samedi 21 janvier 2012

Ausralian Open 4TH ROUND Preview

The third is finished in Melbourne and we had some surprises as Vera Zvonareva's exist againt a brillant Ekaterina Makarova. The main contenders are still right on track, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki did not drop a single set in their way to the 4th round in Melbourne. Let's take a look at this 4th round draw first !
THE 4TH ROUND DRAW
WOZNIACKI Caroline (DEN/1) vs JANKOVIC Jelena (SRB/13)
CLIJSTERS Kim (BEL/11) vs LI Na (CHN/5)
AZARENKA Victoria (BLR/3) vs BENESOVA Iveta (CZE)
GOERGES Julia (GER//22) vs RADWANSKA Agniezska (POL/8)

MAKAROVA Ekaterina (RUS) vs WILLIAMS Serena (USA/12)
LISICKI Sabine (GER/14) vs SHARAPOVA Maria (RUS/4)
ERRANI Sara (ITA) vs ZHENG Jie (CHN)
IVANOVIC Ana (SRB/21) vs KVITOVA Petra (CZE/2)

jeudi 19 janvier 2012

Australian Open 3rd round PREVIEW

Tonight, the 3rd round of the Australian Open will begin under the shiny sun and the high temperatures. It was quite impressive the way that both Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka dropped 2 games in their two first rounds while Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams did not drop a single set in their road to the 3rd round. Let's take a look at the 3rd round draw.

THE 3RD ROUND MAIN DRAW 

WOZNIACKI Caroline (DEN/1) vs NICULESCU Monica (ROU/31)
MCHALE Christina (USA) vs JANKOVIC Jelena (SRB/13)
CLIJSTERS Kim (BEL/11) vs HANTUCHOVA Daniela (SVK/20)
MEDINA GARIGUES Anabel (ESP/26) vs LI Na (CHN/5)

AZARENKA Victoria (BLR/3) vs BARTHEL Mona (GER)
BRATCHIKOVA Nina (RUS) vs BENESOVA Iveta (CZE)
OPRANDI Romina (ITA) vs GOERGES Julia (GER/22)
VOSKOBOEVA Galina (KAZ) vs RADWANSKA Agnieszka (POL/8)

ZVONAREVA Vera (RUS/7) vs MAKAROVA Ekaterina (RUS)
ARN Greta (HUN) vs WILLIAMS Serena (USA/12)
LISICKI Sabine (GER/14) vs KUZNETSOVA Svetlana (RUS/18)
KERBER Angelique (GER/30) vs SHARAPOVA Maria (RUS/4)

CIRSTEA Sorana (ROU) vs ERRANI Sara (ITA)
ZHENG Jie (CHN) vs BARTOLI Marion (FRA/9)
KING Vania (USA) vs IVANOVIC Ana (SRB/21)
KIRILENKO Maria (RUS/27) vs KVITOVA Petra (CZE/2)

Interesting 3rd rounds match-up : 
MCHALE Christina (USA) vs JANKOVIC Jelena (SRB/13)
Jelena Jankovic's backhand, her biggest weapon (Melbourne, Australia)
An interesting match in the 3rd round that will be a real test for the serbian player who will face one of the uprising youngsters in the person of Christina McHale, the american got what it takes to make Jelena Jankovic run for her money and do a lot of efforts all over the court. She could lose a set to the american but I can't see McHale beating Jelena because of her lack of consistency. I'm really looking forward to seeing this match tonight.








Daniela Hantuchova's smooth forehand, a beautiful shot (Melbourne, Australia)
CLIJSTERS Kim (BEL/11) vs HANTUCHOVA Daniela (SVK/20)

I love taking risk and I'm a Daniela Hantuchova dear fan and I really want to believe that she could make an upset. Indeed, Kim has beaten Stephanie Foretz Gacon in high fashion style yesterday but it is mainly because the frenchwoman played so poorly. Daniela will have to rise up her level from what we saw yesterday against Lesia Tsurenko. I expect a tough match and a great battle. We could see all Kim's rust if somehow Daniela shows up. Upset in the making.



Victoria Azarenka's fighting spirit and will in that posture (Melbourne, Australia)




A tough match in the making for Victoria Azarenka who after having the easiest road ever will have to face the young German who won Hobart last week by beating Yanina Wickmayer in the final comprehensively : Mona Barthel. She could also give Azarenka a run for her money and make her hit a lot of balls. By the way, she could really make an upset here if Azarenka shows up lazy. Mona will come out there strong and without any stress and will definitely go for her shots.





Galina Voskoboeva's clean backhand (Hobart, Australia)
VOSKOBOEVA Galina (KAZ) vs RADWANSKA Agnieszka (POL/8)
 A just feel that upset so badly because of the poor game she displayed against Bethanie Mattek-Sands while Galina Voskoboeva played a quite solid tennis in order to reach the 3rd round. We all know that Galina is able to display great tennis as she's beaten both Marion Bartoli and Maria Sharapova last year in Toronto. Agnieszka in this tournament just seemed, sometimes, to go back to what she used to do, too much pushing not enough attacking...





Vera Zvonareva warming up seriously (Melbourne, Australia)
 ZVONAREVA Vera (RUS/7) vs MAKAROVA Ekaterina (RUS)
An all-russian match in this third round, not like we are not used to see those in last years. Vera Zvonareva, after struggling against Alexandra Dulgheru in the first round, showed signs of improvment in the 2nd round against Lucie Hradecka. In this third round, she'll face Ekaterina Makarova who, from a match to another, can go from up to down, and even in the same match. So I really don't know how she'll show up and I totally favor Vera's consistency and regularity and she should prevail in two sets.
Sabine Lisicki's beautiful smile after a tough win in the 1st round (Melbourne, Australia)
LISICKI Sabine (GER/14) vs KUZNETSOVA Svetlana (RUS/18)
One of the most interesting match since the beginning of the tournament so far. These are two talented players who are going to face each other. While Sabine Lisicki began really average againt Stefanie Voegle and then leveled it up against Shahar Peer yesterday, Svetlana Kuznetsova did the job but did not impress during her two first rounds. Both players are the kind of players than can show up great one day and abysmal the other day. It will really depend on which level both players will play at but nowadays, Sabine seems to be a wiser and safer choice especially that since the beginning of the year, her forehand is just being teremendous.
When Maria Sharapova's forehand is on, it's a massive weapon on the court (Melbourne, Australia)


