Wimbledon 2011: Women’s Draw

The women’s field welcomes the return of the Williams sisters. But it also has the absence of Kim Clijsters. Since the absence of the sisters, many new players have stepped up to the challenge such as french open winner Li Na, Wimbledon semi finalist Petra Kvitova, number 2 seed Vera Zvonereva and former winner Maria Sharapova.

But will the sisters be able to live up to their previous form? Can Zvonereva and Kvitova successfully defend their outstanding results last year? Can Li Na make another final? And can Sharapova finally win another major since her injury?

Quarter 1: The Number One Seed

Wozniacki is still on the search for her first grand slam. She faces a possible third round match up against the Australian Jarmila Gajdosova who may give her problems. Also rising German player Julia Goerges awaits her in the fourth round. Things get more interesting the bottom section of this draw with Sharapova as a likely contender against Wozniacki. Before she reaches the quarters, Sharapova will have to face Sam Stosur in the fourth round, which really could go either way. However Sharapova is the favoured player on the grass.

Quarter Final: Wozniacki Vs Sharapova

I’ll be really unimpressed if Wozniacki doesn’t reach this far. Harsh words, but none of her competitors really has the grand slam experience she has. Sharapova, like any day, will rely on the winners to defeat the world number one.

Semifinalist: Sharapova

Quarter 2: The New Champion and The Defending Champion

Li Na comes into this grand slam after winning the french. The Chinese player has enjoyed great performances in this years grand slams. Her second round match up is likely to be a huge challenge with Sabine Lisicki who recently won the AEGON classic and is also a former wimbledon quarter finalist. I really can see this match going the distance just like Lisicki’s match against Zvonereva in the french. Ivanovic also is in this section of the draw with a first round match up against Melanie Oudin. With her disappointing performances at this year’s majors, it’s hard to see her going far in the tournament. Another major name is the defending champion Serena Williams. Her first round sees her facing Aravane Rezai who has faced a decline from her success last year. Marion Bartoli also lies in Serena’s section for a fourth round match up. Bartoli has a big win in Eastbourne this week, but will have difficulties with Serena Williams as her opponent.

Quarter Final: Li Na Vs Serena

It’s hard to predict this quarter as it’s filled with many variables. This quarter could end up as the surprise. But Li Na and Serena seem the most likely. Nerves shouldn’t be a problem for Li but Serena will be questionable. Her performance in the 2007 Australian Open after returning from injury stunned everyone. I’m favouring Li but I could be wrong.

Semifinalist: Li Na

Quarter 3: The Open Quarter

In my opinion, this will be the quarter to watch as it’s filled with tough competitors. Francesca Schiavone begins her first round against Jelena Dokic which could be an interesting match up. Dokic has reached the final at ‘s-Hertogenbosch while Schiavone lost in the first round last year after her success at Roland Garros. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova is also a huge threat to whoever wins this match. Petkovic is also in this and in my opinion will go far into this tournament. In the bottom half we have Victoria Azarenka who’ll face an in form Daniela Hantuchova in the third round. Other names which are found in this section include Nadia Petrova, 2010 quarter finalist Kaia Kanepi and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Quarter Final: Petkovic Vs Hantuchova

I swear i’ll laugh if I get this one right as this one is so unpredictable. It’ll be the third consecutive grand slam quarter final for Petkovic while it will be the first in a while for Daniela Hantuchova. Hantuchova has confidence from her win against Venus and shows that she’s moved on from her problems with her mentality. However, I see Petkovic breaking through in this match with a dance into the semis.

Semifinalist: Petkovic

Quarter 4: Venus Williams And The Women Defending A Lot Of Points

Believe it or not, but this quarter contains three of last year’s semi finalist (Petra Kvitova, Vera Zvonereva and Tsvetana Pironkova). Kvitova’s nerves will be put to the test as she now defends her success last year. Her biggest competition is Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round who has struggled with the grass courts in the past. In the other section contains the dreaded Venus Williams. No one wants to verse her so early in the tournament, especially in Wimbledon. Jankovic is unfortunately the victim of the draw as they clash in the third round. Zvonereva then awaits the winner in the fourth round. The Russian is also defending her run to the final last year but comes in with a win over Serena Williams in Eastbourne. This is another section of the draw to watch and it will be interesting who progresses in the end.

Quarter Final: Kvitova Vs Zvonereva (or Venus Williams)

Despite Venus being a five time champion, I reckon Zvonereva is in the better form and has improved in the past year.

Semifinalist: Zvonereva

Semi finals:

Sharapova Vs Li Na

Possible repeat of the french open semi final. Sharapova will be competing in a surface she’s more comfortable in and hopefully in less windy conditions. Both women can potentially win this match but surprisingly I predict a Sharapova win.

Finalist: Sharapova

Petkovic Vs Zvonereva

Quite a surprising semi final, but Zvonereva has the edge over the Petkorazzi.

