were to repeat itself 09 would be her next title! But one thing does worry me; since her debut she hasn't been in this many Grand Slams consecutively - this would be her 10th consecutive Grand Slam - yes she maybe a pro but I do have a bad omen on something like this. I do however think she is the one to beat.
Expected Appearance: Semifinals/Finals
Dinara Safina has never been a force at the Australian Open but she only rose to prominence after the Australian 08 tournament. However she does seem more comfortable at Roland Garros and the US. She's not yet an all court player and I think the Australian maybe one of her downfalls. However she hasn't seem to fail us in many hardcourts appearances so lets just sit and watch.
Expected Appearance: Quarterfinals
Elena Dementieva had similar circumstances to Dinara in that she only seemed to hot up after the Australian 08. I think last year was one of her most consistent years (remember 04 when she achieved 1st round, finals, 1st round, finals at the 4 grand slams. I think Elena is on her best form currently.
Expected Appearance: Quarterfinals
Ana Ivanovic reached the Finals last year with a mix of form and a good draw. She however deteriorated towards the end of last year. She also recently lost to Amelie Mauresmo (she's not what she used to be). I think Ana will find it difficult to make an impact here as I only think Roland Garros is suited to her. She doesn't have the form she had during mid 07 towards mid 08.
Expected Appearance: 4th Round/ chance of reaching Quarterfinals
Venus hasn't played since last year so I'm unsure of her form. If it was Wimbledon we could always expect her to put on a show but as it is the Australian open I don't know what to expect. Anyway I looked at the last 5 years of her Grand Slam achievements and it was interesting to see that when Venus reached the QF's of Roland Garros she losses out early in Wimbledon but when she only reaches the third round of Roland Garros she wins Wimbledon; guess you can't have it all!
Expected Appearance: Possibly Quarterfinals?
Vera Zvonareva: not expecting too much from her as she never seems to do that well in Grand Slams.
Expected Appearance: Third Round
Svetlana Kuznetsova seems to be dwindling - and at the age of 23 that is not a good sign as 23 should be your glory days. The Australian Open is probably her weakest Slam so I don't know think she'll make it far.
Expected Appearance: If Unlucky Second Round, Most likely Third Round
Sadly the reigning champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn because the Australian was one of her most consistent Slams. I'm finding it difficult to accept that Sharapova is out of main contention currently because I began to like her in 2007. I am dissapointed that many of the former Top 5 players have vanished but hopefully Sharapova will give us a good Wimbledon showing.
Other players of note:
Agnieszka Radwanksa - A Strong contender for a Quarterfinal spot; could be the one to defeat the weaker of the Top 8 players.
Nadia Petrova - She had a good end of Season last year but she may have declined back this year with her latest performance. However I'll still watch out for her.
Victoria Azarenka is quickly becoming one of my liked teen players and I think she could possibly upset one of the Top 8.
Amelie Mauresmo - could shock one or two of the Top 8 before maybe losing unceremoniously to a weaker player!
Yet again there are other players of note but it would take to long to list them all - however I do find that WTA has less variation in the quarterfinals than ATP most Quarterfinalists normally are in the Top 20.
Oh my God just realized Anne Keothavong is only 2 ranks behind Nicole Vaidisova!