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pierce0415
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:20 PM
Australian Open women's seed reportJon Wertheim, SI.com (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/sports/cnnsi/SIG=10jq1r0oi/*http://www.si.com)


http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/cn/headshots/jon_wertheim.jpghttp://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/p/si_lo_70x24_1.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/sports/cnnsi/ten/article/SIG=10mug73mg/*http%3A//www.si.com/)Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim breaks down the men's and women's seeds at the Australian Open. Read on for the top first-round matchups, dark horses to keep an eye on and his predicted winners.

It's hard to recall a major so ravaged by injuries. If you ever needed proof that tennis injuries have officially reached crisis proportion, note the All-Star team of players who won't be in Melbourne. And be assured, there are more to come. Before the game cannibalizes itself, will someone -- anyone! -- address this in a meaningful way?

Depleted cast and all, the show will go on. Inasmuch as anyone can withstand seven matches in two weeks, here is our 2006 Australian Open seed report:

Top 16 seeds


1. Lindsay Davenport (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/93/): It's hard to recall the last time Davenport wasn't in position to win a non-clay Slam. But something has always held her back, be it injury, attitude or a red-hot opponent. If there's karmic justice, Davenport deserves her fourth Slam. Can she finally break through? If she beats Justine Henin-Hardenne (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/319/), we say yes.

2. Kim Clijsters (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/49/): She's no longer Aussie Kim, Mrs. Hewitt-to-be, but Clijsters will have the crowd's affection as she tries to win back-to-back majors. After the '05 U.S. Open, surely she believes she has what it takes to thrash the field. On the other hand, especially for a player whose success is predicated on motion, we worry about the hip injury.

3. Amelie Mauresmo (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/166/): Yes, we know the expression 36 times bitten, 37 times shy. But suddenly Mauresmo inspires optimism. It wasn't just that she won the '05 WTA Championships -- it was her (uncharacteristic) measured, poised performance. Plus, at the Slam, with the fewest klieg lights, she is least likely to choke. Right? Maybe?

4. Maria Sharapova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/403/): Returns to see the scene of the crime, the site of her crushing loss to Serena Williams (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/134/). Sharapova has the will and the ambition to win; the question is always whether her body -- her chest muscle in particular -- and unimaginative game will cooperate.

5. Mary Pierce (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/160/): Can Pierce -- one of the better stories of '05 -- keep it up in '06? The Melbourne winner 11 (gulp) years ago, she went light on this season's tune-ups, so it's hard to gauge the state of her game and physical health. She has the benefit of an unimposing draw. Possible third-rounder against Martina Hingis (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/3799/) will be must-see TV.

6. Nadia Petrova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/196/): Now that she finally won a title, look out.

7. Patty Schnyder (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/92/): Same old, same old. Temperamental Swiss lefty is fun to watch and always dangerous (plus she's had success in Australia). On the other hand, one wonders if she has the mental acuity to win the big prizes. She lost early in the Sydney tune-up.

8. Justine Henin-Hardenne: Hard to believe it was just last June that JH-H was the most feared player in women's tennis. Her complete and adaptable game always make her a force. Injuries and ailments got the better of her last summer and fall, but she looked sharp in tune-ups. It says here that the winner of her likely quarterfinal with Davenport is the de facto final.

9. Elena Dementieva (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/89/): It always seems that Dementieva's dead duck of a serve doesn't beset her as much as it should. Once the rally begins, she can slug (and retrieve) with the best of them. Third rounder against Jelena Jankovic (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/404/) is intriguing.

10. Venus Williams (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/87/): VW gave us that breathtaking Wimbledon and then -- poof -- vanished. Her lack of match play and the latest injury to her shopworn body are hardly encouraging. But then again, you could have said the same thing before last summer's Wimbledon.

11. Natalie Dechy: She had Davenport on the ropes last season and couldn't finish the job. Has made a living (and a nice one at that) at being a perfectly respectable opponent who lives up to her seeding and then capitulates to the bigger names. Look for more of the same Down Under.*

* In keeping with Tennis Writing by-law XI(a)(ii), that will constitute our sole use of "Down Under" for this column.

12. Anastasia Myskina (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/101/): As her mother regained her health, Myskina's game improved. And she has to be motivated by Hingis' essentially crowing, "When I saw a marginal player like Myskina win a major, it inspired me to return." But Anastasia has never done particularly well in Melbourne and, inauspiciously, only played doubles in lat week's tune-up.

