Friday, 27 August 2010

Women's US Open Preview

The final major of the season is upon us with the US Open starting on Monday. With Serena Williams out injured, Caroline Wozniacki is the number 1 seed and it paves the way for an exciting and open competition. Wozniacki will open up her title challenge against American wildcard Carly Gullickson, meanwhile Kim Clijsters as number 2 seed will take on Greta Arn. Of the other top 8 seeds, Stosur and Jankovic have got the toughest openers. Stosur will meet Elena Vesnina who has lost her seeding however she''s raised her game on the hard courts after a disappointing first half of the season and i think Stosur will be going out early. Jankovic will meet Simona Halep who is a promising youngster and with JJ's current form this could be a tricky opener .

For the British players, Anne Keothavong has a good chance of progressing to R2 with a 1st round match-up against Yung-Jan Chan. Elena Baltacha will play Petra Martic for the second straight GS and will want to exact revenge after failing to serve out their match last time round. Hopefully Baltacha will be fired up for this one despite disappointing form of late. In other first round matches, Maria Sharapova will face Jarmilla Groth and Svetlana Kuznetsova will take on Kimiko Date Krumm in what will be tricky openers for the Russians. The stand-out match for R1 will be Daniela Hantuchova v Dinara Safina in what will be a rematch from New Haven earlier this week. It's a shame for Hantuchova as it will be a real struggle to overturn the defeat to Dinara.

Quarter 1 - C Wozniacki (1) v N Li (8)

Wozniacki has a relatively straight forward draw to R4 where she could meet Sharapova in what would be a cracker... i would give the edge with Sharapova but i would definitely like to see Wozniacki continue her good form and progress further. Na Li has some useful players in her section with R3 opposition of Shvedova/Chakvetadze. In the other R3 match, Svetlana Kuznetsova could meet Maria Kirilenko once again. Kirilenko has won their last two encounters that took place this year however Kuznetsova has been playing much better and i'm going to back her to beat both Kirilenko and Li on the way to the QF.
Prediction = Sharapova v Kuznetsova

Quarter 2 - J Jankovic (4) v V Zvonareva (7)

It must be said that JJ has a very good draw and its a shame she has not been playing very well recently. However im going to back JJ to reach the QF. Halep in R1 and Kanepi in R3 will not be easy matches but i think she will turn her game around. MJMS will struggle with a lack of matches and Wickmayer has not looker herself so Schnyder or Goerges is my tip for JJ's R4 opponent. Zvonareva has a good draw and should progress to the 4R without too many problems. Radwanska could meet Petrova in R3 who has been blowing hot and cold recently but i would have to go for the more consistent player in Radwanska. Zvonareva against Radwanska would be a R4 match-up and i'd give the slightest of edges to Zvonareva.
Prediction = Jankovic v Zvonareva

Quarter 3 - F Schiavone (6) v V Williams (3)

Francesca Schiavone should make R3 where she will meet Dushevina or A.Bondarenko however i cannot see her progressing any further. The tie of R3 could be Azarenka v Pavlyuchenkova. I'm going for Azarenka to win this and reach the QF although ive felt this could be A-Pav's breakthrough tournament so we'll see what happens... Venus has it easy on paper up to R3 where she could meet Pironkova again although i think its more likely it will be Hercog. I'm predicting Pennetta will come through Szavay and Peer to meet Venus in R4 and knock her out. This does depend on Pennettas fitness as she pulled out of New Haven but hopefully precautionary. I've always felt Venus will not win the US, especially without any matches since Wimbledon so it would definitely be a surprise to me...
Prediction = Azarenka v Pennetta

Quarter 4 - S Stosur (5) v K Clijsters (2)

Stosur is struggling with injury and form so i dont think this will be her tournament. Elena Dementieva should meet the winner of Hantuchova/Safina in R3 and i think Dementieva will progress to the QF. Kleybanova or Vesnina should be her R4 opponent with Johanna Larsson a long shot at possibly upsetting Alisa Kleybanova. Clijsters has a good draw to R4 with Kvitova her projected R3 opponent. Ivanovic has some tricky, but winnable ones and i think she'll get as far as R3 to face Bartoli if shes recovered from injury. Clijsters will then face off against Bartoli in the 4th round and i can only see one winner in this one...
Prediction = Dementieva v Clijsters

The Winner - At the moment i'm going for a Sharapova v Azarenka final. I have a feeling Clijsters will not win... there's no logic behind this argument just a gut feeling! I think there is a great chance we will see a new GS winner and i think it could be Azarenka. I would have said Wozniacki before i saw the draw however im concerned with Sharapova lurking in her section.

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