Sunday, August 30, 2009

US Open: Women's Preview

Defending champion and world no. 2 Serena Williams will try to defend her title and get her 12th Grand Slam win in New York. Despite her rocky results in non-Grand Slam events this year, she somehow finds a way to bring a little something extra during Grand Slam. Having said that, on paper, her path to the semifinals doesn't look too intimidating. She might have to face Sybille Bammer in the third round, Sam Stosur in the fourth round, and then a resurgent Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals.

Serena is in the same side as her bigger sister and 2-time US Open champion Venus Williams. It's shocking that Venus hasn't had more recent success at the US Open and this year she may not go as deep as she wanted. Why? Because looming as a possible fourth round opponent is 2005 US Open champion Kim Clijsters who is coming back from retirement and has already beaten a couple of Top 20 players in the past few weeks. Clijsters first test will be a second round match with 14th seed Marion Bartoli, but if she gets through with that, I can see her going deep.

On the top half of the draw, world no. 1 Dinara Safina will yet again try to get her maiden slam coming so very close this year reaching the finals at the Australian and French Opens and semifinals at Wimbledon. For her she should go deep if she plays confidently. Possible roadblocks for her would be Patty Schnyder or Shuai Peng in the fourth round and then either Ana Ivanovic or Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals. The favorite among the Serbian would be Jankovic who reached the finals at the US Open last year and did quite well at the US Open Series this summer.

Like Safina, 2009 US Open Series winner Elena Dementieva is looking to get her first Grand Slam. Even though she hasn't reached any slam finals this year, she has had many memorable tangles with Serena and has been strong this summer on hardcourts. She has a tricky quarter with a dangerous third round match-up with 2006 US Open champion Maria Sharapova. If she gets through that then she might have to fight off yet another US Open champion in the quarterfinals with 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Elena Dementieva d. Jelena Jankovic
Serena Williams d. Kim Clijsters

Elena Dementieva d. Serena Williams

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