WATCH OUT FOR QUALIFIERS: SHARAPOVA and DULKO - and LEON GARCIA if SHE WINS SATURDAY
Serena has an easy path to the quarters!
I hope Widjaja (win a round!) and (18)Shaughnessy do well.
Meghan could get through to the R16 like she did in 2001. Her draw is reasonable for a matchup with (1)Williams if she keeps her head together. (16)Sugiyama could also be Williams opponent in R16.
(9)Hantuchova could meet Harkleroad in the R64, and Harkleroad will be
a formidable challenge. This could be her first major Grand Slam victory after a solid performance to the SF in Strasbourg
Look for (5)Mauresmo to meet Serena in the QF and make a rematch of the SF in Rome. If Mauresmo gets nervous Zuluaga and Krasnoroutskaya are the best clay courter players in that section.
An inspired Mauresmo will need every bit of energy the Parisians can give her to upset Williams again. Slice and spins and a wet, damp day making for heavy conditions will be necessary.
Williams in three sets to the SF
(4) Henin should make it to the quarters without any trouble. She has never lost to (19) Schnyder, though if Patty is inspired and has good penetration on her strokes, she can upset anyone having a bad day on clay. (14) Daniilidou has beaten Henin in there only meeting on grass in a tight 3-setter last season. Schnyder should take her out.
One of the interesting first round matchups is Safina asgainst (11) Myskina. Look for a hungry Safina looking to make up for her brother's withdrawal and her oor record against her compatriot. Myskina in three sets, and she should make it to R16 against (8) Rubin who is finally in form; she is in the finals of Madrid. Rubin is at the point in her career where big performances at the Grand Slams are her goal. Casanova may be a challenge in R64.
Rubin defeats Myskina and avenges the upset at the Australian Open by Myskina in R16
Henin defeats Rubin in two close sets even though Rubin beat her In Miami very easily. This is Henin's surface.
(1)WILLIAMS vs. (4)HENIN
(4)HENIN defeats (1)WILLIAMS
Henin is looking for her first slam title with all the pressure squarely on Serena.
HENIN in three and to the FINAL!
(7) Jennifer Capriati will have a delightful R64 matchup with Marion Bartoli on a show court. Look for Jennifer to cruise into the R16.
(12)Seles may very well be bounced out in the first round by Petrova, a repeat of the second round matchup in Rome. (17)Coetzer may wear Monica out in R32 if she gets there. (17)Coetzer is a more promising bet to make it to R16. Monica will only make it if she slugs out a few three-setters.
Look for Capriati to jump all over her R16 opponent. She has plenty of tough matchs under her belt. This year she is the underdog again, and she will be able to do her most damage from that role.
(7) Capriati to the QF.
I like (13)Dementieva against (22)Zvonareva as one of the bettter R32 potential matchups. Both have weak second serves, so look for a slugfest with a lot of service breaks. (22)Zvonareva will come through in three because she is a little steadier, and she will hold up against the big forehand of Dementieva.
If she is relatively healthy (3)Williams will have no trouble getting to the QF to meet Jennifer for a showdown from the two players who were no.1 before Serena. Capriati and Venus have not played since the 2001 US OPEN. Though Venus is favored, her desire is waning in between Grand Slam affairs. I think I smell an upset with Capriati in 3 sets in a tight affair with a lot of service breaks and bad second serves.
(7)Capriati to the SF
(6) Davenport will have a very interesting matchup with Tulyaganova in R64. The have played twice, and each time every set was close though Davenport won once in 2 and once in 3. I think Iroda is keen on her first big Grand Slam win, since she has victories over Maleeva, Bovina and Dokic this season.
However, don't look for Tulyaganova to go any further than R32 because she will run into (26)Dechy who beat her twice last summer in their only meetings. Dechy will have the home crowd behind her.
Can (24) Conchita Martinez beat (10) Jelena Dokic again after their matchup in Rome? Look for Dokic to get serious and make it to the R16 against (26) Dechy.
(10) Dokic to the the QF because she owns Dechy.
No one in the (15) Maleeva/(20)Bovina section is particularly hot this season. Molik may come through or the young Golovin may provide an upset. Look for an unseeded surprise player to make it to the R16.
Morariu has a decent shot against Bedanova, but either way, (30)Suarez
should matchup against (2)Kim Clijsters. Whoever meets (2) Clijsters in the R16, will be thrashed by Kim
(10)Dokic vs. (2)Clijsters in the QF
Clijsters in two sets over Dokic (Kim leads Jelena 5-1 in ther head-to-head)
(2)Clijsters vs. (7)Capriati
Capriati will turn the tables this time as she reclaims their rivalry. Capriati in three sets. Capriati likes pace, not the spins and slices of Mauresmo and Henin.
FINALS: (4)Henin vs. (7) Capriati Unfortunately, Jennifer will run out of gas, and Justine will capture her first major in three sets, running away with it in the third. Henin leads the series 3-2 with all matches having gone 3 sets.
FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION: JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE