Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Four for Four: Picking the WTA's possibly out-of-the-blue Slam winners for '12

With anyone who's anyone being considered a Slam contender on the WTA Tour nowadays, I decided to throw out four players that I think are serious contenders to win their first (and maybe only?) Major in 2012:

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

The youngest player in the top 20 has been shooting up the rankings the past few years. She has that "sneak-up-on-you" quality I feels to pull off enough big upsets in a row to win a Slam.

Maria Kirilenko
Although she went titleless for the third season in a row, you could almost say the second half of '11 was one of the best of Kirilenko's career. She finally started to play tough tennis at some of the game's biggest stages. If she starts off hot in Australia, watch out for her there.

Andrea Petkovic
A career year for the German saw her finish the season in the top 10. I had the fortune of sitting in on one of her press conferences at the U.S. Open this year, and she said then that was she was ready to start thinking about winning Slams. Health will be a big factor with her.

Shuai Peng
If countrywoman Li Na can do it, why can't she? Or at least that's what Peng could be thinking when it comes to her Major-winning aspirations. She hasn't won a singles title yet, but is coming off the best season of her career and has been on an upward swing.

If anyone of these four break through for a Slam, I'll have my bases covered. If not, you can't blame a guy for trying to do some predicting amid the unpredictability!

(Photo: Getty Images)

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