Tag Archives: dominika cibulkova

The French Open Draw: Women

20 May

Okay, so I haven’t been this excited before a major, since way back when Federer winning Wimbledon was a given. And even more unbelievably it’s the women’s draw that I most look forward to see being played out. While the women’s game (deservedly) takes a lot of flack for lacking depth, this French Open almost provides an opportunity for this perception to change. When you think about it, the Williams’ sisters have had a lot to do with creating this situation. They don’t play often enough to be top ranked, yet when it comes to the majors they wipe the floor with the “official” best players in the world, thereby discrediting the rankings in a large degree. One might argue that the system according to which the rankings are calculated is to blame – certainly a notion that should be entertained, perhaps the focus of future blog post…

Back on point, the French is highly likely to be won by a top 5 player, and if not, will almost certainly be won by a top 10 player. Caro Wozniacki has every chance of winning. So does Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kwitova. In my opinion it would be a stunning validation of not only these players, but also the rankings and the women’s game, if one of them win. While one would think Wozniacki’s counter puncher game is well suited to the red, clay is probably her worst surface; despite this, her consistency of play makes her a serious contender. In contrast if Azarenka were to win here, it would be because she overcame her inconsistency. Azarenka has every facet of a game to induce shock and awe. At her best, few can beat her. While she probably doesn’t have the maturity to play at that level throughout the seven matches it requires to win a grand slam, it sure would be a coup for women’s tennis if she were to win… Powerful game, impressive to watch, and still very young are all factors which would add to the credibility of the sport. Kwitova too is probably lacking in maturity, but it would be the most exciting brand of play to win a first time major in quite a while.

Other contenders, less likely to win or gain some massive standing for the women’s game if they do, include Francesca Schiavone, Vera Zvonareva, Sam Stosur and Jelena Jankovic. While she played a brilliant series of matches one year ago, I am still inclined to say that Schiavone’s French win was somewhat of a fluke and unlikely to be repeated. Zvonareva, Stosur and Jankovic are all contenders, but seem to be somewhat lacking in the conviction required to win a major. This is quite a shame – particularly in Stosur’s case, her clay court game would make her a worthy champion, and the attention it would draw to the sport in her native, Australia, would certainly be of note. A Li Na win or is that Na Li win, would too do wonders for the sport in the player’s home country. Adding the billions of Chinese as followers of the women’s game would kind of render the fans across the rest of the globe, null and void. I don’t think she will do this for the game in Paris, Wimbledon is a whole different story though…

And then we get to Sharapova and Clijsters. While it probably wouldn’t do wonders for the sport if the self-proclaimed “cow on ice” aka Sharapova or Clijsters, who’s been out for months, won the clay major, this would probably the most enjoyable watching to me, being quite an old school tennis fan. And to be fair, Clijsters always has a shot. And Sharapova winning Rome gives her every right to be considered a serious contender.

So now that I have mentioned every top 10 player as a challenger for the title, who do I actually pick as the winner…

Quarter Final 1: Sam Stosur vs Caro Wozniacki

This quarter will go according to the seedings. While Svetlana Kuznetsova is the most likely player to prevent this quarter final from happening, I reckon the odds are in favour of Wozniacki reaching the semi’s by virtue of beating Stosur in the quarter’s.

Quarter Final 2: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Jelena Jankovic

In this quarter, an interesting 3rd round encounter between Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova looms. A few years ago, Petrova was my favourite to win the French Open. While she doesn’t have the form or consistency, her clay court pedigree is still noteable. I don’t think either of them will make the quarter final though. Pavlyuchenkova is capable of beating both, and overdue on a good run at a major. I don’t think anyone in Jankovic’s 1/8 will bother her too much.

Quarter Final 3: Petra Kwitova vs Ana Ivanovic

Kwitova has quite a difficult section of the draw to get through. The little Chinese Zheng Jie in the 2nd, Dominika Cibulkova in the 3rd and either Na Li or Sorana Cirstea in the 4th, it won’t be easy. I think she has the self belief to do it however. In the other section, the smart money would be on Victoria Azarenka getting through. Maybe I am just too much of an Ana Ivanovic fan, or maybe I’m right when I say Ivanovic will beat Azarenka, via her superior experience and Azarenka’s inconsistency, but my money is on Ivanovic making it through this part of the draw.

Quarter Final 4: Maria Sharapova vs Kim Clijsters

Simply no one in this quarter can challenge these two veterans for skill or experience.

To recap, the quarter final pairings according to my predictions are as follows – Sam Stosur vs Caro Wozniacki, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Jelena Jankovic, Petra Kwitova vs Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova vs Kim Clijsters.

Semi Final 1: Caro Wozniacki vs Jelena Jankovic

Both of these are likely to beat their lower ranked quarter final opponents, and proceed to the semi’s.

Semi Final 2: Ana Ivanovic vs Maria Sharapova

Okay, so we have already determined that I’m going out on a limb with Ivanovic. Picking Sharapova above Clijsters was quite difficult. I expect the winner of that match to at the very least, reach the final. I’m going with Sharapova mainly due to her superior match fitness and the fact that her record at Roland Garros isn’t bad at all with 1 SF, 3 QF’s and 2 4R’s.

Final: Caro Wozniacki vs Maria Sharapova

These two will make it to the final over their Serbian opponents,by virtue of their superior games, and belief in their capabilities.

Winner: Maria Sharapova

Cause she’s a champion. But it would be much better for women’s tennis if Wozniacki won.

Give me your opinion by commenting below.

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