KERBER Angelique (GER/30) vs SHARAPOVA Maria (RUS/4)
 A first quite big test for the Siberian Siren. Maria Sharapova displayed a quite impressive tennis in her two first rounds, dropping 2 games in those two matches. Even though she sometimes seemed a bit erratic on groundies, her serve seems to be fixed up a little by little while Angelique Kerber, who reached the semi-final last year at the US Open, did the job but was not that impressive. I can see her challenging a little bit Maria but not winning this and not winning even a set. Maria will have t

o fac
ZHENG Jie (CHN) vs BARTOLI Marion (FRA/9)
Marion's been the player who hitted the most aces in 2011 (Melbourne, Australia)
A tough third round for Marion Bartoli who never managed to find the clue against Jie Zheng. Actually, the fact is simple : Marion's game fits perfectly Jie's retireving skills and even though Marion plays perfectly, she just got physically overwhelmed. But it's been quite a while they did not meet and Marion's fitness has amazingly improved and from what I saw against Jelena Dokic, Marion has what it takes to beat Jie even thoug it won't be easy as the chinese player loves to play in Australia as the surface suits her game so well and is coming back on the tour with a quite strong level.


Petra's forehand, a terrific weapon on hardcourts (Melbourne, Australia)
 KIRILENKO Maria (RUS/27) vs KVITOVA Petra (CZE/2)
This is going to be an interesting match up for Petra Kvitova who showed some signs of nervosity against Carla Suarez Navarro in the 2nd round and this time against Maria Kirilenko, the match will be even harder because of Kirilenko's powerful game but also really smart. The czech will have to stay focused and calm in order to win but the thing is Maria will make her run for her money as she displayed a great tennis in the 1st round against Jarmila Gajdosova.
e a tough set and another way easier set to get through this match.

mardi 17 janvier 2012

Australian Open : 2nd Round Preview

The 1st round in Melbourne is now finished and the second round, is, while I'm writing, going on on  Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena, Margaret Court Arena and all others Show Courts at Melbourne Park. So I'm going, like I did for the first round to post the draw since second round this time, and put in Red people I can see winning before focusing on interesting match-ups.

MAIN DRAW (2nd Round)

WOZNIACKI Caroline (DEN/1) vs TATISHVILI Anna (GEO)
PARMENTIER Pauline (FRA) vs NICULESCU Monica (ROU/31)
ERAKOVIC Marina (NZL) vs MCHALE Christina (USA)
CHANG Kai-Chen (TPE) vs JANKOVIC Jelena (SRB/13)

CLIJSTERS Kim (BEL/11) vs FORETZ GACON Stephanie (FRA)
TSURENKO Lesia (UKR) vs HANTUCHOVA Daniela (SVK/20)
MEDINA GARRIGUES Anabel (ESP/26) vs GOVORTSOVA Olga (BLR) 
ROGOWSKA Olivia (AUS) vs LI Na (CHN/5)

AZARENKA Victoria (BLR/3) vs DELLACQUA Casey (AUS)
BARTHEL Mona (GER) vs CETKOVSKA Petra (CZE/32) 
BRATCHIKOVA Nina (RUS) vs BRIANTI Alberta (ITA)
BENESOVA Iveta (CZE) vs PENG Shui (CHN/16)

SCHIAVONE Fransesca (ITA/10) vs OPRANDI Romina (ITA) 
DANILIDOU Eleni (GRE) vs GOERGES Julia (GER/22)
VOSKOBOEVA Galina (KAZ) vs PIRONKOVA Tsvetana (BLR)
ORMAECHEA Paula (ARG) vs RADWANSKA Agnieszka (POL/8)

ZVONAREVA Vera (RUS/7) vs HRADECKA Lucie (CZE) 
MAKAROVA Ekaterna (RUS) vs KANEPI Kaia (EST/25)
CIBULKOVA Dominika (SVK/17) vs ARN Greta (HUN) 
ZAHLAVOVA STRYCOVA Barbora (CZE) vs WILLIAMS Serena (USA/12)

LISICKI Sabine (GER/14) vs PEER Shahar (ISR)
STEPHENS Sloane (USA) vs KUZNETSOVA Svetlana (RUS/18) 
KERBER Angelique (GER/30) vs DUBOIS Stephanie (CAN)
HAMPTON Jamie (USA) vs SHARAPOVA Maria (RUS/4)

CIRSTEA Sorana (ROU) vs RADWANSKA Urzula (POL)
ERRANI Sara (ITA) vs PETROVA Nadia (RUS/29)
VINCI Roberta (ITA/23) vs ZHENG Jie (CHN)
DOKIC Jelena (AUS) vs BARTOLI Marion (FRA/9) 

PAVLYUCHENKOVA Anastasia (RUS/15) vs KING Vania (USA)
KRAJICEK Michaella (NED) vs IVANOVIC Ana (SRB/21)
KIRILENKO Maria (RUS/27) vs WOZNIAK Alexandra (CAN)
SUAREZ NAVARRO Carla (ESP) vs KVITOVA Petra  (CZE/2)

Interesting 2nd round match ups : 

All Christina McHale's determination in 1st round (Melbourne, Australia)


ERAKOVIC Marina (NZL) vs MCHALE Christina (USA)
A tough second round between two youngsters who shined last year and are still waiting for a big breakthrough. The american seems nowadays steadier and most of all, more consistant than the Kiwi who can overwhelm anyone like she did against Victoria Azarenka last year in Stanford and can also lose to anyone. I'd favor McHale to prevail in two tight sets or three sets.









Victoria Azarenka's firepower in that forhehand (Melbourne, Australia)
AZARENKA Victoria (BLR/3) vs DELLACQUA Casey (AUS)

Not that evident a second round for Victoria Azarenka one of the bookmakers' favorites ! She's facing the Aussie, Casey Dellacqua who is coming back from injury and being really convincing from a match to another. We know that Casey love to do well in front of home crowd and I guess she could cause Azarenka some troubles, but the belarus should prevail in three tight sets


The forehand, one of Sabine's biggest weapon (Melbourne, Australia)
 LISICKI Sabine (GER/14) vs PEER Shahar (ISR)
 Interesting match between two talented players but that got quite opposites game. While Shahar Peer will try to push away her oppenent, Sabine Lisicki is the kind of player who goes for her shot and got a terrific serve and forehand. Lisicki had a lot of trouble in the first round to get rid of Stefanie Voegle and showed some physical issues and the Israliean could use that but I guess Sabine knows Shahar well and knows that she won't be allowed to repeat the same poor performance. Thus, she should prevail in two sets.



