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.

 

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Roland Garros Day 10: Quarter Finals Begin

Ten days have past and we now reach the business part of the tournament. The quarter finalist have been chosen, the field is getting smaller and the competition is getting tougher. Tennis fans are in for a treat today with three quarter final matches and a fourth round match which will conclude today.

The Conclusion Of Murray Vs Troicki

The match stands at two sets all at 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2. The deciding set will be played today which will determine the final quarterfinalist of the mens draw. Murray has fought a spectacular comeback against the number fifteenth seed Troicki. Andy has played through the right ankle injury which prevented him to play his best tennis and in turn, losing the first two sets. Troicki lead a break in the third set which saw the likelihood of Murray’s departure more likely than ever. However, he fought through and found himself playing the shots he’s renowned for. He equaled the match at two sets all when the match was suspended. The two men would have to wait another day to continue there match.

Ankle injury seems to be taking it's toll

Troicki fighting for his first quarter final.

Murray should win this match due to the extra confidence of winning those last two sets and extra recovery time for his ankle.

Murray digs deep.

Judging on the past few days, it seems delayed matches have been a current trend. It started off with Djokovic Vs Del Potro, then we had Monfils Vs Ferrer and now we have Murray Vs Troicki. The question is, should scheduling be fixed to assure all matches finish before dark? With the exception of the Isner Vs Mahut which was something else. Also maybe Roland Garros should actually apply light in the stadium so matches can finish at night.

Federer Vs Monfils

The match which will determine the semi final opponent of Novak Djokovic. Federer comes in this match after playing a great first week and still yet to drop a set. Monfils comes in after winning a marathon match the day before against David Ferrer. Federer has the advantage physically and mentally in this match, even with a victory against Monfils in the French open in 2008 and 2009. The crowd will be behind Monfils today, however I believe they’ll show respect towards Federer in this match.

Effortless tennis by Federer.

The crowd all on their feet for Monfils.

I predict Federer in straight sets once again, though i’ll support Monfils. Federer will be a tough match up for Djokovic, especially with Djokovic fighting for equalling history.

Schiavone Vs Pavlyuchenkova

Pavlyuchenkova has finally made her breakthrough in a grand slam after shocking number 3 seed Vera Zvonereva in the previous round. The teenager faces the veteran Schiavone who beat Jankovic in the thrilling sets. Both women will fight for each point and attempt to out hit the other. Schiavone is likely to have the edge due to her grand slam experience, her current form and the possible support she’ll have from the crowd. I predict Schiavone in two sets.

Schiavone celebrates victory against Jankovic.

Kuznetsova Vs Bartoli

Many bets have predicted a Wozniacki and Stosur quarter. However, these two have taken advantage of their upsets. Bartoli has been a crowd favourite in the tournament. The question is, how does she use this support today against her opponent. Kuznetsova will be facing off against Bartoli with the confidence of winning the tournament in 2009. Although the crowd will be behind Bartoli, my prediction is that Kuznetsova will make quick work with the French woman in two sets and set up a possible encounter with Schiavone.

Marion Bartoli is the last french woman left in the french open.