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s_j
Jan 5th, 2008, 09:42 PM
The Australian Open is just around the corner, so it's only right we seriously start considering the contenders:

#1 Justine Henin:

- Weapons: forehand, backhand, athletism, touch, serve, all-court game
- Undoubtedly, the best player in the world. Her confidence should be sky high after her best year to date in 2007. The surface apparently suits to her style of play and she will be the one to beat. Clear favourite.

#2 Svetlana Kuznetsova:

- Weapons: speed, forehand, agility.
- A surprise world #2, Svetlana has provided consistent results all year round and pretty much always makes the second week of a slam. Although there are many players who are considered more of a contender than her, she is still a force to be reckoned with as she can be tough to beat when playing her best... however, this year, she doesn't have a lot of hope to win the title.

#3 Jelena Jankovic:

- Weapons: athleticism, backhand, consistency
- A player often accused of playing too much seems to have put herself in a bit of doo-doo. Having injured her thigh and buttock during the Hopman Cup, her chances of being healthy for the Australian Open seem slim, which means is it is highly likely we won't see Jelena lift the trophy. Maybe Jelena has now learned her lesson that quality is better than quantity. However, she's always a tricky opponent and full of surprises.

#4 Ana Ivanovic:

- Weapons: forehand, power, serve
- One of the hardest hitting girls on tour, Ana has proved she deserves to be at the top of the game. However, recent showings at Hong Kong with losses to girls she ought to have beaten have put a spanner in the works. The new 'faster' courts should help her style of play, but if the courts remain as slow as they have been said to be she may struggle. A definite second week showing should be in order but, even if she did reach the final, nerves could still be a liability.

#5 Maria Sharapova:

- Weapons: backhand, power, fight, determination, serve and returns
- Last year's runner-up, Maria has proved she can cut the grade in Melbourne. After making the semis in 2005 and 2006, followed by a final in 2007, is 2008 Maria's year? The shoulder injury is no longer causing problems and, after showing fantastic form in Madrid, Maria looks like she could make a repeat performance of 2007 and get back to her best (the sort of form we saw at US Open 2006). However, after a few sloppy matches in Hong Kong and with Henin and the William sisters showing good form will Maria be able to pick up that winner's cheque?

#6 Anna Chakvetadze:

- Weapons: variety, speed, footwork
- Anna has shown she can make it far into the Grand Slam by making the semis of the US Open last year. However, she hasn't shown she can beat the top players back-to-back, and hasn't even beaten some at all! Her game isn't effective enough yet to win a Grand Slam but she could always upset a few players if she is playing her best.

#7 Serena Williams:

- Weapons: serve, fight, groundstrokes, athleticism, strength
- Defending champion, Serena Williams, can never ever be counted out of a Grand Slam. She burst out of nowhere last year, beating many top players, showing that she is always a force to be reckoned with. She has shown good form in Perth during the Hopman Cup (winning the title) and looks in great shape. Presuming she avoids another QF with Henin, we should see her in the semis at least.

#8 Venus Williams:

- Weapons: serve, movement, power, backhand
- After winning in Hong Kong, Venus has shown that she is playing some great tennis. Venus has never done particularly well in Australia and is far more erractic than little sis, Serena, but this year could be the year to change all of that. Both William sisters have publicised their desire to be #1 this year, and nothing will stop them if they can help it. Expect Venus to go deep into the draw, but not necessarily a winner.

unseeded Lindsay Davenport:

- Weapons: power, accuracy, clean-hitting groundstrokes, serve
- New mum, Lindsay Davenport, has made a remarkable comeback since having her baby boy. She has lost ONCE since returning to the tour (that was against world #3 Jankovic) and won 3 titles along the way. Although her movement is hardly great, her power, accuracy and clean-hitting can be devastating when she's in the zone. She will definitely be the unseeded player that all seeds are dreading to be drawn against. Although I don't see her winning the title she could definitely beat a few top 10 players and make her way to the second week.

Please feel free to add to the contenders list or modify the ones shown.

Dodoboy.
Jan 5th, 2008, 09:45 PM
did u get this from the mens or was that u?

s_j
Jan 5th, 2008, 09:49 PM
I got the idea from the men's forum but all the writing is off the top of my head.

Dodoboy.
Jan 5th, 2008, 09:50 PM
cool...looks like you put a lot of effort...
anywayz off with the discussion....

supergrunt
Jan 5th, 2008, 09:55 PM
Venus's forehand is better now and how do you know that Justine will beat Serena in a wuaterfinal 4/4 times?

goldenlox
Jan 5th, 2008, 09:55 PM
If u want to extend the list beyond 8, Amelie and Lindsay are former #1's who might go deep in the draw if things broke right.

TheBoiledEgg
Jan 5th, 2008, 09:58 PM
contenders:
1 Henin

Demska
Jan 5th, 2008, 10:00 PM
contenders:
1 Henin

Took the words right out of my mouth.

Tennisstar86
Jan 5th, 2008, 10:16 PM
Contenders:
Venus, Serena, Henin: NO need to talk about them their credentials speak for them, the title holder should come from one of these three

To watch for:
Sharapova: she has talent and has proven that she can sometimes pull her game together for 2 weeks; however, is often sparatic in when she does well...Good showings at the YEC and the exo bold badly for her as she rarely keeps her level up for months at a time.

Kuznetsova: always consistant, always around has proven if the draw falls apart/ opens up she'll likely be there in the end. generally beats who she should beat and loses to better players..

Dark Hourse:
Lindsay Davenport: Theres really noway to know how shes gonna do. Shes only played tier VI but its not like they've challenged her at all

The Daviator
Jan 5th, 2008, 10:35 PM
Excellent preview sj :yeah:

Serenidad.
Jan 5th, 2008, 10:39 PM
Winner - Serena Williams with her annual drama filled semifinal. This time vs Henin.

sammy01
Jan 5th, 2008, 10:47 PM
contenders tier 1,
henin

tier 2,
serena
venus

tier 3,
sharapova
ivanovic
chakvetadze
kuznetsova
jankovic

tier 4,
bartoli
mauresmo
peer
vaidisova
dementieva
petrova (if fit and sane)

unknown quantity
davenport
li

Ballbasher
Jan 5th, 2008, 10:56 PM
I really hope Henin goes out early she was/is on a winning streak but it doesn't mean she'll win everything.Serena will always be a better contender for Melbourne at least.

DimaDinosaur
Jan 5th, 2008, 10:57 PM
Serena will most likely win followed by Serena

MrSerenaWilliams
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:00 PM
If the winner's not Serena, Justine, Venus, or Lindsay I'd be shocked.

Fitness has been Serena's biggest obstacle, and it seems like she's cleared that hurdle and is looking fitter than she has since 2004.

Justine really doesn't have any obstacles :shrug: She's #1, and the other players in the draw have to prove than they're up to the challenge. I may not be a fan of hers but the US Open run was :eek: :worship:

Venus has never really done well in Australia, but her form coming out of Hong Kong is inspiring. Whether or not she can avoid another inspired early upset remains to be seen, but I think she's going to be around for a WHILE (and not just in Serena's box either ;) )

Lindsay's 18-1 since coming back from maternity leave. Her fitness work off season is AMAZING! She looks great. It'll be interesting to see how she performs against the likes of Maria, Justine and Serenus, but I don't see her losing early, and if she draws a top name early....:drool:


*side note* Playing doubles is usually a dead-on omen that the Willies are serious about making a deep run in a GS. The last 4 times that they played doubles in a GS, one of them went on to win the title (3/4 it was Serena, and 3/4 it was a V-S final), so I feel REALLY positive about the chances of one of them winning the title.



It seems weird to call 2x GS Champ a potential spoiler, but Maria's never looked the same since getting pounded in 3 straight GS events, and a shocking 3RD loss at the US Open. The YEC run proved that she's never out of contention, even when she's not coming in with the best form, but both Venus and Serena have had emphatic wins against Sharapova fairly recently, and I don't see her beating (potentially) both of them in a GS draw.

I don't really think anyone else, barring a HUGE upset, has an outside shot to make the final :shrug:

QF Predictions:
Henin d. Davenport
Venus d. Ivanovic
Maria d. Jankovic
Serena d. Kuznetsova

SF:
Venus d. Henin
Serena d. Maria

F:
Serena d. Venus

Nicolás89
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:02 PM
since when chakvetadze has variety?

goldenlox
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:06 PM
I would say

Favorites - Justine Serena
Other major contenders - Maria, Venus
Outside chance - Sveta Lindsay Ana
Possibly in the semis - Anna Jelena Amelie Elena

oreot23
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:07 PM
final 8 ..

henin,sharapova,serena,venus,davenport,ana I.,chakvetadze,svelta

Sean.
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:19 PM
Truely I think the only real threat to Henin (besides Brosnan) is Venus.

Henin had to play top level to defeat her, she had to serve well and keep focus. She almost choked too the sets could have been a lot less close. Henin can do that but not even she can be her best all the time. Despite that I would still pick Henin in that match up.

I think she has Serena's number, and has a big mental advantage going into any match with her.

As I said short of doing a bartoli, or injury Venus is all that stands between henin and holding that trophy at the end

hablo
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:20 PM
I wish I could even put Amélie as a dark horse.

But I would be lying to myself.

Allez anyway, dear!!! :devil:

I think all the contenders have already been listed in this thread.

MrSerenaWilliams
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:31 PM
I wish I could even put Amélie as a dark horse.

But I would be lying to myself.

Allez anyway, dear!!! :devil:

I think all the contenders have already been listed in this thread.


I think she'll be back in the conversation this June :yeah: ;)

The Dawntreader
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:34 PM
Well they way i see it is:

1. Justine- In the form of her life last year, and i doubt there will be a let-off in 2008. Has improved her forehand tremendously in 2007, and has started to become constantly aggressive on the return. Only thing that could beat her is her health, or an inform William sister. I predict her to be in the final.

2. Kuznetsova- Us Open runner up and must feel more confident going into melbourne than past years, especially given her seeding now. However, still has shown mental fragility against the very best in Slams in the past year and has hardly done her self justice at melbourne in the past. Also the faster court may prove detrimental to her game, given her huge backswing. Still has major firepower on the forehand and her serve has become much more of a weapon. Potential semi-finalist, but i dont see her as the winner.

3 Jankovic- Just how fit will she be come melbourne? I feel the torrid schedule of 2007 may catch up on her this year and i feel it may especially come to haunt her in the Slams. Still if she is healthy, has the movement and the ability to construct points to beat the majority of the top 10. However, still lacking authority on the serve and on the quicker surface will make her vulnerable. My prediction would be another round of 16 finish for Jelena.

4. Ivanovic- Probably the most improved player of 2007. If she's in good form, she could potentially rip through the draw. Has the bombastic forehand and a progressing serve plus hugely improved movement which has contributed to her success. The weaknesses for her is that there is sometimes a lack of consistancy and could become error-strewn at any given time. Also nerves could play a factor as they did at RG, should she reach the latter rounds. I predict a quarter-final spot for Ana.

5. Sharapova- Recovered a dismal 2007 by finishing the year as a finalist at the YEC's. Still question marks over her ability to beat the very best on the biggest occasion and the mental baggage of her thrashings by Serena could play on her mind should she meet her again. Still is a formidable competitor and has the rifling groundstrokes that set her apart from most. Wont be lacking any experience like Ivanovic. I predict a quarter/semil final for Maria.

6. Anna- Again a mightily improved player in 2007, and will be looking to take that form into 2008. Has the guile and courtcraft to confound most, and her game(particulary in the forecourt) looks to be improving all the time. However there are huge question marks over her inability to beat the best at slam level, and her conservative style of play leaves herself vulnerable to the big hitters. Look for a meltdown at any given time. My prediction for Anna is a fourth round or a quarterfinal maximum.

7. Serena- If in form, probably the most determined and intimidating individual in the draw. Fresh from victory in the hopman Cup, Serena looks fresh and motivated to defend her crown. Allied with the best serve in women's tennis and her thunderous groundstrokes and athletic ability, has the pitential in Melbourne just to explode through the draw and claim the title. Her weaknesses would probably be her intermittent injury woes and the occasional error-strewn implodes. Also her 3 losses to jUstine must create some mental baggage. My prediction for Serena is a final place.

8- Venus. The most dangerous woman in the draw IMO. If she's at her best, has the ability to outp[lay every woman in the field. During Hong kong, her forehand looked sharp, her movement looked terrific and her backhand was well grooved as always as was the serve. The problems that could undo Venus is the unforced errors could mount up and her second serve could start to misfire. Also injuries could play a part. My prediction for venus however would be a semi-final/final slot.


Dangerous floater alert

Lindsay- Finished the year with two titles in a phenomonal comeback after her pregnancy. Started 2008 with a superb victory in auckland and the vintage Lindsay game looked primed for an Aussie open assault. Her weaknesses are always the same, her lack of great movement and at times the lack of mental grit against the very best. Still look for Lindsay in the quarters.

RenaSlam.
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:36 PM
Someone named 'Williams' will win the title.

Mark my words and step to this.

goldenlox
Jan 6th, 2008, 01:09 AM
There isn't that much depth in women's tennis.
A healthy Justine is a huge favorite.
And then only 3 other players who have a real chance. That's why Amelie has to find her good form. She can play with the best.

serenus_2k8
Jan 6th, 2008, 01:22 AM
. Whether or not she can avoid another inspired early upset remains to be seen, but I think she's going to be around for a WHILE (and not just in Serena's box either ;) )

Hello?!!! :eek:

Junex
Jan 6th, 2008, 01:47 AM
Winner - Serena Williams with her annual drama filled semifinal. This time vs Henin.


But this trend is ebry other year......;)

2003 - Clijsters
2005 - Sharapova
2007 - Nicole (QF-Peer)

:angel:

supergrunt
Jan 6th, 2008, 04:25 AM
oh its gonna be fun to watch the tennis world jump off of the Henin bandwagon :rolls:

AcesHigh
Jan 6th, 2008, 05:04 AM
My opinion on contenders
1. Henin - the clear favorite

2. Serena - defending champion looks hungry and fitter than last year. I can't decide who I think will win the title between her and Justine but Serena definitely has a great chance.

3. Venus - she's looked great since Wimbledon and if she has this anemia situation under control, she has a chance. She needs to keep early matches short and if she meets Henin, she needs to start strong this time. Her slow start at USO doomed her from the start and then she faded at the end.

Other challengers:
Sharapova- I'm not convinced she's back. She didn't play amazing in the YEC final and her 2007 was abysmal compared to 2006. If she has her serve back, she can make a semi-final with a good draw.. but she'll lose to Justine/Serena/Venus.

Ivanovic- bad start to 2007 so far, but she has the talent to power through lesser players and maybe cause an upset although I dont get her much of a chance against the current Big 3.

Davenport- Nice comeback so far, but she hasn't faced a top player outside of Jankovic whose ship was sinking anyway. She can go deep.. but I'm not sure this Davenport is any different from the one we saw before her comeback.

Uranium
Jan 6th, 2008, 05:07 AM
Sorry but Venus has done well at AO minus last 4 yeears
2007-DNP
2006-R1
2005-R4
2004-R3
2003-F
2002-QF
2001-SF
2000-DNP
1999-QF
1998-QF

Brooks.
Jan 6th, 2008, 05:49 AM
all the other women shouldn't even bother showing up...Henin has it in the bag...

:rolleyes:

supergrunt
Jan 6th, 2008, 05:55 AM
variety is over-rated

hwanmig
Jan 6th, 2008, 06:23 AM
oh its gonna be fun to watch the tennis world jump off of the Henin bandwagon :rolls:

Haven't you heard Henin has upgraded to a train, no one rides on mules anymore.

Huntress555
Jan 6th, 2008, 06:55 AM
There are the obvious ones like Henin, Williams and even Sharapova.

I'm kind of hoping someone outside expectations wins it, it would be nice.

Mikey.
Jan 6th, 2008, 12:14 PM
Truely I think the only real threat to Henin (besides Broslin) is Venus.

Henin had to play top level to defeat her, she had to serve well and keep focus. She almost choked too the sets could have been a lot less close. Henin can do that but not even she can be her best all the time. Despite that I would still pick Henin in that match up.

I think she has Serena's number, and has a big mental advantage going into any match with her.

As I said short of doing a bartoli, or injury Venus is all that stands between henin and holding that trophy at the end

Did u mean Brosnan? As in Pierce Brosnan?

If so, :spit:

Loves it! :haha:

goldenlox
Jan 6th, 2008, 12:14 PM
oh its gonna be fun to watch the tennis world jump off of the Henin bandwagon :rolls:When you go 62-4 winning 2 majors you should earn respect.
Imagine if your fav had that 62-4 year and people said she wasn't the best player.

Matt01
Jan 6th, 2008, 12:27 PM
Sorry but Venus has done well at AO minus last 4 yeears


And that's the point. Her good results there are a thing of the past :devil:

Sean.
Jan 6th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Did u mean Brosnan? As in Pierce Brosnan?

If so, :spit:

Loves it! :haha:

Ye sorry, I didn't bother to check the spelling. Corrected it now

hingis-seles
Jan 6th, 2008, 01:03 PM
I see Henin and both Williamses in one half. There will be a VERY unbalanced draw.

Paul.be
Jan 6th, 2008, 01:10 PM
Venus's forehand is better now and how do you know that Justine will beat Serena in a wuaterfinal 4/4 times?
1.
oh its gonna be fun to watch the tennis world jump off of the Henin bandwagon :rolls:
2.
variety is over-rated
3.

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.

Conclusion: TROLL

Craigy
Jan 6th, 2008, 01:19 PM
1.

2.

3.

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.

Conclusion: TROLL

Congratulations! But you're a bit late. We already established that like 6 months ago.

Paul.be
Jan 6th, 2008, 01:26 PM
Congratulations! But you're a bit late. We already established that like 6 months ago.
Sorry, I'm still quite new here. :)

BartoliBabes
Jan 6th, 2008, 03:25 PM
#10 Marion Bartoli:

- Weapons: consistency, groundstrokes & accuracy
- Made the finals at Wimledon after wins over Henin and Jankovic, and made the last16 at RG and the US Open. Can't not be considered here. We'll know better after Sydney what kind of mood she's in. With a lucky draw she could go deep.

Vamos.
Jan 6th, 2008, 04:03 PM
Amelie needs to get her game together, there are Grand Slams to be won here because she has shown she can beat Justine, or at least stay with her, when she is at her best. There is such a good chance for more Amelie Grand Slams in 2008, she needs to rescue the WTA!

Other than that, the 2008 Australian Open champion will be Justine Henin. Who else?

Yonexforever
Jan 6th, 2008, 04:23 PM
Let Davenport get at Justine early, and if somehow Serena meets Justine anyway, all Serena has to do is STARE down Justine early and its a wrap.