Jelena Dokic enjoys swinging that backhand at Aussie Open (Melbourne, Australia)
DOKIC Jelena (AUS) vs BARTOLI Marion (FRA/9)

Interesting match up a week after their Sydney meeting where Marion Bartoli won 6/0 6/3. I don't think it will be the same at all in this match. Jelena Dokic always loves to do well in Melbourne and she usually does. She's got a terrific power off both wings and Marion seemed a bit rusty against Virginie Razzano in the 1st round. As I love taking risks, I can see Dokic, pushed by home crowd, making the upset and prevailing in three tight sets.

dimanche 15 janvier 2012

Australian Open Preview

The night session on the Rod Laver Arena (Melbourne, Australia)
The first Grand Slam is about to begin in few hours now and I'm sorry to give you this article that late but did not have enough time with classes, exams and so on. Whatever, I'm back and strongly back to give you my impressions on the draw and what could happen. Of course, the best way to figure out will be after both first days about the level of each player and possible upsets. Let's first have a look at the 16 sections of the draw and discuss about it. Favorites will be highlighted in red while "dark horses" will be in blue.


SECTION 1 :
[1] WOZNIACKI, Caroline DEN v RODIONOVA, Anastasia AUS
[WC] BARTY, Ashleigh AUS v TATISHVILI, Anna GEO
PARMENTIER, Pauline FRA v KUDRYAVTSEVA, Alla RUS
CORNET, Alize FRA v [31] NICULESCU, Monica ROU


Comments : A quite confortable section for Caroline Wozniacki, the world number one. She'll prevail in this section in an easy way if her wrist is somehow healed. I can see her facing Alize Cornet from France in the 3rd round, who, if she magically find back her smoothy game could really make her run for her money. Monica Niculescu could really be upset by the frenchwoman because of her inconsistency and her game that sometimes can totally fall appart.


SECTION 2 : 
[24] SAFAROVA, Lucie CZE v MCHALE, Christina USA
[Q] PAVLOVIC, Irena FRA v ERAKOVIC, Marina NZL
[Q] CHANG Kai-Chen TPE v MARTIC, Petra CRO
[Q] ROBSON, Laura v [13] JANKOVIC, Jelena SRB

 
Comments : A tough section to predict. In fact, the 1st round match between Lucie Safarova and Christina McHale will be one of the matches to watch out. The talented american youngster has showed before that she was able to produce some beautiful tennis. On her side, Jelena Jankovic got a tricky first round against Laura Robson, the talented british player who she faced before, in Wimbledon. If somehow the serbian pass through this 1st round, she should prevail in this section thanks to her consistency from the baseline.


SECTION 3 : 
[11] CLIJSTERS, Kim BEL v [Q] KOHELER, Maria Joao POR
FORETZ GACON, Stephanie FRA v BALTACHA, Elena GBR
RUS, Arantxa NED v TSURENKO, Lesia UKR
[Q] LEPCHENKO, Varvara v [20] HANTUCHOVA, Daniela SVK


Comments :  An easy section for both Kim Clijsters and Daniela Hantuchova, who, if, they don't totally fall appart or forget their tennis somewhere, should meet for a third round match. I gave the edge to Daniela Hantuchova because of the good tennis she can produce on this surface like she did in 2008 and because of Kim Clijsters health that is very questionnable. Well, I gotta confess I did so also because I like Daniela's game and seeing her playing on the court. The thing is, I can't see anyone above those who could distrub Daniela and Kim to meet. Really.

SECTION 4 :
[26] MEDINA GARRIGUES, Anabel ESP v BIRNEROVA, Eva CZE
MAYR-ACHLEITNER, Patricia AUT v GOVORTSOVA, Olga BLR
ARVIDSSON, Sofia SWE v [WC] ROGOWSKA, Olivia AUS
PERVAK, Ksenia KAZ v [5] LI, Na CHN


Comments : On this surface, this is the kindest Li Na could have ever dreamt of. No one, except perhaps Ksenia Pervak, could make the upset and make her dismissed. None of the players in that section are in form enough or just consistant enough to deal with Li Na's game on Plexcushion. Even the other seed, Anabel Medina Guarrigues won't be able to challenge her. 

SECTION 5 : 
[3] AZARENKA, Victoria BLR v WATSON, Heather GBR
[WC] DELLACQUA, Casey AUS v JOVANOVSKI, Bojana SRB
KEOTHAVONG, Anne GBR v BARTHEL, Mona GER
MORITA, Ayumi JPN v [32] CETKOVSKA, Petra CZE


Comments : A quite tough section to handle for Victoria Azarenka. No doubt she's the strong favorite out there but her first round against the talented Heather Watson could be tricky, it's not like Heather did not give Maria Sharapova a hard time during the last US Open. Petra Cetkovska, when she's on, is really able to beat anyone, but lately, she's been quite erratic, so it will really depend on how she shows up. We can't exclude Mona Barthel who won at Hobart last week beating Yanina Wickmayer comprehensively in the final. Bojana Jovanovski loves playing on big courts against big names and if she meets Azarenka, she could really make her have a bad time. To finish with, Casey Dellacqua lived the best moments of her career here, in Melbourne, when se defeated Amelie Mauresmo in 2008, in the 3rd round. In front of home crowd, who knows what she's able to produce ? Whatever, I can see Victoria passing through those rounds like a storm if she's wildely on. An interesting section to follow for sure.


SECTION 6 : 
[19] PENNETTA, Flavia ITA v [Q] BRATCHIKOVA, Nina RUS
BRIANTI, Alberta ITA v FALCONI, Irina USA
BENESOVA, Iveta CZE v JOHANSSON, Mathilde FRA
[WC] REZAI, Aravane FRA v [16] PENG, Shuai CHN


Comments : An interesting section for sure ! Hard to say who to favor really because I really don't know how those ladies will show up. Well, I can't see Alberta Britani or Irina Falconi as potential winners in this section. Flavia Pennetta is one of the steadiest player on tour but since her doubles' career has been great, she seemed to let down the singles a little bit but she's still a big contender when she's on. Shuai Peng is coming back from injury and we don't know yet which tennis she's able to produce, really but if she comes back at hundered percent, she'll be a major threat in this section just like her oppenent Aravane Rezai who had a tough year splitting up with her father and if she somehow regroup for this year and this tournament, she'll be really hard to handle. This is the section of the unknown and I'd say that the one who'll win the 1st round match between Rezai and Peng, will advance until the 4th round. Let's say Aravane !


