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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

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.
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 09:45 PM   #2
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

did u get this from the mens or was that u?
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 09:49 PM   #3
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

I got the idea from the men's forum but all the writing is off the top of my head.
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 09:50 PM   #4
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

cool...looks like you put a lot of effort...
anywayz off with the discussion....
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 09:55 PM   #5
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

Venus's forehand is better now and how do you know that Justine will beat Serena in a wuaterfinal 4/4 times?
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 09:55 PM   #6
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

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.
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 09:58 PM   #7
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

contenders:
1 Henin
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #8
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoiledEgg View Post
contenders:
1 Henin
Took the words right out of my mouth.
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #9
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

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
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 10:35 PM   #10
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

Excellent preview sj
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #11
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

Winner - Serena Williams with her annual drama filled semifinal. This time vs Henin.
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 10:47 PM   #12
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

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
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 10:56 PM   #13
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

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.
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #14
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

Serena will most likely win followed by Serena
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 11:00 PM   #15
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Re: Australian Open Contenders Discussion Thread

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 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

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....


*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

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
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