Sunday, January 13, 2008

Aussie Open picks: the women's edition (late!)


Ok, this should've been done now, especially as the matches have already kicked off (darn Australian time)!

Anyway, here goes my picks for the quarters, semis, finals and the winner:

Justine Henin vs. Lindsay Davenport: Both of these two have won tournaments so far this season, and I guess going back to around U.S. Open time, there hasn't been hotter players than these two. But even though what she's done so far in her comeback has been pretty amazing, Davenport shouldn't be able to stop Justine, who's on a Federer-like roll. Kudos to Davenport, especially, on beating Maria Sharapova in the second round. (You've read it here first!)

Amelie Mauresmo vs. Serena Williams: I'm picking Mauresmo to go this far because Jelena Jankovic has been hobbling for a few months now, which was really evident at the Hopman Cup. Not that Amelie's been in any type of good form lately, but talent alone should carry her this far. However, when she gets to the quarters. .... Serena's been doing very well this year and it's good to see her get to the quarters of a Major and not have to play Henin again. A few years ago, this could have legitimately been a final, but now it's a different situation and Serena should be able to blow her out.

Venus Williams vs. Eleni Daniilidou: Venus wins the easiest draw of the tournament award, and should zip on through. She should have one of those Wimbledon-type romps, with the only player I see giving her a little bit of a challenge to this point being Sania Mirza in the third round. Daniilidou has had a pretty good start to the year, winning a title already, and while I could never figure out why she hasn't put it together, maybe this year is the time she finally does, starting with taking out Ana Ivanovic in the second round.

Daniela Hantuchova vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova: I really like Daniela coming through her section of the draw. It seems over the past couple of years, she's really been playing up to her potential. I'm expecting her to take out Anna Chakvetadze in a battle in the fourth round. Kuznetsova has been doing nothing but playing as solid as a player could play of late and should have no trouble advancing to this point.

In the semis:
Henin vs. Serena: An all-Williams final is just a match away! However, Serena doesn't do her part and falls to Henin here. At least it's a step past the quarters where they always meet.

Venus vs. Kuznetsova: Venus does do her part, though, and takes out Svetlana pretty handily. There have been few players that when they get going in a major, REALLY get going like Venus does.

In the final
Henin over Venus: However, the V-train gets derailed against Justine here, who's racking up majors at a crazy pace. Henin's really looking like one of the all-timers to me.

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