Saturday, January 17, 2009

Australian Open 2009 Preview: The Ladies Draw

This is pretty easy, and thus going to be pretty short. I have no idea what's going to happen in the women's draw at the Australian Open. Moreover, I would posit that anyone who says they do is certifiable. Women's professional tennis has been on its ear since the retirement of Justine Henin and the persisting shoulder issues of Maria Sharapova (she withdrew from the Aussie Open) to the point where no consistent champion-level tennis has emerged.
Jelena Jankovic? Dinara Safina? Ana Ivanovic? Put your money on any one of them and be prepared to lose it. We're at the point now where Sports Illustrated is picking the weak-kneed queen of the choke herself, Elena Dementieva as their champ. I guess she did knuckle up and win Olympic gold, but we'll see.
Just like last year, this is a golden opportunity for a new name to step forward and be heard, but it remains to be seen whether any of these ladies have the stuff. If none of them do, then perhaps its the enigmatic Williams sister's tournament to win.
In the first round, I would stop what I'm doing to watch Israel's Shahar Pe'er take on 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki. Pe'er needs to do something, anything to get her game back on track, and bumping Wozniacki from the tournament would be a huge boost to her career.
The Tipsy Historian's Picks

Venus Williams vs Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic vs Dinara Safina

Finals: Serena Williams vs Jelena Jankovic

Champion: Serena Williams

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