Friday, August 24, 2012

2012 US Open -- Women's Preview

As I was making the video to go with this post, I realized that after this tournament Kim Clijsters will be gone. I know she retired once before, but I'm pretty sure it's for real and forever this time. She made the statement that she her body won't let her play the way she wants to play anymore. I feel ya girl! Getting old sucks and she plays a game almost as physical as Rafael Nadal.

With Kim retiring and Venus Williams only good for two or three wins a tournament now, I'm down to rooting for Maria Sharapova and hoping Sabine Lisicki can learn how play on another surface besides grass. Honestly, it's pretty depressing. But we still have one more chance – however slim – to see Kim and Jada holding up the US Open trophy, so let's get on with it.

[About the song: Same as last night.]

1. Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) – I can’t figure this chick out. She started off the year on fire and it looked like she finally was ready to own the role of number one player in the world. But just like every other person not named Serena Williams, she just faded away. It will be interesting to see who shows up in New York. It doesn’t help that there is trouble lurking all over her quarter of the draw. If she gets past all that, she and Sharapova could have a real battle.

2. Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) – Wimbledon and the Olympics are great examples of what tennis is like for someone like Radwanska. She used all her guile and creativity to get to the final of Wimbledon and then three weeks later got served off the same court in the first round of the Olympics. She’s a great tennis player who can be overpowered by bigger, stronger women. Angelique Kerber or Venus Williams could be one of those women.

3. Maria Sharapova (Russia) – It’s pretty much common knowledge that I’m a big Sharapova fan. The reason is that no matter what happens you know she’s going to battle till the very last shot. With Petra Kvitova in her quarter and Azarenka possible in the semi-finals, she’s going to need every ounce of that fight she’s got in her. I still like her chances of playing on the last day of the tournament.

4. Serena Williams (USA) – The summer will end well for Serena.

5. Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) – Kvitova is finally playing better, but the hill is too steep for her here. She might have to beat Sharapova and Azarenka just to get to Serena Williams. I don’t see it happening.

6. Angelique Kerber (Germany) – There’s a good chance she’ll repeat her semi-final showing of last year. There’s almost no chance she’ll beat Serena Williams a second time this summer once she gets there.

7. Samantha Stosur (Australia) – Stosur’s summer will not end well. In fact, it will almost certainly end prematurely.

8. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) – Wozniacki would have to play Serena in the quarter-finals if she gets there. She probably won’t.

9. Li Na (China) – Li Na has been pretty mediocre this year. She also has Kim Clijsters in her section. It’s unlikely she’ll get to week two.

10. Sara Errani (Italy)

11. Marion Bartoli(France)

12. Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) – I don’t think she has any chance to win, but she could rack up a big win (for her) over Wozniacki in the round of 16.

13. Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) – Cibulkova could beat Radwanska before Kerber or Venus have the chance.

14. Maria Kirilenko (Russia) – Kirilenko has turned herself into a crafty veteran player. She won’t really surprise anyone, but she’ll almost certainly live up to her seed before losing to Serena.

15. Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) – Don’t know anything about her, except I think she was Tomas Berdych’s girlfriend for a while.

16. Sabine Lisicki (Germany) – When she’s not on grass, it’s hard to know what might happen. She might beat Azarenka in the round of 16 or she might lose in the first round. It’s anyone’s guess.

17. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) – I’m calling a first-round upset here for Daniela Hantuchova.

18. Julia Goerges (Germany) – See Lisicki, Sabine (except it’s true on every surface for Goerges).

19. Nadia Petrova (Russia)

20. Roberta Vinci (Italy)

21. Christina McHale (USA) – She’ll win a long three-set match. She’ll lose a long three-set match. Guaranteed.

22. Francesca Schiavone (Italy) – She’s old.

23. Kim Clijsters (Belgium) – Regardless what happens, she’s going to make me cry. I hope it doesn’t happen until the second week.

24. Klara Zakopalova (Czech Republic)

25. Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium)

26. Monica Niculescu (Romania)

27. Anabal Medina Garrigues (Spain)

28. Petra Cetkovska (Czech Republic)

29. Jie Zheng (China)

30. Tamira Paszek (Austria)

31. Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) – I miss her drama queen antics. It would be fun to see her make a run.

32. Varvara Lepchenko (USA)

Venus Williams – She played really well at the Olympics, but if she couldn’t beat Kerber on grass it’s unlikely she’ll do it on a hard court. I’m hoping she does though.

Sharapova def. Clijsters
Serena def. Kerber
Serena stomps all over Sharapova

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