13. Serena Williams: Since her heroic '05 run in Melbourne, she has been a cipher, a non-factor who breaks down both emotionally and physically. The comprehensive tune-up loss to Dementieva is inauspicious, but no player can turn it on and off quite like the Williams sisters.

14. Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/151/): Hard to believe a quality athlete with a versatile game could allow herself to sink this low. The '04 U.S. Open champ is desperate for a strong Slam. Her play early this year has been encouraging.

15. Francesca Schiavone (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/150/): Flashy Italienne is coming off a breakthrough year, but she still hasn't won a title.

16. Nicole Vaidisova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/966/): Following the Sharapova blueprint, it's time Vaidisova abdicated her throne as queen of the Tier III's and entered the big-time. Will this be her '04 Wimbledon? I wouldn't bet against it.

Seeds 17-32

17. Daniela Hantuchova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/99/): This train has never gotten completely back on the tracks. And perhaps it never will. But there's still a lot of potential waiting to be unlocked.

19. Dinara Safina (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/170/): Marat's little sister has been quietly making a name for herself of late.

21. Ana Ivanovic (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/998/): A top-10er by year's end, she has already beaten Mauresmo in '06.

22. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/621/): Wish she were coming in with more momentum, but her serve alone ought to be good for a few rounds.

27. Marion Bartoli (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/354/): Cerebral Frenchwoman comes in playing well. Tough opener, though, against Amy Frazier (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/148/).

32. Sania Mirza (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/461/): Indian sensation has improved ranking by more than 200 spots since last year.

Dark-horse nation

Martina Hingis: Enough said.

Karolina Sprem (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/620/): Her game might have holes, but she's too heavy a ball-striker to be ranked too modestly.

Amy Frazier: Ageless American veteran still a difficult opponent for most players.

Vik Kutusova: The best player you've never heard of.

Lucie Safarova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/1279/): Talented teen has already won a title in '06.

Iveta Benesova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/181/): Because reader Todd E. implored us to pick her.

Michaela Krajicek: Lots of untapped talent.

First-round matchups to watch

Evgenia Linetskaya (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/1231/) vs. Maria Kirlienko: Two of the better young Russians.

Lisa Raymond (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/102/) vs. Elena Likhovtseva (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/108/): Two vets, both former quarterfinalists.

Patty Schnyder vs. Eleni Daniilidou (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/138/): Beware of Greeks in Melbourne.

Hingis vs. Vera Zvonareva (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/153/): Tough first-rounder for each.

Doubles Winner

Raymond and Samantha Stosur (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/378/): They won their last Major, plus we still have questions about the collective health of Virginia Ruano Pascual (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/110/)/Paola Suarez (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/112/).

Semifinals

Henin-Hardenne vs. Sharapova

Vaidisova vs. Clijsters

Finals

Henin-Hardenne vs. Clijsters

Winner

Henin-Hardenne

Elldee
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:26 PM
Vaidisova in the semis? Fuck off.

Equipped
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:29 PM
Wertheim couldn't find his ass with both hands.

UDACHi
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:32 PM
Oh my god. I like his articles but he's practically obsessed with Vaidisova. :o

Scotso
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:34 PM
I'm not sure any of those four will make the semifinals.

Kunal
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:39 PM
vaidisova in the semis eh.....bold could also be very stupid...

but i predicted justine a few days ago as well

venusfan
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:42 PM
F*r)_#))ig J*#*#

Allez-H
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:43 PM
OMG I hope he just didn't give Justine the death-kiss :scared:

Justineladivine
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:48 PM
Didn't he make the same prediction for Wimbie 2005? OMG (scared)

huh?
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:49 PM
Im just wondering, out of the blue, but is this column the ONLY thing his job entails??? because if it is, that is a pretty damn cushy job...he barely works half of the year, he gets to travel to all the grand slams, and he doesnt even have to come up with a scoop, he just answers e-mails most of the time...

Lady
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:50 PM
OMG I hope he just didn't give Justine the death-kiss :scared:

C'mon, last year he picked correctly Serena, Justine & Kim.

Pretty Ok.

pierce0415
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:53 PM
Im just wondering, out of the blue, but is this column the ONLY thing his job entails??? because if it is, that is a pretty damn cushy job...he barely works half of the year, he gets to travel to all the grand slams, and he doesnt even have to come up with a scoop, he just answers e-mails most of the time...

I think he covers basketball too but now sure
Some people get to have cushy jobs :mad: :fiery:

Gnaag
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:55 PM
Vaidisova in the semis is a very bold prediction.

