Friday, May 22, 2009

FO'09: The women

Don't you just love it when the Yahoo!Sports headline for the French Open preview reads: "Williams sisters could face each other in French final?" Yes, I suppose they could. So could the Bondarenko sisters. As could Daniela Hantuchova and Marion Bartoli. Let's not forget Maria Sharapova v. Victoria Azarenka. Because the Williams sisters are the only game in town anymore, right?
Aaanyway, ahem:

1. Dinara Safina: Lord knows. Yes, she has shown remarkable poise in her game through the clay season. And, yes, she made the final last year, and yes, she has been able to finish strong in finals. I gotta say this, though: Watching Safina take advantage of this on-court coaching makes me wonder if she's really able to figure things out on her own when things get tight. Geez, she calls this coach over every 15 minutes! Girl, they don't allow coaches in Grand Slam finals. Yet.
2. Serena Williams: Lord knows. It's hard to bet against the Serena, because she's got that X-factor -- the desire to win, which has propelled her through more matches than her form. And claims to be the real No. 1 aside, she's not been looking great due to injury. Will she be ready?
3. Venus Williams: Oh, Lord. This is the shakiest top 3 ever to enter a major, methinks. Especially when compared to the menfolk. She should have a nice draw, but it remains to be seen what she'll do with it.
4. Elena Dementieva: You know what Dementieva is like? The Energizer bunny. Keeps going, and going ... She's been around a while now, and if anyone has a shot at this title, it's her. I'd give her a good shot against Jelena Jankovic in the quarters.
5. Jelena Jankovic: Speaking of. I really like watching Jankovic play. Hopefully, the personal drama in her life can take a backseat to her climbing the rankings again. If she could get past Dementieva, she could definitely knock Serena off on clay in the semis. Svetlana Kuznetsova? Dunno.
6. Vera Zvonareva: Last minute withdrawal with injury, and I say Venus is lucky. She was going to be a problem in the quarters.
7. Svetlana Kuznetsova: I hate to say this, because Sveta's not dealt well with pressure, but she's looking good coming into this tournament. She split final matches with Safina, 1-1, in the last month. She's always had the game to do damage.
8. Ana Ivanovic: Ri-ight. OK, poll time, folks. Over-under on the rounds Ivanovic will last?
9. Victoria Azarenka: Yeah, I'd pick her over Ivanovic in the quarters. Is she ready for prime time ... the semis? I don't think so.
10. Caroline Wozniacki: Wozniacki is almost there. She just needs to grow up, that's all. She gave Safina a good tussle in Madrid, but also showed she's easily distracted. She's on the up-and-comer list. Emphasis on comer.

The way it'll go down:
Quarters: Safina v. Azarenka, Venus v. Petrova, Jankovic v. Dementieva, Kuznetsova v. S. Williams
Semis: Safina v. Venus, Jankovic v. Kuznetsova
Final: Safina v. Jankovic
Winner: Safina


TopSpin said...

Liking the look of Venus on clay this year. Also liking what I saw from Sveta. But she looked to have lost her new found form from the semis at Rome onwards.

Not so sure about Jelena. This time last year, she'd have topped the list - not looking nearly as sure now.

And much as it pains me to say it, Serena on clay ain't happening. Not with the injuries she's had. Not sure I'd back her even if she was uninjured.

Naf said...

Yeah, but did you see Venus in the first round, struggling against Bethanie Mattek? Yikes.