Monday, January 23, 2012

Still on track? Well, kinda...

And just when I thought my picks for the tournament were looking so good!

Tough result for Serena Williams, the TTA? 2012 Australian Open champion. I don't know what to make of it; she didn't play her best, but supposedly Serena at 75 percent should win that match. Actually, let me clarify that statement: Serena "of old" at 75 percent...

The game's just not that easy for her anymore, and I don't know if that's a testament to the women's game right now or how she goes about her preparation. More match play is needed at this point in her career. And I think it's hard to say how much her ankle injury, too, impacted the result. On paper, Ekaterina Makarova isn't much tougher than the three opponents Williams walloped earlier. I guess she just can't get away with bad days.

But to avoid those bad days, you just have to get out more: I don't think she'll necessarily do that, though. Aside from Fed Cup, I would be highly, highly surprised if we saw her in a tournament before Miami.

Anyway, a lot of my other calls are still looking good! On the men's side, I picked six of eight quarterfinalists, including Kei Nishikori and my men's champ, Andy Murray. Things went great for me for the top half of the women's draw. The bottom half? That's another story, with Serena leading the way on that one.

(Photo: Getty Images)