Finalist: Zvonereva

Final:

Sharapova Vs Zvonereva

An all Russian final is what I predict. Both will be filled with nerves so there could be a painful amount of errors. Zvonereva is having a great season and has improved so much, but the grand slam experience and the hard hitting from Sharapova will win her the title.

Winner: Sharapova

Although this is my prediction, i’m not 100% confident with it. The Williams sisters will likely smash the competition. Also the women’s field is always filled with surprises.

 

Advertisements

Roland Garros Quarter Final Review

The last two days of quarter finals is done and we now have our semifinalists. We’ve seen players step up to the occasion and get one step closer to the final. Although Novak Djokovic got a walkover into the semi finals, for everyone else, it wasn’t that easy as they battled the wind to get into the semi finals. Now we look back at the last two days of matches.

Federer Vs Monfils 6-4 6-3 7-6(3)

The Swiss maesrto is matched up against home favourite Gael Monfils. Gael Monfils came into this match an underdog despite winning their last match in the Paris Masters. Monfils began with a roaring start as he lead 3-1 in the opening set. Federer then bounced back to put the set back on serve. The 2009 champion didn’t allow Monfils any more chances as he took the first set 6-4, and won the next 6-3. Monfils began to lead Federer in the third set where Federer once again raced back from behind. The third set was determined by a tiebreak where he won 7-6 (3) in two hours and 34 minutes of play. Roger Federer will now play the long awaited match against Novak Djokovic in the semi finals.

Monfils congratules Federer.

Schiavone Vs Pavlyuchenkova 1-6 7-5 7-5

The veteren Schiavone battles against the Russian teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova who has just reached her first grand slam quarter final and also upset the number three seed Vera Zvonereva. The match started with a surprise as Pavlyuchenkova dominated the first hour of play leading 6-1 4-1.It seemed all was lost for Schiavone until she battled back with the fierce passion she’s known for and won the second set 7-5. She continued the momentum in the third set with a dream start at 5-1. Pavlyuchenkova refused to go away as she went for all or nothing. The final set equalled at 5-5 where both players traded game points and break points where Schiavone finally broke and served for the match. Schiavone then clinched victory on her third match point and earning a place in the semi finals. Although Pavlyuchenkova didn’t win today, she leaves with a promising future ahead. Schiavone will now face Marion Bartoli for a place in the final.

Schiavone through to the semi finals.

Bartoli Vs Kuznetsova 7-6 (4) 6-4

The frenchwoman Bartoli comes in as the underdog against 2009 french open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova. Unlike Svetlana, Marion comes in with the home crowd behind her. She used this advantage to battle past the Russian. She lead 5-3 in the opening set before losing focus to see the scoreboard at 5-5. The set eventually went into a tiebreak where Bartoli took advantage of the situation and claimed the first set. She lead 2-0 in the second and both women began to hold their serves. Leading 5-4, Bartoli seized her opportunity and raised her arms in the air as she won match point. The last French woman to win the french open was Mary Pierce in 2000. Bartoli has come one step closer to becoming the next french woman to win her home grand slam.

Victory for Bartoli.

 

Li Na Vs Azarenka 7-5 6-2

Victoria Azarenka comes into her match one of the favourites to win this years french open. Her Chinese opponent Li Na comes into this match as the 2011 Australian Open runner up and her first appearance at the quarterfinals in Roland Garros. Both women have had success this year so this promised to be a thrilling clash. The match began with both women holding their serves in the first set.  Li Na eventually broke Azarenkas service game and won the first set 7-5. Azarenka fought hard to get back into the match, but the world number six was too strong as she took out the second set 6-2. Li Na will now face Maria Sharapova in the semi finals.

Li Na ousts Victoria Azarenka.

Sharapova Vs Petkovic 6-0 6-3

Both Maria Sharapova and Andrea Petkovic have claimed victory over each other this season. However it was Sharapova who was too much for Petkovic as she won convincingly on her least favoured surface. The match started with complete dominance from the Russian with a 6-0 2-0 lead. Despite what the score suggests, Petkovic actaully had game point in each game. The German seemed to be fighting back to equal the score at 2-2. Both women would then break each others serves. However, this game would be the last won by Petkovic as Sharapova raced to victory with 6-3 in the second set. She now faces Li Na in her semi final and equals her best result in the french open.

Sharapova screams into the semis.

 Murray Vs Chela 7-6 7-5 6-2

The result of this match was a predictable one, but the scoreline was not. The fourth seed who injured his ankle in his third round match, recovered from two breaks down in the first set only to win 7-2 in the tiebreak. The momentum seemed to switch to both men in the second set where despite blowing a 5-2 lead,Murray eventually took the second 7-5. Chela began to break down as the Brit began to lead the third set. After 2 hours and 53 minutes, Murray reached his first Roland Garros semi final and sets up a clash against world number 1 Rafael Nadal.

Murray in semis for the first time.

