Monday, June 22, 2009

Wimbledon 2009: Ladies First

Ladies Singles
Defending Champion: Venus Williams

It's a mad scramble in London as the ladies try the quick turnaround from clay to grass. With the field blown wide open, and after a much ballyhooed upset season last year, don't expect thing to change just yet: The Williams sisters are headed for a collision course on the last Saturday of the tournament

Quarter I

After the meltdown in Paris, and one of the ugliest finals I've seen in quite a while, Dinara comes in as the top seed, yet with very little expectation. Her draw has not been friendly either, she faces Nicole, Agnes, Alona and/or Amelie. And that's before the quarters. Me thinks that she won't survive all of that.

Caroline has been on a roll this year, but still coming up short in the big ones. Her title run last week should provide her a good footing on the lawns, but she will face sentimental favorite Kimiko Date twice her age). The great Dane won this tournament as a junior, and expect her to make a breakthrough here.

Side note for Roland Garros Champion Svetlana, she's got a great game to succeed on the grass, but why are the results not there? Let's see on where this one goes though.

QF Match: Amelie vs Caroline

Quarter II

As mentioned in the intro, Venus stands out from an inconsistent field, she may have spotty results through the year, but doesn't she just stroll along the courts of Wimbledon, and take the title, which is her namesake?

The Serbian slump is fully represented yet, but expect one of them to put up a fight, Jelena, you've been quiet all year.

QF Match: Venus vs Jelena

Quarter III

Any news on Vera's ankle? Hopefully it holds up, she's got a pretty draw, and has the game to go deep. However, the lack of match play, might impair her. On the upside, her draw is relatively easy, with no real contenders. Sorry Elena D, that star seems to have fizzled out, as it was a stellar run indeed for the first quarter of the year. An upset from Alisa Kleybanova might be in the works.

QF Match: Vera vs Dominika

Quarter IV

Previously, on the last Grand Slam ... contenders were filled on the last quarter of the draw, and Serena Williams to come out blasting full force. Expect a continuation here, Maria, despite a recovering shoulder, still willed herself to the quarters, and my pick for the quarter, Victoria Azarenka, looking forward to a making an impression.

It's a such a temptation to put my money on Vika - her aggressive game, and feisty play suits the lawns of SW19, but her path to the semis is to have back-to-back wins over Serena and Maria. That's a lot to ask, but just in case she does surprise us all (including herself), she's the favorite to win the title. I'm going to go safe though, and count on Serena to bring home the whole thing - it's been a while, since she took home the title here.

QF Match: Victoria vs Serena

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