SECTION 7 : 
[10] SCHIAVONE, Francesca ITA v POUS-TIO, Laura ESP
YAKIMOVA, Anastasiya BLR v OPRANDI, Romina ITA
DATE-KRUMM, Kimiko JPN v DANIILIDOU, Eleni GRE
HERCOG, Polona SLO v [22] GOERGES, Julia GER



Comments : Again a tough on to predict. Even if Anastasia Yakimova seems a bit weaker than the others,  thus I can't see her making it any further than 1st round. A third round between Fransesca Schiavone and Julia Goerges is likely to happen but the thing is players such as Kimiko Date-Krumm and Romina Oprandi could really threaten this theorical match-up. In fact, since the beginning of the year, Julia Goerges has been quite erratic (is this have something to do with her switch from Wilson to Babolat ?). Nonetheless, she's able to produce such a powerful and all-round tennis that I'll take the risk to favor her in this section, even over Schiavone, who could be overwhelmed by Julia's firepower.


SECTION 8 : 
[28] WICKMAYER, Yanina BEL v VOSKOBOEVA, Galina KAZ
PIRONKOVA, Tsvetana BUL v MIRZA, Sania IND
[Q] ORMAECHEA Paula, ARG v HALEP, Simona ROU
MATTEK-SA
NDS Bethanie, USA v [8] RADWANSKA, Agnieszka POL


Comments : An interesting section where the strongest favortie is clearly Agniezska Radwanska but her task to deal with this draw won't be easy. For sure, her first round against Bethanie Mattek-Sands won't be easy, especially if Queen Beth is in form. Yania Wickmayer will face Voskoboeva Galina and when this girl is on, she can pull out big upsets like she did in Toronto beating both Marion Bartoli and Maria Sharapova. Tsvetana Pironkova seemed quite erratic these times but Sania Mirza is the kind of player who can, from anywhere, be back to her top, and when she plays at her momentum, she's tough to handle. It will be interesting to see how much Radwanska can dominate this section.


SECTION 9 :
[7] ZVONAREVA, Vera RUS v DULGHERU, Alexandra ROU
RODINA, Evgeniya RUS v HRADECKA, Lucie CZE
MAKAROVA, Ekaterina RUS v TANASUGARN, Tamarine THA
LARSSON, Johanna SWE v [25] KANEPI, Kaia EST


Comments : An interesting section where Vera Zvonareva and Kaia Kanepi seems to emerge as hot favorites. The thing is Kaia Kanepi won at Brisbane playing an impressive tennis while Vera Zvonareva lost her opening match against Svetlana Kuznetsova last week at Sydney. Vera will have a tough 1st round against Alexandra Dulgheru, who is able to produce a good quality tennis against anyone. Apart from those three, I can see Ekaterina Makarova, the lefty russian who is always a threat when she's and who could do some damages in the draw. As a favourite, I'd favor Vera though, over Kaia. 


SECTION 10 : 
[17] CIBULKOVA, Dominika SVK v RYBARIKOVA, Magdalena SVK
MARINO, Rebecca CAN v ARN, Greta HUN
BREMOND, Iryna FRA v ZAHLAVOVA STRYCOVA, Barbora CZE
PASZEK, Tamira AUT v [12] WILLIAMS, Serena USA


Comments : No one can't help oneself to feel that Serena Williams is the clear favorite in this section and that nobody will be able to threaten her. But her first round against Tamira Paszek can be really tricky and we should never count out Dominika Cibulkova who is one of the most regular player on tour. Beside those two player, I really can't see anyone else giving Serena troubles.


SECTION 11 : 
[14] LISICKI, Sabine GER v [Q] VOEGLE, Stefanie SUI
PEER, Shahar ISR v [WC] HOLLAND, Isabella AUS
STEPHENS, Sloane USA v SOLER-ESPINOSA, Silvia ESP
SCHEEPERS, Chanelle RSA v [18] KUZNETSOVA, Svetlana RUS


Comments : A really tough section to predit as basically, almost all players got what it takes to reach the 4th round. In fact, Sabine Lisicki, when she's on, could really dominate without problems even if she has to face Svetlana Kuznetsova. The thing is her form is questionnable since she withdrew from Sydney last week due to injury. If she's not totally healthy, players like Shahar Peer could upset her, because of her consistency. Kuznetsova will have a tricky first round against Chanelle Scheepers and, if she's on a bad day, she could totally lose to her. To finish with, one of the greatest american hopes, Sloane Stephens has what it takes to do some damages in that draw. I'd favor Sabine as a hot favorite though.


SECTION 12 :
[30] KERBER, Angelique GER v [WC] BOBUSIC, Bojana AUS
DUBOIS, Stephanie CAN v VESNINA, Elena RUS
MINELLA, Mandy LUX v HAMPTON, Jamie USA
DULKO, Gisela ARG v [4] SHARAPOVA, Maria RUS


Comments : Maria Sharapova seems to be by far the favorite among those players. But she struggled lately with an ankle injury and we all know that since her come back from shoulder injury, her serve has been shaky as hell. She's got first a tough first round to deal with since she faces Gisela Dulko that could upset her. Gisela is clearly a "giant killer" and have beaten Maria before in a grand slam, it was in Wimbledon in 2009. If she survives to Dulko, she should have a quite easy second round before facing either Angelique Kerber or Elena Vesnina and, in a good day, both girls, are able to cause some troubles to Maria, especially if she's rusty. If she stays focused and play well, Maria should reach the 4th round.


SECTION 13 : 
[6] STOSUR, Samantha AUS v CIRSTEA, Sorana ROU
[Q] RISKE, Alison USA v RADWANSKA, Urszula POL
[Q] SAVINYKH, Valeria RUS v ERRANI, Sara ITA
[Q] HLAVACKOVA ,Andrea CZE v [29] PETROVA, Nadia RUS


Comments : A quite enigmatic section I gotta confess ! We don't know where those players are with their tennis and their mental. In fact, Samantha Stosur, the US Open champion, plays a good tennis overall but is totally terrified in front of home crowd, as she showed it in Brisbane losing to Iveta Benesova. While, Nadia Petrova is nearly 30 now and we don't know still how she'll show up, if she plays well, she could pull the upset in that section. Looming players in this section are really dangerous : Sorana Cirstea is a former quarterfinalist in Roland Garros and still got a teremendous firepower and could uspet a nervous Stosur. Alison Riske is a talented american youngster that is able to play well when she's on but her first round against Urzula Radwanska will be hard to handle as the young polish got what it takes ti figure well there. I'd favor Sorana Cirstea even if it's totally crazy.


