Saturday, August 06, 2016

The women's journey to gold

OK, so the women's draw actually has people I've heard of in it. I know that a lot of people think that women are the drama queens in tennis, but this might be a good time to point out that they're not the ones dodging the Olympics because of mosquitoes. They pack their deet and move on. Just sayin'.
So (rubbing hands together enthusiastically), let's see our draw possibilities!

That arrow toward the bottom of the draw is the 'Are You Kidding Me?' match of the first round. I mean, how are you supposed to pick a winner between Genie Bouchard and Sloane Stephens? It's like a battle between dashed hopes and low expectations.
But anyway. Obviously, Serena looks to be the favorite in almost every tournament she plays. But. Her second-round match is probably against the reigning drama queen of tennis (unless Jelena Jankovic is around) Alize Cornet. Cornet has had some big-time success against Serena, so this is not a gimme. And she is likely to pitch a fit about something, so definitely should be entertaining.
Other possible matchups of note: Caroline Wozniacki v. Petra Kvitova. I would normally expect a straightforward win by Kvitova, but she's been shaky lately. Wozniacki hasn't been playing either, so who knows? I picked Kvitova, but who knows. Then there's Venus Williams v. Lucie Safarova. This will be a good match and although Venus has been dropping philosophical science and kicking butt, I think this could be tricky for her because Safarova is capable of stringing wins together. She hasn't done it much lately, but as much as Venus has been playing, this could be a situation.
The bottom draw has a ton of possibilities for the finals, but Johanna Konta and Agz Radwanska are my picks for navigating it. Radwanska is likely to advance on guile and in watching Konta against Venus a couple weeks back, she has got a lot of game -- big serve, big groundstrokes, good brain. So we'll see.
The doubles should be good, too. Martina Hingis has Timea Bacsinszky as her partner and they've got a good shot at the semis against Caroline Garcia and Kristine Mdladenovic, two really strong dubs players. Top half: the Williams sisters (as the top seed some sixteen years after they first played in the Olympics, by the way. Crazy) look to have a good chance to advance to see Russians Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarava.

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