Saturday, May 30, 2009

French Open: Women's Report

Fourth Round

Dinara Safina [1] vs. Aravane Rezai
Ana Ivanovic [8] vs. Victoria Azarenka [9]
Dominika Cibulkova [20] vs. Agnes Szavay [29]
Na Li [25] vs. Maria Sharapova

Jelena Jankovic [5] vs. Sorana Cirstea
Samantha Stosur [30] vs. Virginie Razzano
Svetlana Kuznetsova [7] vs. Agnieszka Radwanska [12]
Serena Williams [2] vs. Aleksandra Wozniak [24]

Only 7 of the top 16 women tennis players made it through the second week with two top 4 players suffering early exits, Venus WIlliams [3] and Elena Dementieva [4]. Neither were expected to make a run for the title, but they were definitely expected to last longer than they did.

After three rounds, number one seed Dinara Safina had only lost 4 games total. Like Nadal in the men's side, she is in dominant form and is poised to grab her maiden Grand Slam championship. Former world number one, Serena Williams will try to derail Safina. While she has had to fight through a lot of her matches, underestimating her especially during Grand Slam tournaments is never a wise choice.

Defending champion, Ana Ivanovic has looked shaky and was downright in the dumps after she won this tournament last year. She gave herself low expectations coming into the French Open, but she has played like a defending champion ever since. Fellow Serb, Jelena Jankovic is quietly and strongly moving through the draw as well.

Finally, one wild-card player is Maria Sharapova who came into the tournament unseeded after being out for almost 10 months with shoulder problems. She has been far from perfect, but she has shown great mettle especially in defeating Nadia Petrova [11] in the second round. It would be an amazing story if she were to make a deep run especially at the one slam where she has not won.

Prediction: I'm going to be super safe and very predictable here. Safina will defeat Ivanovic in the quarters and then go on to defeat Szavay in the semis. Williams will defeat Jankovic in the semis en route to an Australian Open final rematch with Safina this time taking the crown.

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