Friday, August 27, 2010

US Open Predictions - The Ladies

It's Slammin' time again! Moreover, it is Slam prediction time again, giving us all something to write about that is not New Haven (thank God.) So here we are - Slam predictions for the laydeez.

Caro's quarter: Oh, how it galls me to write 'Caro's quarter'. If I had my way, she would never have a quarter. But she is the #1 seed and I guess we have to suck it up and deal. And if the talent in her quarter holds true, she is not getting out of this quarter alive.

The two big names in this quarter are Kuznetsova and Sharapova, and I can seriously see either of them coming through here. I have quite a good feeling about Kuznetsova, actually - it's all contingent on her not going off to la la land in the middle of a match, but then, this is always going to be true of Sveta. And who is ever going to count Sharapova out in a Slam? Not me, that is for sure.

Also keep an eye on Li Na. We all know from experience that she can sneak her way into the semis without you even noticing!

Winner: Svetlana Kuznetsova
If not her, then: Maria Sharapova
Dark horse(s): Li Na (really dark horse = Aravane Rezai)
First round matches to watch: Groth/Sharapova, Kuznetsova/Date Krumm, Cibulkova/Voegele, Li/Bondarenko

JJ's quarter: I can't quite remember how JJ came to be ranked #4, but I'm glad she is, because this is the best chance she has had to come through in a long time. If she can get through her first round over the difficult youngster Simona Halep.

You have to consider Vera Zvonareva, because hello, Wimbledon final, but I'm not quite sure if she has the repeat in her - you know how she always gets injured. That said, don't count her out, because we all know how much game Bepa has. She's in a little section with Agnieszka Radwanska, who has been playing quite well, and that would be a very fun match to watch. (A-Rad is also an outside chance, I think.) And another you can't count out is Yanina Wickmayer. She made the semis here last year. Why couldn't she do it again?

But my pick is Nadia Petrova. She is playing well and the Russians are after revenge. If she keeps her game up, she can win this quarter easily.

Winner: Nadia Petrova
If not her, then: Vera Zvonareva or Jelena Jankovic
Dark horse(s): Yanina Wickmayer and Agnieszka Radwanska
First round matches to watch: Jankovic/Halep, Lisicki/Vandeweghe, Petkovic/Petrova

Venus's quarter: I would like to begin this by saying in no way am I picking Melanie Oudin to do anything in this section. Just so you know.

This is a tough one, because I'm not entirely sure who to pick. I think, based on current form, I have to go with Azarenka, but this seems to be the weakest quarter of the bunch. I don't see Venus doing too much. The other big seed is Schiavone, and somehow, I don't see her as a multiple Slam champion (sorry, Frankie). That leaves Azarenka, and she really is the only choice here.

That said, this is the quarter which might be the most exciting in terms of someone breaking through. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, I am looking right at you. This is the best opportunity you are going to see in quite some time. And you too, Flavia Pennetta. I know you are awesome. BE AWESOME.

Winner: Victoria Azarenka
If not her, then: Flavia Pennetta
Dark horse(s): Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (or, at a push, Tsvetana Pironkova)
First round matches to watch: Bondarenko/Dushevina, Vinci/Williams

Kimmie's quarter: Oh, how I would love Kim to repeat here. I would love that SO MUCH. That image of her and Jada and the trophy last year was too gorgeous not to be repeated. And she definitely has the chops to do it, too.

The other big seed in this section is Stosur, but I'm hesitant to pick her due to the fact she's coming back off injury. I'll be happy if she gets through her first round, to tell the truth - Vesnina is the kind of player who could pull an upset.

There are lots of names and not a lot of form in this section. Safina and Ivanovic are both in here, as is Dementieva and Hantuchova and a whole bunch of other people with famous names but not big results. (I am maybe a little unfair to Hantuchova here, but still.) This gives these people a golden opportunity to find their form and play themselves deep. Who will do it? Who knows? But I can't wait to find out. This quarter looks like the most interesting one of the draw.

Winner: Kim Clijsters
If not her, then: Daniela Hantuchova
Dark horse(s): Petra Kvitova and Zheng Jie
First round matches to watch: Hantuchova/Safina, Ivanovic/Makarova, Stosur/Vesnina

That leaves us with:

Kuznetsova vs Petrova
Azarenka vs Clijsters

These are hard matches to pick, but I'm going to say that leaves us with a final of:

Kuznetsova vs Azarenka

Who to pick there? It's tough. But I am going to go with Svetlana Kuznetsova on this one. I just have a feeling. So you heard it here first - Jodi's pick for the US Open is Svetlana Kuznetsova.

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