SECTION 14 : 
[23] VINCI, Roberta ITA v CADANTU, Alexandra ROU
[WC] KEYS, Madison USA v ZHENG, Jie CHN
DOKIC, Jelena AUS v [SR] CHAKVETADZE, Anna RUS
RAZZANO, Virginie FRA v [9] BARTOLI, Marion FRA


Comments : A quite tough section there as all players got the potential to shine depending on how they'll show up. Marion Bartoli seems a quite fair favorite as she's a Top 10 player and that she became more and more consistant. She's facing frenchwoman Virginie Razzano and should be careful since Razzano always give her a run for her money and that she'ds not leading their head-to-head. After that, she'll have to face the winner of the 1st round match to watch out : Jelena Dokic or Anna Chakvetadze. Those two girls could also cause big dammages on the court if they are healthy and focused enough. The most dangerous floatter remains Jie Zheng who won in Auckland this year and seems to be strongly back, and Marion's game fits perfectly Jie's, and we know that Marion has always have big troubles with her. We must not count out Madison Keys, the talented american youngster that is perhaps still immature to get involved in the big fight in that section. To finish with, I don't know what to think about Roberta Vinci who shouldn't be a threat on that surface and that I did not see play for a while.


SECTION 15 : 
[15] PAVLYUCHENKOVA, Anastasia RUS v ZAKOPALOVA, Klara CZE
BONDARENKO, Kateryna UKR v KING, Vania USA
BARROIS, Kristina GER v KRAJICEK, Michaella NED
DOMINGUEZ LINO, Lourdes ESP v [21] IVANOVIC, Ana SRB


Comments : A quite weak section where the two seeded players Anasatsia Pavlyuchenkova and Ana Ivanovic are totally out of form. Well, actually, Ivanovic is still so up and down, she played good at Brisbane before falling in the 1st round in Sydney to Lucie Safarova. Vania King can be dangerous but she's out of form and the same goes for Kateryna Bondarenko. I can see Micheala Krajicek, one of the mot dangerous player out there, doing things in that draw but overall, I'd favor Ana Ivanovic who loves to play in Australia.


SECTION 16 : 
[27] KIRILENKO, Maria RUS v GAJDOSOVA, Jarmila AUS
[WC] ZHANG, Shuai CHN v WOZNIAK, Aleksandra CAN
BEGU, Irina-Camelia ROU v SUAREZ NAVARRO, Carla ESP
DUSHEVINA, Vera RUS v [2] KVITOVA, Petra CZE


Comments : Of course, Petra Kvitova is the hottest favorite out there and I really can't see who can make her lose before the 4th round. The only one who can beat her ... is herself ! In fact, we know that sometimes she can't handle the preassure and during this tournament, she just has to do a round better than Wozniacki in order to clinch the 1st spot and that could perhaps make her affraid. And if it's the case, sure both Maria Kirilenko and Jarmila Gajdosova will be able to do some damages. Beside those, I can't see anyone of other players doing well as they are out of form. But we can't count out Carla Suarez Navarro who usually plays good here.

vendredi 13 janvier 2012

Australian Open Draw and 1st round Preview

Here it is ! The first Grand Slam of the year and I love the Australian Open ! I love those blue courts, those players who are eager to play well and to do well in the beginning of the year. I love grand slams, especially on women's side as you really never know what's gonna happen. Of course, I love making Predictions, so I'll publish the draw and put in red, the name of the winner to me before trying to go further in the analysis and why not to give some details about interesting

THE MAIN DRAW
[1] WOZNIACKI, Caroline DEN v RODIONOVA, Anastasia AUS
[WC] BARTY, Ashleigh AUS v TATISHVILI, Anna GEO
PARMENTIER, Pauline FRA v KUDRYAVTSEVA, Alla RUS
CORNET, Alize FRA v [31] NICULESCU, Monica ROU

[24] SAFAROVA, Lucie CZE v MCHALE, Christina USA
[Q] QUALIFIER v ERAKOVIC, Marina NZL
[Q] QUALIFIER v MARTIC, Petra CRO
[Q] QUALIFIER v [13] JANKOVIC, Jelena SRB

[11] CLIJSTERS, Kim BEL v [Q] QUALIFIER
FORETZ GACON, Stephanie FRA v BALTACHA, Elena GBR
RUS, Arantxa NED v TSURENKO, Lesia UKR
[Q] QUALIFIER v [20] HANTUCHOVA, Daniela SVK

[26] MEDINA GARRIGUES, Anabel ESP v BIRNEROVA, Eva CZE
MAYR-ACHLEITNER, Patricia AUT v GOVORTSOVA, Olga BLR
ARVIDSSON, Sofia SWE v [WC] ROGOWSKA, Olivia AUS
PERVAK, Ksenia KAZ v [5] LI, Na CHN


[3] AZARENKA, Victoria BLR v WATSON, Heather GBR
[WC] DELLACQUA, Casey AUS v JOVANOVSKI, Bojana SRB
KEOTHAVONG, Anne GBR v BARTHEL, Mona GER
MORITA, Ayumi JPN v [32] CETKOVSKA, Petra CZE

[19] PENNETTA, Flavia ITA v [Q] QUALIFIER
BRIANTI, Alberta ITA v FALCONI, Irina USA
BENESOVA, Iveta CZE v JOHANSSON, Mathilde FRA
[WC] REZAI, Aravane FRA v [16] PENG, Shuai CHN

[10] SCHIAVONE, Francesca ITA v POUS-TIO, Laura ESP
YAKIMOVA, Anastasiya BLR v OPRANDI, Romina ITA
DATE-KRUMM, Kimiko JPN v DANIILIDOU, Eleni GRE
HERCOG, Polona SLO v [22] GOERGES, Julia GER

[28] WICKMAYER, Yanina BEL v VOSKOBOEVA, Galina KAZ
PIRONKOVA, Tsvetana BUL v MIRZA, Sania IND
[Q] QUALIFIER v HALEP, Simona ROU
MATTEK-SANDS, Bethanie USA v [8] RADWANSKA, Agnieszka POL