Ever since seeing Vaidisova for the first time in Toronto last summer, she won me over as a fan with her game. She's got huge potential, but she is nowhere near ready for that kind of run at a major. Not yet. Give the girl some time.

Allez-H
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:00 PM
C'mon, last year he picked correctly Serena, Justine & Kim.

Pretty Ok.

shhhhhhhh Lady I'm trying to put Justine in the underdog-position :secret:

alfonsojose
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Vaidisova in the semis? Fuck off.
ditto

Corswandt
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:07 PM
Vaidisova in the semis? Fuck off.

Quite.

Vaidisova's match against Schiavone was downright embarrassing. She's still a one-trick pony.

Lady
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:10 PM
shhhhhhhh Lady I'm trying to put Justine in the underdog-position :secret:

Since the bookies also decided for some reason that she's their new fave, I doubt it's going to work. ;)

Plus, the only time she won last year when she was heavily favoured, so maybe it'll work?
We need to use everything we can with that draw! :o

Knizzle
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:18 PM
Well that's the kiss of death for Justine, Kim, Vaidisova and Sharapova.

Derek.
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:24 PM
17. Daniela Hantuchova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/99/): This train has never gotten completely back on the tracks. And perhaps it never will. But there's still a lot of potential waiting to be unlocked.

I like this statement. :)

Lady
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:26 PM
Well that's the kiss of death for Justine, Kim, Vaidisova and Sharapova.

Sure, the same kiss of death Serena, Justine and Kim received in the slams they won.

améliemomo
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:28 PM
Well that's the kiss of death for Justine, Kim, Vaidisova and Sharapova.

Good bye girls.

CrossCourt~Rally
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:30 PM
:worship:" AMY FRAZIER: AGELESS AMERICAN ":worship:

SelesFan70
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:33 PM
Vaidisova in the semis? Fuck off.

Vaidisova is good, but the draw would really have to break her way. I do'nt see that happening.

TomTennis
Jan 13th, 2006, 06:05 PM
i dont think any of those four (only maybe Kim) will even make the semi's.

And putting Vaidosova in there, what an idiot!

Bumsby
Jan 13th, 2006, 06:20 PM
Vaidisova in the semis? Fuck off.
Yeah, you read my mind, too

Knizzle
Jan 13th, 2006, 06:22 PM
Sure, the same kiss of death Serena, Justine and Kim received in the slams they won.

Serena was a no brainer after she won the FO in 2002 and Justine was a no brainer once the WS went out with injury. Now after that check Wertheim's success rate.

ZAK
Jan 13th, 2006, 06:31 PM
Serena was a no brainer after she won the FO in 2002 and Justine was a no brainer once the WS went out with injury. Now after that check Wertheim's success rate.

I believe he picked those three in 2005, making the choice of Serena not a no brainer

manu32
Jan 13th, 2006, 06:47 PM
bartoli=cerebral.....is a joke????

dav abu
Jan 13th, 2006, 06:54 PM
Nicole in the semis? I very much doubt that is going to happen but I do think he is right about Justine. She is hitting form just at the right time and I can see her going all the way.

Lady
Jan 13th, 2006, 07:13 PM
Serena was a no brainer after she won the FO in 2002 and Justine was a no brainer once the WS went out with injury. Now after that check Wertheim's success rate.



I was talking about last year:

He picked Serena for AO (in a final against Davenport!!)
Justine for RG (and people were creaming Kiss of Death too)
Kim for US Open (again all the talks of Kiss were present)

The only one he didn't guess was Venus, which was normal as nobody predicted her.

And this is his succesion rate, and you obviously are not familiar with it. I have no idea who he picked in 2003, altho he was pretty correct then too judging from your words.

And it doesn't mean that Justine will win, or semifinals will look that way, but the Kiss of Death talk is kinda old, everyone makes mistakes.

Brooks.
Jan 13th, 2006, 07:36 PM
Venus will beat Justine in the Rd 16...

SelesFan70
Jan 13th, 2006, 07:50 PM
Venus will beat Justine in the Rd 16...

Based in early year form...that's a bold prediction...I like your guts :worship:

vwfan
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:02 PM
I'm not sure any of those four will make the semifinals.I agree. :rolleyes:

vwfan
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:02 PM
Venus will beat Justine in the Rd 16...exactly!

