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Analyzing the 2010 Australian Open Women’s Draw

Posted on January 17, 2010 by JA Allen
Serena Williams will look for a repeat of her 2009 Australian Open championship.

Serena Williams will look for a repeat of her 2009 Australian Open championship.

In recent history there has never been more compelling drama promised than that offered in the 2010 Australian Open women’s draw. Consider all the possible story lines, what with the Williams sisters fit and fully engaged and Maria Sharapova back to compete hopefully at full strength once again.

Then there is the continuing saga of the “Come-back Queens”—Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin! Add to that the potential for Dinara Safina to finally find her missing courage.

For a pinch of entertainment enhance the proceedings with the ingenues Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki and you have all the ingredients for a first rate, blockbuster grand slam down under.

Rajat Jain (RJ), Marianne Bevis (MB), and JA Allen (JA) will present our analysis and predictions for the women’s draw—with the men’s draw to follow in short order.
Serena Williams’ First Quarter

As quarters go, Serena has almost a cake-walk to the quarterfinals unless she stumbles getting out of the gate. The rest seems fairly straightforward with the seeds progressing in order.
Best of the first-round matches

Urszula Radwanska vs. Serena Williams (1)

The two have met on the grass at Wimbledon where Serena won 6-4, 6-4 but Radwanska, seeded 190 at the time, played well. An early match against a seasoned opponent could prove dangerous for the No. 1 seed. (Unanimous choice.)

Who Will Win The Women's Title at the Australian Open?

  • Serena Williams (50%, 3 Votes)
  • Justine Henin (33%, 2 Votes)
  • Kim Clijsters (17%, 1 Votes)
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Elena Dementieva (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dinara Safina (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Victoria Azarenka (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jelena Jankovic (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Venus Williams (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Best of the second-round matches

Ana Ivanovic (20) vs. Gisela Dulko

This should be a critical match for the Serbian. Dulko will prove to be an exacting opponent with the game to hurt Ivanovic (JA and RJ agree). (MB) adds that Dulko just missed being seeded and Ivanovic is scrambling to find her form again.

Best of the third-round matches

Sabine Lisicki (21) vs. Samantha Stosur (13)

If Lisicki is serving well, Stosur will just have to pack it in. If not, then Stosur has a real shot to make it to the fourth round. (JA & MB)

Best of the fourth-round matches

Victorian Azarenka (7) vs. Ana Ivanovic (20)

This match will be won by the player who holds on to her emotions and controls with her serve and solid baseline play. (JA). According to (MB) it will be Vera Zvonareva (9) facing Azarenka (7).

First Quarter Quarterfinalists: Williams vs. Azarenka

First Quarter Dark Horse

(JA) Sabine Lisicki
(MB) Melinda Czink
(RJ) Suarez Navarro

First Quarter Winner: Serena Williams (unanimous choice)

Caroline Wozniacki’s Second Quarter

Caroline Wozniacki’s quarter offers a few more challenges to the No. 4 seed as the Dane tries to fight her into the final four at the 2010 Australian Open.

Best of the first-round matches

Francesca Schiavone vs. Alize Cornet

In head-to-head matches Schiavone leads Cornet 3-1, but ten years separate the two and we have been waiting for the talented Frenchwoman to make her move.  This could be her year. (JA & MB)

(RJ) sees Venus Williams (6) vs. Lucie Safarova as the match to watch.

Best of the second-round matches

Agnes Szavay vs. N. Li (16)

In their one previous meeting Na Li won on the hard courts in Paris, but Szavay ranked world No. 40 offers any of the top players a handful of trouble getting past her in the early rounds. (JA).

(MB) recommends another matchMelanie Oudin vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (10).

Best of the third-round matches

Agnieszka Radwanska (10) vs. Francesca Schiavone (17)

These two have met three times on the hard courts with Schiavone winning each time, but the Polish Radwanska has improved greatly since they last met in 2008. (MB).

Caroline Wozniacki (4) vs Shahar Peer (29)

Peer is red-hot, having made it into the finals in Hobart. Caroline may not be match-ready at this point in the season. Tough matchup for the Dane early (JA).

Best of the fourth-round matches

Caroline Wozniacki (4) vs. Daniela Hantuchova (22)

This could be a very exciting match should the two be playing at their best. In head-to-head matches Wozniacki leads 2-0. She should take this one as well (JA).  (MB) sees Wozniacki instead meeting N. Li in the fourth round.