[7] ZVONAREVA, Vera RUS v DULGHERU, Alexandra ROU
RODINA, Evgeniya RUS v HRADECKA, Lucie CZE
MAKAROVA, Ekaterina RUS v TANASUGARN, Tamarine THA
LARSSON, Johanna SWE v [25] KANEPI, Kaia EST

[17] CIBULKOVA, Dominika SVK
v RYBARIKOVA, Magdalena SVK
MARINO, Rebecca CAN v ARN, Greta HUN
BREMOND, Iryna FRA v ZAHLAVOVA STRYCOVA, Barbora CZE
PASZEK, Tamira AUT v [12] WILLIAMS, Serena USA

[14] LISICKI, Sabine GER v [Q] QUALIFIER
PEER, Shahar ISR v [WC] HOLLAND, Isabella AUS
STEPHENS, Sloane USA v SOLER-ESPINOSA, Silvia ESP
SCHEEPERS, Chanelle RSA v [18] KUZNETSOVA, Svetlana RUS

[30] KERBER, Angelique GER v [WC] BOBUSIC, Bojana AUS
DUBOIS, Stephanie CAN v VESNINA, Elena RUS
MINELLA, Mandy LUX v [Q] QUALIFIER
DULKO, Gisela ARG v [4] SHARAPOVA, Maria RUS


[6] STOSUR, Samantha AUS v CIRSTEA, Sorana ROU
[Q] QUALIFIER v RADWANSKA, Urszula POL
[Q] QUALIFIER v ERRANI, Sara ITA
[Q] QUALIFIER v [29] PETROVA, Nadia RUS

[23] VINCI, Roberta ITA v CADANTU, Alexandra ROU
[WC] KEYS, Madison USA v ZHENG, Jie CHN
DOKIC, Jelena AUS v [SR] CHAKVETADZE, Anna RUS
RAZZANO, Virginie FRA v [9] BARTOLI, Marion FRA

[15] PAVLYUCHENKOVA, Anastasia RUS v ZAKOPALOVA, Klara CZE
BONDARENKO, Kateryna UKR v KING, Vania USA
BARROIS, Kristina GER v KRAJICEK, Michaella NED
DOMINGUEZ LINO, Lourdes ESP v [21] IVANOVIC, Ana SRB

[27] KIRILENKO, Maria RUS v GAJDOSOVA, Jarmila AUS
[WC] ZHANG, Shuai CHN v WOZNIAK, Aleksandra CAN
BEGU, Irina-Camelia ROU v SUAREZ NAVARRO, Carla ESP
DUSHEVINA, Vera RUS v [2] KVITOVA, Petra CZE

Interesting First-rounds match ups : 

Lucie Safarova's terrific forehand, a great weapon (Sydney, Australia).
 [24] SAFAROVA, Lucie CZE v MCHALE, Christina USA
 Interesting but tough 1st round for Lucie Safarova. The czech player is know to be one of the most talented on the tour but also to be one of the most erratic sometimes. She actually will have to find quickly her tennis in order to beat one of the best hopes in United States. Sure McHale will challenge her, she's proven  that she's able to beat top players like she did this summer against Caroline Wozniacki. Sure Lucie will have a tough time but her experience and her tennis should let her prevail in three sets. 
Li Na's forehand stays her more reliable shot (Sydney, Australia)
PERVAK, Ksenia KAZ v [5] LI, Na CHN

Pervak is the kind of player, who, when she's on, could really make Li Na run for her money. The chinese fifth seed will have to stay steady and consistant enough in order to handle an in form Ksenia. The former russian, who's now playing for Kazakhstan, is actually the one who will make this match look or good, depending on how she shows up. Even though, Li Na's got the experience on her side and a way more consistant game (even it collapses sometimes) and she should prevail in two tight sets. Whatever, if Pervak decides to play good, she'd be a great test to show where Li is exactly in her tennis.




Casey Dellacqua, a good player at both offense and defense (Australia)
 [WC] DELLACQUA, Casey AUS v JOVANOVSKI, Bojana SRB

This is an interesting match since it comes to an opposition between Casey Dellacqua, a player who's got experience and had some trouble back with injuries. She's back since last year when she won a lot of ITF events; and on the other side, we got Bojana Jovanovski, the serbian hope who, last year, took a set off Vera ZvonarevaThe thing is, Bojana is still very up and down while Casey Dellacqua is the kind of player who strikes the ball well and is really steady and regular from the baseline. In addition, Dellacqua is the kind of player who loves to shine in front of home crowd in Australia, just like she did few years ago against Amélie Mauresmo.  She should prevail in a tough 3 setter.


When on, Rezai can hit anyone off the court  (Auckland, New Zealand)
[WC] REZAI, Aravane FRA v [16] PENG, Shuai CHN

What a match between the former rising french champion and the young promising chinese player ! It's been a long time since Shuai Peng did not compete due to injuries and seeing her playing lately during the Australian Open Series showed that she was still unable to produce her best tennis and the thing is when she's not at her best physically, she becomes really less effective. On the other side, Aravane showed quite encouraging signs in Auckland and if she's done with her family issues, if she plays freely, then she could do some damage in the draw and I expect her to pull this upset in three sets thanks to her quality of striking ball. Don't forget that Aravane lost last week to Peng Shuai and that she's a fighter who hates losing twice in a row to the same oppenent... 

Mirza's fire power is able to handle anyone when is on (Melbourne, Australia)
PIRONKOVA, Tsvetana BUL v MIRZA, Sania IND

Interesting first round match for both girls. In fact, they are both looking for some confidence and in search of their best tennis. The thing is, Tsvetana Pironkova, when she's off, is very easy to hit off the court, she's not the kind of player who will struggle until the very end while Mirza is precisely ! In addition, Sania Mirza got this powerful game which could really hurt an out form Pironkova on those surfaces. If Pironkova could somehow find her tennis back, like she did for two years in a row in the Championship Wimbledon, thus she could make this challenging. But I just don't think it's gonna happen. An ugly win in three sets for Mirza who should prevail



Even if she made her game more offensive lately, her defense game is still here (Sydney, Australia)
 MATTEK-SANDS, Bethanie USA v [8] RADWANSKA, Agnieszka POL

