Why is is we have more chance of an “outsider” winning a womens Grand Slam. When I say outsider I am thinking of Schiavone winning the French or even Li Na winning the French or Kvitova winning Wimbledon. Obviously most of them are won by a big name and in recent years that name is often Williams but we get many more unexpected results in the WTA slams than we do in the men’s. One of the main reasons is that the men play over the best of 5 sets. This allows them to make more mistakes than the best of 3 format and more often than not class will come out on top.
In the womens events the loss of the opening set can put even the likes of Sharapova, Azarenka and Serena Williams under immense pressure. They will often find that extra inspiration as its a major event but how much less pressure would they find themselves under if they played best of 5? Taking injury out of the equation we would have the same situation as we have in the mens with Serena, Sharapova and Azarenka sharing the Grand Slams between them.
Predicting every game is so much harder in WTA but I will try to find my way through to come up with who I expect to still be around for the second week.
In section 1 Azarenka seems comfortable enough to reach the 4th round. Pliskova and Arvidsson won’t trouble her if she is fit. Vesnina had a great week last week and hopefully she can continue that this week to join Azarenka in the 4th round although after her first win in a WTA final in 7 attempts she may be fatigued both mentally and physically and Lepchenko could be a threat in round 2.
Wozniacki is likely to knock out Lisicki in the first round and will perhaps meet Pavlyuchenkova in the 3rd. Pav has worked hard on her serve in the off season and it will be interesting to see how she performs this week. I’d expect Woz to reach the 4th round though.The other part of this section should be fought out by Errani and Kuznetsova. Kuz also had a great run last week and made it to the quarter finals having won through 3 qualifying rounds first. That won’t have helped her “old” bones and her legs will quickly get heavy after a couple of rounds in Melbourne. I expect Errani to beat her and take a place in round 4.
Predicted 4th round match ups are Azarenka v Vesnina/Vinci and Wozniacki v Errani.
Predicted quarter final: Azarenka v Errani.
Section 2 is Serena Williams’. Assuming she is fit then Shvedova is her only threat and though she may need 3 sets you have to expect her to get to the 4th round.
The rest of the section is full of “ifs, buts and maybes”. Gajdosova looked like she had sorted her head and her game out in the early rounds in Hobart but showed real frailty in her last match. Is Kirilenko fit? Is her mind on the task at hand or is she still loved up after her engagement? Can we rely on Peng? of course we can’t. Safarova and Stephens could do ok but I wasn’t impressed with them in their last tournaments.Petrova is perhaps one of the most likely to win through to the 4th round with Kvitova and Wickmayer likely to take the other spots.
Predicted 4th round match ups are Serena Williams v Wickmayer/Kirilenko and Petrova v Kvitova.
Laura Robson will probably meet Kvitova in the 2nd round but the Brit still hasn’t found her form yet in 2013.
Predicted quarter final: Serena Williams v Kvitova.
In section 3 Radwanska has yet to lose a match this season and has taken both tournaments that she has entered. Still not at her best but she has faced mediocre opponents so far ( I didn’t expect Li to be as bad as she turned out to be! ). Interestingly it is Li who is at the opposite end of this section. Hopefully the Chinese player has sorted out whatever it was that caused her to put in such a bad performance against radwanska last week. Even an average week from Li though should see her make the 4th round.
How far will Stosur get this time? The Aussie’s game would seem perfect for the fast hard courts at her home Grand Slam yet she consistently under performs in Melbourne. She lost in the first round last year and the third round in 2011. She did make the 4th round in 2010 losing to Serena. On paper she should do well every year but unfortunately she insists on playing it in her head. The tournament organisers couldn’t really have picked an easier first 2 rounds for her if they had the opportunity. In the third round she is likely to meet Goerges and that one could go either way.
Back to A Rad’s part of the draw and Heather Watson will meet Barthel in round 2. I’d expect Barthel to win that one and play Radwanska in the third round with Radwanska progressing to the 4th. Ivanovic and jankovic are set to meet in the third round. That could be close but I am going with Ivanovic for the win.
Predicted 4th round match ups are Li v Stosur/Goerges and Ivanovic v Radwanska.
Predicted quarter final: Li v Radwanska.
Section 4 has got so much going on it’s hard to know where to start. I think Kerber will bounce back from an average week in Sydney. She will probably meet Paszek in the third round and as long as she has found some form she will progress to round 4.
Makarova should make it to round 3 where Bartoli is her likely opponent. Medina Garrigues and Dolonc shouldn;t give the French woman too many problems.
Where on earth is Cibulkova’s head going to be after the double bagel she was given by Radwanska in the final in Sydney last week? If she can hold it together she should be ok against barty and Minella but I can see Flipkens being too much with tired legs.
Zakopalova played well last week but will perhaps also fall to Flipkens. What shape is Venus Williams in? We don’t know but if she is below par then Erakovic could be a tricky opponent in the 2nd round. If she gets through that one it should be Sharapova waiting for her. Although Sharapova has had injury issues so far in 2013 but she should cruise through to the third round.
Predicted 4th round match ups are kerber v Bartoli and Flipkens v Sharapova.
Predicted quarter final: Kerber v Sharapova.
We have seen very little of the top contenders in 2013 so any predictions should have “if fit” in fronty of them. Difficult to see past Serena….but that’s mainly due to the size of her ass. If fit she has to be a strong contender. I think Shara will be forced out by injury in week 2. Azarenka pulled out of a match with Serena a couple of weeks ago. Round one to Williams I think!