Friday, January 16, 2009

Waiting to 'X'-hale

It's the moment Slam fans have been waiting for since U.S. Open '08: The release of the draws for the Australian Open! As always, I'm going to do my quarterfinal predictions for both the men and the women.

But before I do that, some things need to be wrapped up first. Namely, the qualifying tournaments. Both draws are in the final round and I think, should they get in, there are some players that can make things interesting for the exempted ones.

Xavier Malisse is still out there and I'm pretty sure no top seed drawn to face a qualifier would be happy about possibly facing him first up. Also, on the men's side, Hopman Cup champ Dominik Hrbaty is thisclose to getting in. What if he wins and has to play James Blake? Who would you go with in that one seeing as how Dom just beat JB a couple of weeks ago?

Dudi Sela and Bjorn Phau can have a "big" impact on the draw should they get in as well. (Me using "big" was supposed to be a joke because they're both pretty short! I crack myself up sometimes!)

As for the women, you can't overlook top qualifying seed Jelena Kostanic Tosic. Sesil Karatantcheva's still alive (you know her: the suspended youngster making a comeback) and I guess in an answer to my question about American tennis players, Melanie Oudin and Vania King are fighting to get in. And what could be the story of the qualies is also happening with Kimiko Date Krumm (you might remember her sans "Krumm") is continuing her own comeback story at 38!

So my predictions are coming; I just want to wait a little and see where the hopefuls end up. Then we'll be all set to go!

(Photo: AP)


Shelia said...

Hey Van, with all of its potential and possibilities, is it me, or does the run up to Australian Open 2009 seem as boring as possible?

It doesn't even seem like a grand slam will start on Monday. Poor hype?

van said...

Hey Sheila! I know what you mean. I think the Aussie will always get the least hype as far as the Slams go because it's a great event. It might just be the timing of it all.