Simplicity
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:05 PM
Venus will beat Justine in the Rd 16...
Without a doubt you are correct. Venus should win, 6-3 6-3 ;)

Simplicity
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:08 PM
I was talking about last year:

He picked Serena for AO (in a final against Davenport!!)
Justine for RG (and people were creaming Kiss of Death too)
Kim for US Open (again all the talks of Kiss were present)

The only one he didn't guess was Venus, which was normal as nobody predicted her.

And this is his succesion rate, and you obviously are not familiar with it. I have no idea who he picked in 2003, altho he was pretty correct then too judging from your words.

And it doesn't mean that Justine will win, or semifinals will look that way, but the Kiss of Death talk is kinda old, everyone makes mistakes.

Huh Aw home bro! Speak for your self! I always knew Venus would win! Along with several other people! She is the best grass court tennis player since Martina Navritilova! :)

St.Sebastian
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:10 PM
OMG, Wertheim jinxed Justine and she is going to lose to Domachowska in rd1. Yay
Go Marta ;) :o

Joana
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:12 PM
Enough of Vaidisova BS.

And true, I had never heard of Vik Kutusova before.

dav abu
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:14 PM
your loyalty and belief in Venus is admirable but in my opinion Steffi would be the best since Nav dominated Wimbledon although Venus herself said that she didn't consider Steffi to be a great grass courter. I think whoever wins the quarter that contains Venus/Henin Hardenne or Lindsay/Sveta will go all the way.

hablo
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:15 PM
Yeah, you read my mind, too
exactly, allez Momo !! :bounce:

timray
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:17 PM
Venus will beat Justine in the Rd 16...

Venus: 7-1 H2H vs Henin-Hardenne .

ace4lleykim
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:18 PM
I can't believe he think Nicole will get into the semis, that is so RANDOM. Sure she has potential, but not Grand-Slam potential yet. :o I've seen her play, she plays pretty consistent, but not that level yet.

*Karen*
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:37 PM
I think it'll be Justine and Kim in the final. Most of the players aren't match fit in Australia so I think Nicole has as good a chance as anyone of getting to the semis

adam_ads_n
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:44 PM
I really hope Justine will have a very tough 1st round...cause she's playin' my fav :D

charmedRic
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:47 PM
Weirthem ... sometimes I wonder if he does this shit on purpose.

RVD
Jan 13th, 2006, 09:11 PM
Weirthem ... sometimes I wonder if he does this shit on purpose.Exactly!
And then comes here and has a good laugh at our expense. :lol:
Weirthem, you sly dog. :devil:
Incidentally, Serena will surprise. ;)

tennisluver99
Jan 13th, 2006, 09:20 PM
:ras:

Davenport or Venus v. Dementieva

Clijsters v. Mauresmo

Marcus1979
Jan 13th, 2006, 10:27 PM
Wertheim is like the kiss of death

whoever he picks always falters

Paneru
Jan 13th, 2006, 11:41 PM
The only one he didn't guess was Venus, which was normal as nobody predicted her.

I did! :p

CrossCourt~Rally
Jan 13th, 2006, 11:45 PM
bartoli=cerebral.....is a joke????

:lol:

SAEKeithSerena
Jan 13th, 2006, 11:55 PM
he sucks

flyingmachine
Jan 13th, 2006, 11:59 PM
OMG I hope he just didn't give Justine the death-kiss :scared:
Could he say someone else instead. i.e. Kim :scared:

flyingmachine
Jan 13th, 2006, 11:59 PM
he sucks
yeah we know.

No Name Face
Jan 14th, 2006, 12:02 AM
you think that's bad, he predicted mario (i'm a choker) ancic and gael (i've never been to the second week of a grand slam) monfils to make the semis. :retard:

zhoosteen has been blessed (cursed?) with the kiss of death :devil:

anthonyqld
Jan 14th, 2006, 12:03 AM
Vaidisova in the semis? Fuck off.

Ray Bowers from Tennisserver.com also picks Vaidisova to make the semis. He predicts

SF

Henin-Hardenne over Dementieva
Pierce over Vaidisova

Final

Henin-Hardenne over Pierce

No Name Face
Jan 14th, 2006, 12:10 AM
Ray Bowers from Tennisserver.com also picks Vaidisova to make the semis. He predicts

SF

Henin-Hardenne over Dementieva
Pierce over Vaidisova

Final

Henin-Hardenne over Pierce

reasonable.

in that case, i'd hope for a LenaD/Vaidisova final with LenaD crushing Nicole.

but why is vaidisova being so hyped...she hasn't done much except be the queen of tier 3's. she's lost in straights to the best (davenport, mauresmo, etc)...as of now, she's not that stellar

croat123
Jan 14th, 2006, 12:47 AM
the guy's on crack. he mention k-lina as a dark horse :eek:

Sharapova's_Boy
Jan 14th, 2006, 12:58 AM
Nikki :woohoo:

cometz9
Jan 14th, 2006, 01:03 AM
I can see Nicole beating Momo in rd16 but Patty in QF :scared: she will drive Nicole crazy with her spins but you'll never know what will happen at a Grand Slam.

