Much harder to predict who will come through the early rounds with the women. A few more of the under dogs have shown some form recently. Five different winners in the last 5 years tells us that it is more open. The match ups after the first round are simply how I see the draw progressing.
Like the men’s draw the women are split into 4 sections with the sections headed by the top 4 seeds.
Azarenka’s biggest opponent is probably her own serve. We won’t know if she has worked out her problems until the first match but if she has then she should be safe enough until round 4. Waiting for her there is likely to be either Safarova or Cibulkova. If Azarenka has made it to that stage then she will be favourite to reach the quarters.
Stosur has a virtual bye into the second round unless Baltacha breaks the habit of a lifetime and plays more than 3 decent games in a match. Stosur is likely to meet the winner between Petrova and Scheepers. Thats a tough one to call as both have showed excellent form but sporadically.
Halep and Cetkovska both have a great chance of making it to the third round with the winner of their match meeting Stosur for a place in the quarter finals.
Most likely quarter final is Azarenka v Stosur.
Third seed Radwanska has a horrible probable second round meeting with Venus Williams. Radwanska has been winning her matches but not often without a real fight. The winner of that match will expect to beat 2009 champion Kuznetsova in round 3.
Bartoli should be able to scrape through to the third round unless she catches Medina Garrigues on one of her better days. She would play the winner between Kerber and Pennetta. Pennetta may still be suffering with her wrist injury but I would slightly favour Kerber anyway. All isn’t well with Bartoli although she was suffering from a virus which could have sapped her energy in the last couple of weeks.
I would expect Ivanovic to beat Errani although it could be close. The winner of that match would meet Radwanksa, assuming she made it past Venus.
Most likely quarter final is Radwanska v Kerber.
Defending champion Na Li has some big names in her section although Schiavone, Jankovic and Kvitova have been well below their best in recent weeks. Schiavone performed much better in Strasbourg this week winning the final in straight sets against Cornet.
Li will get her first real test in the third round when she is likely to be up against McHale. McHale has been playing well against higher ranked players but has been unable to keep the level up for a whole match.
Vera Zvonareva has a tough 2nd round match with Suarez Navarro and I’m not convinced she is in good enough shape to get past Carla. I would expect Vinci and Suarez Navarro to meet in the 3rd round with Vinci going through to meet Na Li in round 4.
Whoever wins the match between Parmentier and Ursula Radwanska is likely to meet Kvitova. I think Kvitova will be able to lift her game for the Grand Slam even though this isn’t her favourite surface.
I’m confident Schiavone will make it through to the third round where she could meet Jelena Jankovic. That would be a tough one to call on current form but I give a slight edge to JJ.
If Li Na is able to maintain her recent form I’d expect her to deal with Vinci. Who she would meet in the quarter final would potentially be between Jankovic and Kvitova. I think Kvitova will be inspired by the fact its a major event.
Most likely quarter final is Li v Kvitova.
The last section is perhaps the strongest with two women who have a realistic chance of lifting the trophy. Serena Williams pulled out of her semi final in Rome with a lower back problem. That was probably precautionary to ensure she was fit for Roland Garros. As long as she is fit she won’t be tested until a probable meeting with Wozniacki in the 4th round ( I wouldn’t expect Goerges to get close to beating Serena in the third round)
To reach that 4th round Woz would have to beat Kanepi but Kanepi’s serve has been awful under pressure this week.
Kirilenko and Keothavong could meet in the third round. Keothavong would have to beat Pavlyuchenkova in round 2 but Pav’s form is sufficiently flaky to make that a realistic possibility.
I don’t see Hercog or Erakovic giving Sharapova too many problems on her way to a likely 4th round match with Kirilenko.
Most likely quarter final is Serena Williams v Sharapova.