Second Quarter Quarterfinalists: Wozniacki vs. Radwanska

Second Quarter Dark Horses

Shahar Peer (JA) & (MB)
Lucie Safarova (RJ)

Second Quarter Winner

Radwanska (JA)
Wozniacki (RJ) & (MB)

Svetlana Kuznetsova’s Third Quarter

Talk about your loaded quarters! Anybody who is in this section of the draw is very unlucky because it is stacked with potential winners.

Best of the first-round matches

Jelena Dokic vs. Alisa Kleybanova (27)

They met last year during the 2009 Australian Open, during Dokic’s amazing run and the Aussie defeated Kleybanova in the Round of 16, 7-5, 5-7, 8-6.  It was one fabulous match. Can Dokic do it again? Kleybanova has improved (unanimous choice).

Justine Henin will look to make a splash in her first grand slam tournament in two years.

Justine Henin will look to make a splash in her first grand slam tournament in two years.

Best of the second-round matches

Justine Henin vs. Elena Dementieva (5)

This could very well be the match of the tournament. Dementieva is scorching, coming off her dismissal of Serena Williams in the finals at Sydney. The Russian needs to rope in her nerves and just play her game against the rusty Henin (unanimous choice).

Best of the third-round matches:

Virginie Razzano (18) vs. Flavia Pennetta (12)

Even though Pennetta holds the higher ranking, Razzano holds a 4-0 edge in their head-to-head meetingsall on hard courts (JA & MB).

Best of the fourth-round matches:

Kim Clijsters (15) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (3)

In head-to-head matches, Clijsters leads 7-1. The last time they played was on hard courts and Clijsters prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Clijsters already has one title this year. We expect her to win again (JA & MB).

Third Quarter Quarterfinalists

Dementieva vs. Clijsters (JA & MB)
Henin vs. Clijsters (RJ)

Third Quarter Dark Horses

Justine Henin (JA)
Dokic (MB)
Pennetta (RJ)

Third Quarter Winners

Clijsters (JA)
Dementieva (MB)
Henin (RJ)

Kim Clijsters will be looking to win her second straight Grand Slam title.

Kim Clijsters will be looking to win her second straight Grand Slam title.

Dinara Safina’s Fourth Quarter

This quarter has some potential for exciting matchups, assuming the top seeds do not crash out early.

Best of the first-round matches

Maria Sharapova (14) vs. Maria Kirilenko

These two Russians have met three times on hard courts with Sharapova winning twice. They have not, however, met since 2006, and Sharapova is coming back slowly from shoulder surgery. This will be a real test for the former World No. 1 Sharapova.

(JA & RJ) agree on this matchup, while (MB) considers the Dinara Safina (2) vs. Magdalena Rybarikova match critical.

Best of the second-round matches

Maria Sharapova (14) vs. Timea Bascinszky

This should be an easy match for Sharapova if she is serving well and if she is match ready.  If she is not, then, the match may not go her way. Sharapova has a heavy load of expectation to carry into this tournament (JA).

(MB) saw the Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez vs. Shuai Peng match as the one to watch or record. (RJ) selected Dominika Cibulkova (23) vs. Vania King.

Best of the third-round matches

Marion Bartoli (11) vs Martinez Sanchez (24)

The two have met twice: once on clay, won by Martinez Sanchez, and once on hard courts won by Bartoli. Assuming the heat is not a factor and assuming Bartoli is in good physical shape, she should win this one.  But chances are Martinez Sanchez may walk away the victor (JA & MB).

Best of the fourth-round matches

Maria Sharapova (14) vs. Dinara Safina (2)

Both are Russian. Both are former World No. 1 players. Put them together and you have the almost perfect tennis player. They both go into this tournament with excess baggage—Safina’s doubt and Sharapova’s recovery from shoulder surgery. Safina should win this one, but will she (JA & MB)?

Fourth Quarter Quarterfinalists

Sharapova vs. Jankovic (JA)
Safina vs. Jankovic (MB)

Fourth Quarter Dark Horses

Marion Bartoli (JA)
Kateryna Bondarenko (MB)
Dominika Cibulkova (RJ)

Fourth Quarter Winners

Sharapova (JA) & (RJ)
Safina (MB)


2010 Australian Open Results

Top-Half Semifinalists

Serena Williams vs. Wozniacki (MB & RJ)
Serena Williams vs Radwanska (JA)

Bottom-Half Semifinalists

Clijsters vs. Sharapova (JA)
Dementieva vs. Safina (MB)
Henin vs. Sharapova (RJ)

Finalists

Williams vs. Clijsters (JA)
Dementieva vs. Wozniacki (MB)

Winner: Serena Williams (JA)
Winner: Dementieva (MB)

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