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Marcell
Jan 13th, 2007, 04:52 PM
With no seeded Americans, Australian Open women's draw looks wide open

By PAUL ALEXANDER, Associated Press Writer
January 13, 2007

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- The Australian Open will be the first Grand Slam event without a seeded American woman. Serena Williams is vowing to do what she can to end that streak at one tournament.

"I take the blame for that," Williams said Saturday as she worked on her final preparations for the year's first major. "I'll try to make sure it doesn't happen anymore."

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Not all of the blame can be put on Williams' shoulders for the absence of an American in the seeds. The seven-time Grand Slam singles champion is coming off her third straight injury-plagued year, one in which she played in only four tournaments and saw her ranking slide to No. 140, the first time she was out of the top 100 since she made her pro debut nine years earlier.

Sister Venus is battling a nagging wrist injury. Lindsay Davenport is sitting out to have a baby. And no other American woman has yet to distance themselves from the current crop of youthful wannabes.

Serena is back up to 95th and coming off a promising effort at a warmup tournament in Hobart that left her feeling upbeat.

"I just expect to go out there and most of all have fun," said Williams, who has won two Australian titles but is unseeded this year.

Other players aren't sure what to expect from Williams, who sets the pace with her power and rises or falls on how well she does it.

"She'll just have to play her game," said sixth-seeded Martina Hingis, who knows a little about comebacks after returning from retirement a year ago. "She never depended really on anybody else. With the sisters, it's always been either they are on or they're not. It's always if they really want it and they're hungry."

Serena, whose fitness and preparation has been questioned in the past, showed up early in Australia. She played in Hobart, where she got in eight sets over three matches, and is happy with her warmup. The main thing is working on her mechanics.

"I think if I do that well, then I'll be fine," Williams said.

But she faces a daunting road here, with the same challenges as any unseeded player.

She faces 27th-seeded Mara Santangelo of Italy in the first round and could have to beat four of the top five seeds to win the tournament.

Still, she's far from the only intriguing story here.

Fourth-seeded Kim Clijsters, who won a warmup tournament in Sydney on Friday, is planning to retire at the end of the year to start a family even though she's at the top of her game. Fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne, a finalist at all four Grand Slams last year, pulled out, citing personal reasons and will lose her No. 1 ranking.

Hingis, who once dominated the sport, is out to reclaim the top spot. Amelie Mauresmo, who once seemed destined to never win a major, is playing with confidence after winning here and at Wimbledon last year. And Maria Sharapova is aiming to prove she deserves the top seed.

"I've been in two semis here," said Sharapova, who won the last major, the U.S. Open. "I'm just ready to take it to the next level, hopefully get to the final or win it."

Sharapova, who lost to Clijsters in the final in Hong Kong a week ago, looked relaxed and confident.

"I might not have that many matches under my belt, but I feel fresh, I feel healthy, which is most important," she said.

The 19-year-old Sharapova said she could see herself putting away her rackets at 24, like Clijsters, but is focused on winning matches now.

"I'm definitely enjoying what I'm doing right now," Sharapova said. "I love the feeling of going on the court and trying to get myself better. I still have that motivation to work hard."

supergrunt
Jan 13th, 2007, 05:01 PM
There is a Martina thread you ass jerk :)





















No really though thanks for posting this article :)

Mina Vagante
Jan 13th, 2007, 05:01 PM
:worship: thanks

Vlover
Jan 13th, 2007, 05:20 PM
With no seeded Americans, Australian Open women's draw looks wide open

By PAUL ALEXANDER, Associated Press Writer
January 13, 2007
[QUOTE]"She'll just have to play her game," said sixth-seeded Martina Hingis, "She never depended really on anybody else. With the sisters, it's always been either they are on or they're not. It's always if they really want it and they're hungry."

Martina speaks the truth! When the sisters and their fans make this claim they are regarded as arrogant, give no credit and respect to their opponents and the list of negative comments go on.

In other words the onus is mainly on them and not their opponents. The players themselves are aware of this therefore I don't know what the "haters" are up in arms about when this is mentioned. Anyway I quite understand their Jubilation when the sisters are not well conditioned because this provides hope for their faves.

supergrunt
Jan 13th, 2007, 05:41 PM
^ but when they are on they will win.. I think that is what Martina was insinuating

MikeJones
Jan 13th, 2007, 05:53 PM
Of course becouse they are the physical players on tour. If they are "on" they pretty much unbeatable.

saniafan2005
Jan 13th, 2007, 06:31 PM
"on"

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

nhissan
Jan 13th, 2007, 06:42 PM
lol +1 Angela

Dawn Marie
Jan 13th, 2007, 07:08 PM
[quote=Vlover;9800266]


There is a big difference.
Hingis said either the sisters ar on - or they are not.
She didn't say that Serena and Venus are unbeatable when they are on.
Which some sisters fans claim now and then. :)

Err. Hingis stated that Serena never really depended on anyone else. Which means that Serena controls her own destiny when she's on and fully fit. Face it. Serena knows she's not unbeatable.

Bijoux0021
Jan 13th, 2007, 07:33 PM
I don't think Martina would admit it even if she believed it! :lol:
What she doesn't IMO.

Martina would have no problem admitting it, which she had many times before, including as recently as today in the above article. It's people like you who would not admit it even if you believe it.