A tough first round for Agniezska Radwanska. Even the polish reached the semi-finals in Sydney last week and has been producing great tennis since she dropped out her father from coaching team, Agnieszka is becoming more and more one of those players who are missing a little thing in order to win a slam. This match against Mattek-Sands won't be able to handle since the totally crazy american player has a strong game and a solid mental which can lead her to cause big upsets. When she's on, she can cause some troubles to best players in the world, like she did against Caroline Wozniacki, in Hopman Cup, sooner this year. Even though, Agnieszka knows to do everything slightly better than Mattek-Sands and seems
 to be more intelligent on court. She could been taken to a three setter

Vera's all will in this backhand (Syndey, Australia)
 [7] ZVONAREVA, Vera RUS v DULGHERU, Alexandra ROU

A tricky first round for the Russian who's been upset last week by her compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova and did not get the occasion to practise more during tournaments. Alexandra Dulgheru on her side played a good tournament in Sydney beating Sofia Arvidsson and taking a set off the "IN" girl of last times, Petra Kvitova. However, Vera's experience at Grand Slams and her all round game should be enough to handle Dulgheru. Don't get me wrong, the Romanian is able to make Vera run for her money if she's on but I can't see her playing that good to pull the upset. Vera in 3 sets or 2 tight sets 






Serena Williams is still the biggest threat on courts (Brisbane, Australia)
PASZEK, Tamira AUT v [12] WILLIAMS, Serena USA
 A tough first round for Serena Williams who could be rusty after she's got her ankle injuried at the Brisbane International. The American said she'd be okay for the Aussie Open and by the way she's used to those diplomatic injuries... She's gonna face a talented player tough in the person of Tamira Pasek who made it to the quarter-finals last year at the Championships Wimbledon. The Austrian player has a great backhand that's tricky to deal with. Serena got the firepower to deal with this indeed but it'll be interesting to see how she will do so in order to see how well she enters the tournaments. Serena should prevail in two sets
Maria Sharapova training at Melbourne Park (Melbourne, Australia)



DULKO, Gisela ARG v [4] SHARAPOVA, Maria RUS
A tough first round for Maria Sharapova who did not play a single match on tour since the Year Ending Season Championship (Istanbul) , but Gisela Dulko has barely won a match since Roland Garros back in 2011 so we don't know how she'll show up. Even thoug, Dulko is one of those players who likes to do well against big names on big courts, she's a "giant killer" and she'd be a great test to see how Maria can go in this tournament if she somehow regroup and find her tennis back. Maria should win this in three sets if Dulko plays fire, in two if Dulko shows up erratic. The main thing in this match will be to see how Maria is serving and hitting her forehand to see if she can be a pretendant to the title (which I strongly believe) ! 



One of the greatest ball striking, Dokic (Syndey, Australia)
 DOKIC, Jelena AUS v [SR] CHAKVETADZE, Anna RUS

An interesting first round for both girls and a remake of the 2009 Australian Open. Anna Chakvetadze played an interesting tennis in Hobart before retiring, she seems a bit unhealthy though while Jelena Dokic played a solid match in Sydney against her compatriot Holland. Dokic should prevail because she's mor physically ready to handle a tennis match and the hot temperatures that are going to warm up Melbourne courts. Jelena Dokic should be too powerful and eager to do well in front of the Australian crowd who has proven her so many times that she was loved and adored. Dokic should prevail in three sets and in a beautiful match.





Marion Bartoli and her steady tennis could do some damages (Sydney, Australia)
RAZZANO, Virginie FRA v [9] BARTOLI, Marion FRA


Playing a compatriot is always tricky and it's even trickier when it's in a Grand Slam first round and when it's somesone you don't specially like. In fact, Virginie Razzano and Marion Bartoli are far from being the best friends on the tour but they do respect each other and their matches has always been full of drama in Eastbourne and US Open for instance. Marion is playing such a good tennis that seeing Razzano beating her would be a huge upset, especially when you know that the french woman did not play her best tennis... Bartoli should win this in two.


Kirilenko, one of the most talented girl on tour but lacks consistency (Sydney, Australia)
 
[27] KIRILENKO, Maria RUS v GAJDOSOVA, Jarmila AUS

An interesting and tricky first round for both. The final result will really depend on how well will both girls play and how they will show up. Jarmila has not playing that good recently, she lost in fact 6/0 6/0 to Marion Bartoli during Hopman Cup while we did not get the occasion to see Maria Kirilenko playing. I've chosen the russian barbie girl to win this basing my choice on their "average" level but a Gajdosova in front of her crowd could play her best and win. Tough one to call
 

jeudi 12 janvier 2012

What to expect from the Youngsters this year ?

In nowadays WTA, we usually seperate youngsters from old stars of the tour and I wanted to do short articles to see what we can expect from those youngsters this year in a first article and the a second upcoming article about those great lions that are going across the tour for years. I've chosen 5 youngsters and 5 veterans.
When I talk about youngsters, I'm not talking about the likes of Laura Robson, Michelle Larcher de Brito or Heather Watson, which are not yet big players or threat in Slams and so on, but here are my 3 Picks of "youngsters". Be also aware that I won't put Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka or Petra Kvitova in that category because they are already confirmed top 10 players.

Sabine Lisicki, surrendering to Angelique Kerber (Auckland, New Zeland)
1- Sabine Lisicki (GER)
The german player did a great come-back last year after a one year out of tennis due to ankle injury, winning at Birmingham and reaching semi-finals in Wimbledon, losing to Maria Sharapova in two sets. Her game and her regularity allowed her to finish the year at the 15th spot, clinching the title at Dallas, in USA. Assuming that until Birmingham, she's got more or less, no points to defend until Birmingham and if she keeps injury free and playing good tennis, I can definitely see her breaking the top 10 for the first time.
But Sabine Lisicki had to withdraw this week from the Apia International in Sydney due to injury. Was it just a precaution or is it really serious, we still don't know about it ...
Sabine Lisicki has that attractive game based on a great firepower and a great first seve. Although, she can sometimes mentally collapse like she did in the 2nd round at Roland Garros, losing to Vera Zvonareva having match points and a great lead in the deciding set.