WonderfulLee
Jan 14th, 2006, 01:12 AM
i dont think justine can't pass venus in 4th round!

_Cell-chuk
Jan 14th, 2006, 01:24 AM
The way Justine beat Sveta, I mean it is hard to bet against her. Even Clijsters can't do anything about this when Justine is in this kind of form. Hope she really keeps this good form up.

croat123
Jan 14th, 2006, 01:35 AM
you think that's bad, he predicted mario (i'm a choker) ancic and gael (i've never been to the second week of a grand slam) monfils to make the semis. :retard:

zhoosteen has been blessed (cursed?) with the kiss of death :devil:
the only thing keeping mario from the semis is his (lack of) mental strength. his entire quarter is all clay courters :p

Wiggly
Jan 14th, 2006, 01:46 AM
Who's Todd E.? I LOVE him :lol:

madame_maria
Jan 14th, 2006, 01:57 AM
i don't see why Justine, Maria, Kim and Nicole can't make the semifinals.

analysize the draw.

Justine has the possibility of beating Venus to make the semifinals and let's not talk about the earlier rounds where she gets relatively easier opponents as compared to say Lindsay or Nicole.

Kim playing the way she usually plays and also being part of the light-weight bottom half of the draw, she could easily go through to the semifinals.

Maria would have to stand tough from the 4th round onwards, with Serena and Elena D. But she proves she have and can beat these players.

Nicole has the extremely tough first 3 rounds, but i dare say if she makes it beyond the 3rd round, she has a cakewalk to the quarterfinals. Nicole would have to play either Chakvatadze or Zheng who are both capable of pulling upsets if Nicole isn't up to the task. Pennetta has been playing rather well, then there's Sania Mirza, the VERY in-form Michaella Krajicek and then world number 3 (says it all doesn't it) Amelia Mauresmo. She'd easily make the quarters because i personally reckon Schynder/Myskina's portion of the draw to be rather weak.

alright then. tatas. said my piece =)

Derek.
Jan 14th, 2006, 02:13 AM
:haha: @ the kiss of death.

JustineTime
Jan 14th, 2006, 02:58 AM
i dont think justine can't pass venus in 4th round!

I don't either! ;)

KoOlMaNsEaN
Jan 14th, 2006, 03:48 AM
Jon is just getting ridiculous. juju will be lucky to make the semis not even the final

hwanmig
Jan 14th, 2006, 04:16 AM
"When I saw a marginal player like Myskina win a major, it inspired me to return."
Did Hingis really said these words. If she did she's out of my support list.
___________________________

:cool:Elena the Magnificent:cool:

:cool:Richard G.:cool:

cartmancop
Jan 14th, 2006, 04:30 AM
Like others said,I don't know if any of those will make the SF...

JHH would have to beat Venus, who she has a terrible record against, & Davenport who is the current best player in the game on a surface that puts Justine @ a disadvantage to either of them. Wouldn't be my first choice for a win..

Kim is currently a (?) Who knows if she is healthy enough to make a good run. She may have a tougher than expected match from Cho who just made a final this week.

Maria is the most likely of these to make the SF, but her preparation is sketchy as well....She's playing injured also

I don't know what his deal is with Vaidisova. Yes she's a talented player & deserves the #16 ranking, but it's gotten to the point where most of these "experts" are picking her to do big things every tournament so that they can say 'I predicted it' ...it hasn't happened yet.

tennisrox
Jan 14th, 2006, 05:35 AM
Vaidisova in the semis? Fuck off.

:yeah:
Couldn't have said it better.Delusional.

Crazy bastard is smoking something.Quarters maybe,but semis is stretching it.

tennisrox
Jan 14th, 2006, 05:41 AM
16. Nicole Vaidisova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/966/): Following the Sharapova blueprint, it's time Vaidisova abdicated her throne as queen of the Tier III's and entered the big-time. Will this be her '04 Wimbledon? I wouldn't bet against it.



Jesus.Optimism unbounded.He is obsessed. :rolleyes: