Sunday, August 29, 2010

US Open: Women's Preview

In only her third tournament last year after her comeback, Kim Clijsters won her 2nd US Open title sweeter this time because she had daughter Jada with her. This year she's seeded second and will ride a 14-match win streak at Flushing to get her third major title. She has a great quarter with Marion Bartoli or Jie Zheng as possible fourth round opponents then either French Open finalist and 5th seed Samantha Stosur or last year's US Open series champion Elena Dementieva at the quarterfinals. Unranked Ana Ivanovic is in this section as well as last year's top seed Dinara Safina who has a tough first round match with Daniela Hantuchova.

With Serena Williams out of the tournament recovering from injury, sister Venus Williams will have to hold down the fort. The 2-time US Open winner is going into this year's open cold, not playing since her quarterfinal lost at Wimbledon this year. With that said, her quarter is pretty open containing French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, 10th seed Victoria Azarenka, and last year's US Open quartefinalist Melanie Oudin. Venus would meet them all in the quarterfinals if she reaches that far since on paper she should get through to the second week. But as I said, she hasn't played tennis in a few weeks. Who knows?

In the top half of the draw, US Open series champion and last year's finalist, Caroline Wozniacki is the top seed of a major tournament for the first time in her career. She won two titles last week and has played very well this summer. The issue now is if she is fresh and rested to take on her stacked draw. She could face 2006 US Open champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round then could face another former US Open champion, 2004 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, in the quarterfinals. Kuznetsova meanwhile has a must-see first round match against Kimiko Date Krumm. Also lurking in this section is 8th seed and last year's quarterfinalist Na Li.

Finally, former finalist and third seed Jelena Jankovic look to get her maiden major title. She had discouraging results this summer, but she likes the big lights of the big city. On paper, the first trouble she could face is Yanina Wickmayer in the fourth round. Possible quarterfinalist opponents include 7th seed Vera Zvonareva, 9th seed Agnieszka Radwanska, and Nadia Petrova. I'm thinking one of these three will make it through this part of the section if Jankovic is not 100% this year.

Caroline Wozniacki d. Svetlana Kuznetsova
Agnieszka Radwanska d. Yanina Wickmayer
Victoria Azarenka d. Venus Williams
Kim Clijsters d. Elena Dementieva

Caroline Wozniacki d. Agnieszka Radwanska
Kim Clijsters d. Victoria Azarenka

Kim Clijsters d. Caroline Wozniacki

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