Julia Goerges' determination in that backhand (Sydney, Australia)
2- Julia Goerges (GER)
This year, Julia Goerges switched racquet from Wilson to Babolat, we still have to see what it brings to her game, but, whatever, Julia played some solid tennis in 2011 beating Caroline Wozniacki twice in a row on clay and won at Porshe Tennis Grand Prix, in Stuttgart. The thing is Julia has still to find some consistency in her game and to be mentally tough enough in order to reach another stage of her career. If she does so, I can see her reaching the Top 15 and why not the Top 10. Now that she is a confirmed player, she's got to do a big thing in Grand Slam, why not at Roland Garros ?
2012 will be a deciding her for Julia, she'll either confirm her good predispositions and find a way to be more consistant and to become why not a top player, or she can also drop in her level and become one of those great talents that can't win because of lack of work.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Brisbane, Australia)
3- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
One of the most talented player of her generation with no doubt, Anasatsia Pavlyuchenkova got great skills in order to shine in the tennis planet. In fact, she's able to hit hard from both wings and has a quite good hand at volleying and producing drop shots. But she still lacks agility and speed on court because of physical issues. Also, Anastasia has sometimes tough times in closing up matches, for istance, she had all the ways to win against Fransesca Schiavone in Roland Garros and was not able to handle the preassure mentally before eventually losing.
But, this year beginning was not good. In fact, she suffered early exits in both Brisbane and Sydney events and did not seem to want to change in order to reach greatness. A player to follow, though

samedi 7 janvier 2012

Apia International 2012 Preview : Main Draw and Predictions

The Sydney Premier event is one of the strongest in this beginning of the year as the top players want to get ready for the Australian Open, the upcoming week. In fact, appart from Maria Sharapova, still recovering from an ankle injury, all the Top 10 is present in Sydney to try to play some matches and to get some confidence before the first Slam of the year. Last Year, Li Na, won there against Kim Clijsters in the final, which was the beginning of a great season for the chinese player. But, now Let's take a look first at the draw

THE MAIN DRAW
(1/DEN) Caroline Wozniacki vs BYE
(SVK) Dominika Cibulkova vs (CHN) Shuai Peng 
(RUS) Anasatasia Pavlyuchenkova vs (GER) Andrea Petkovic 
QUALIFIER vs (7/POL) Agniezska Radwanska

(3/BLR) Victoria Azarenka vs QUALIFIER
(SRB) Jelena Jankovic vs (GER) Julia Goerges
(WC/AUS) Jelena Dokic vs (WC/AUS) Isabella Holand 
QUALIFIER vs (8/FRA) Marion Bartoli

(6/RUS) Vera Zvonareva vs (RUS) Svetlana Kuznetsova
(CZE) Lucie Safarova vs (SRB) Ana Ivanovic
(ITA) Flavia Pennetta vs QUALIFIER
QUALIFIER vs (4/CHN) Li Na 

(5/AUS) Samantha Stosur vs (ITA) Francesca Schiavone 
(ITA) Roberta Vinci vs (SVK) Daniela Hantuchova 
QUALIFIER vs (GER) Sabine Lisicki 
BYE vs (2/CZE) Petra Kvitova

Interesting 1st rounds matchs-up 

(SVK) Dominika Cibulkova vs (CHN) Shuai Peng 

Two players who are really able to pull out big upsets and play great tennis when they are on. Shuai Peng is back from injury and played a strong first half of season in 2011, she's got a lot of points to defend while Dominika have beatten Caroline Wozniacki, the world number one, in Sydney, in the second round. This match will be a great test for the chinese player who will figure out how much she still have to work to be back to the level she had. Dominika Cibulkova is indeed, one of the solidest and steadiest players on tour, no doubt she'll force Shuai to play strongly to beat her. The play should be around who will be the best at backhand as it's both ladies' biggest weapon on court. The player who will make the other hit the extra shot will probably take this one. 

Prediction : Dominika Cibulkova in two sets

 (RUS) Anasatasia Pavlyuchenkova vs (GER) Andrea Petkovic
 A good opposition to start with for both ladies who have been upset by the same Kaia Kanepi in Brisbane and had not the occasion to face each other. But here it is. Andrea Petkovic always got a quite good level during matches, she's very solid and stable from the baseline. Most of all, she's got a quality that Anastasia yet lacks of : regularity. Even when her level drops, Andrea Petkovic still has a minimum that allows her to win matches while Pavlyuchenkova, when she's off, can lose to anyone. It will really depend on how Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova shows up, if she plays good she should take this match. Let's bet on it, with her powerful backhand she'll force Andrea to defend from the baseline , but the german won't make it any easier... 

Prediction : Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets 

 (SRB) Jelena Jankovic vs (GER) Julia Goerges
Two talented ladies are going to face each other during this first round : both Jelena and Julia got a great tennis even though their style are very different. While Julia is a grinder from the baseline who hits the ball flat, hard and deep, Jelena really knows to do everything with the ball and prefer to stay behind the baseline striking and defending her side. The one who will take advantage will be the one who will make the less errors and the one who will also take chances when they will be some. By the way, Jelena's tennis seemed to improve from last year, during the Brisbane tournament and we hope this dynamic will keep on and that she'll play a good tournament in order to get right in track for the Australian Open ! Julia will count on her awesome forehand, on her solid serve and her sense of game, she's lived a great 2011 season and has to confirm this year. She's got what it takes to beat Jelena but will she handle the preassure out there ? 

Prediction : Jelena Jankovic in three sets

(6/RUS) Vera Zvonareva vs (RUS) Svetlana Kuznetsova
All Russian match between Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Svetlana has been struggling with herslef for two year now and I can't see her coming back on track, even though she had a run until the semi-finals at Auckland last week. In fact, her tennis collapses when she faces a solid tennis player who can hit one more single shot again and again and this is exactly what Vera Zvonareva does the best. We can count on Vera when it's about being regular and steady because all her game is based on those two qualities that could make her prevail. 

Prediction : Vera Zvonareva in two sets 

(CZE) Lucie Safarova vs (SRB) Ana Ivanovic

Those two players are one of the most talented of their generation, Ana showed it by winning Roland Garros three years ago... Then nothing, or almost... Ana, when her forehand is on can beat anyone, when she hits deeply and hard she's one of the best in the world while Lucie's left-hand is one of the best out there. She's able to do whatever she wants with the ball and, when she's on, produce one of the cleanest ball striking but she's way too iregular... Her left hand will make her find Ivanovic's forehand on her backhand which could cause some troubles

Prediction : Ana Ivanovic in three set


Predictions for the title : Petra Kvitova, Ana Ivanovic, Victoria Azarenka
Outsiders : Sabine Lisicki, Vera Zvonareva, Caroline Wozniacki, Marion Bartoli
Able to make big surprises : Jelena Dokic, Dominika Cibulkova, Daniela Hantuchova