Soderling Vs Nadal 6-4 6-1 7-6

Robin Soderling is the only man ever to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. He proves as a huge threat as Nadal has struggled to play his best. The demonstration that the number one player has shown has silenced the doubters.  Nadal took early domination against the Swede with a convincing 6-4 win in the first set and a 6-1 win in the second set in just 33 minutes. The plan Soderling went for wasn’t going well as he hit many balls wide and saw Nadal chase ball after ball to see them smashed past him. The third set proved to be a thriller as Soderling dug deep and broke Nadals serve to equal at 5-5. After many incredible rallies, Nadal took the third set at 7-3 in the tiebreak to reach the semi finals. He now faces Andy Murray in the semi final and has now regained his form.

Nadal during an incredible rally.

 

French Open Women’s Analysis: One Week Later

The womens draw has been far from boring. There are surprises from all areas in the draw. It’s started off with the absence of the Williams sisters and followed by a string of surprising upsets. As we go into the final week of the tournament, let’s see which of the final sixteen women will take home the second grand slam of the year.

Quarter 1:

Previous prediction: Kuznetsova Vs Stosur

I was obviously wrong here. I was so sure Stosur would get this far into the tournament. The remaining players left in this draw are Daniela Hantuchova, Svetlana Kuznetova, Marion Bartoli and Gisela Dulko. After winning the French open two years ago, Svetlana seems sure to win this quarter. However, her next opponent Daniela Hantuchova is coming in with sky high confidence and playing amazing tennis after ousting the world number one Caroline Wozniacki. Whether she can maintain this performance is what we’ll find out today. Home favourite Bartoli is the only French woman left in the draw and has also dug deep to get past her previous match against rising star Julia Goerges. She faces Gisela Dulko who defeated last years runner up Sammantha Stosur in three sets. This match could go either way, but as much as my support goes for Dulko, I’m seeing Bartoli sailing into the quarters.

Kuznetsova Vs Bartoli

The French crowd will really be behind Bartoli. But Kuznetsova seems more superior in these grand slam situations.

Semi Finalist: Kuznetsova

Quarter 2: 

Previous Prediction: Zvonereva Vs Schiavone

My two picks for this quarter are still alive and so are their main competitors. World number three Vera Zvonereva will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the fourth round. Zvonereva comes into this next match with a victory against Pavlyuchenova on clay this year as well as her grand slam experience. Francesca Schiavone will face Jelena Jankovic in what promises to be a hard fought match between these two fighters. Both women have the game and the experience to claim victory. Jankovic has won their last three encounters with last being on clay. Although the stats favour the Serb, my pick for this match is Schiavone, which is based purely on her improvement and her current form since those previous matches.

Zvonereva Vs Schiavone

This is another interesting math up for Schiavone. Zvonareva has won all their previous encounters, which is why my decision is pretty controversial. I believe Schiavone will come through in a tough match. But as I write this Zvonereva just lost. xD

Semi Finalist: Schiavone

Quarter 3:

Previous: Azarenka Vs Li Na

My prediction is still possible but the only thing stopping this is Petra Kvitova. Kvitova is coming in with a huge rise in the rankings in the past year. She faces Australian open finalist Li Na who has played very solid tennis so far. This match could go either way. Azarenka is facing a surprising opponent Ekaterina Makarova who defeated 16th seed Kaia Kanepi in the previous round.

Azarenka Vs Li Na

Azarenka should take this one out because of her current for, but Li Na will be challenging her during every shot of the match.

Semi Finalist: Azarenka

Quarter 4:

Previous: Clijsters Vs Sharapova

Early round upsets has been common in the past grand slams, but the upset of Clijsters was really unexpected. Sharapova faces the polish player Agnieszka Radwanska who will take her every inch of the courts surface. On the other match, we have rising star Andrea Petkovic taking on Maria Kirilenko. Kirilenko has taken advantage of Clijsters upset and now finds herself into the fourth round. This will be the battle of the groundstrokes, but I believe we’ll be seeing the Petko dance at the end of this.

Sharapova Vs Petkovic

Petkovic defeated Sharapova in Australian Open but Sharapova got revenge in Miami. It’s difficult to predict, but I’ll stick by Sharapova.

Semi Finalist: Sharapova

Semi Finals:

Kuznetsuva Vs Schiavone

This is a replay of the epic match which took place in Australia, which went for four hours and ended at 16-14 with victory for Schiavone. Hopefully we have a replay here, but both women will ensure that doesn’t happen. It’s hard to predict as they’re the last two winners. My pick is on who I think will play better on the day.

Winner: Schaivone

Azarenka Vs Sharapova

Prepare your earplugs! This promises to be a loud one. I’m looking forward to this. It’ll be Azarenka’s first semi and Sharapova’s first since the injury. I would think Azarenka but Sharapova has recently defeated her on clay. For now, this one’s a lottery pick.

Winner: Azarenka

Grand Final

Schiavone Vs Azarenka

I still stand by my first prediction, though Kuznetsuva and Sharapova could be here instead. I reckon Schiavone will have that extra edge over Azarenka as she’s already won a grand slam.

Champion: Schiavone