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ok, lets have a list of favourites (no more than 3) and a list of ones to watch (no more than 5). mine shall be...

FAVOURITES.<br />1, L. DAVENPORT<br />2, S. WILLIAMS<br />3, J. CAPRIATI

OUTSIDERS

1, V. WILLIAMS<br />2, M. HINGIS<br />3, C . MARTINEZ (OF COURSE!!!)<br />4, I. TULYAGANOVA<br />5, A. KOURNIKOVA
 

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Favourites: Serena, Monica and Lindsey<br />Outsiders: Kim, Justine, Venus, Jenn and Jelena
 

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Conchita? You jest, surely.

favourites (in no particular order):<br />Venus, Lindsay, Serena, Kim<br />maybe-favourites, not-quite-outsiders:<br />Justine, Jennifer<br />outsiders:<br />Jelena, Martina, Elena D

but it's the toughest to predict because you cannot tell - at all - how well any player will come back from the break, or how much training they'll do. This time last year, no-one would have predicted Jennifer. Who knows, maybe it could be Iva's turn this year... <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />
 

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Favourites: Lindsay and Serena

Outsiders: Venus, Jennifer, Martina, Monica and Kim
 

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Favorites:<br />Venus Williams<br />Lindsay Davenport<br />Justine Henin

Outsiders:<br />Kim Clijsters (has a pretty big chance!)<br />Jelena Dokic<br />Monica Seles<br />Jennifer Capriati (she's good; just not my fav.)<br />Serena Williams

[ November 05, 2001: Message edited by: Tennis Menace ]</p>
 

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There are currently five players who could be argued as favourites to win the OZ open!!! According to current form and health, I would have to say:

1) Serena Williams- She will be hungry to up her ranking and the Adidas tournament will be a good warm-up for her!<br />2) Lindasy Davenport- Would have been my #1 pick to win it; however, with her current injury this takes away from her chances!!! If she still is not 100% or close to it, I give her no chance to win!! But for now, she loooks like one of the main contenders.<br />3) Monica Seles- She was palying great tennis; she is in better shape and she is hungry to win. If Capriati could win last year, shouldn't it be plausible to conclude that Monica has an excellent chance to win here!!!<br />4) Jennifer Capriati- If Davenport is not near her best and is injured, I'd pick Capriati as the third player to have a chance to win it!!!

Other contenders: Venus Williams, Hingis
 

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On current form these are my favourites, and in that order:

1/. Serena Williams - if she keeps up the current form, she'd be almost unbeatable, and seems to be committed to trying to win the AO.

2/. Kim Clijsters - still very erratic, but her form at the Sanex Championships is promising, and would be hungry for her first slam.

3/. Martina Hingis - despite what you all might think, the player who reached the final of this slam in the last 5 years cannot be ignored. It really depends a lot on how she recovers from the injury, but I have this feeling she will surprise a lot of people in Australia.

The Others:

Venus Williams - pretty much up to her isn't it? really depends on whether she gets enough preparation

Lindsay Davenport - injury factor, but she should be fine by then, but can't see her winning it

Jennifer Capriati - the last couple of months has been less than convincing, but her first slam defense could show us the Jennifer of early this year again

Justine Henin - Dangerous floater, last year's success down under mean she will try to convert that into big time success here

Jelena Dokic - will be hard especially with the Australian crowd, but the surface suits her and could surprise a lot of people at this slam. The expectation is off, unlike at RG 2001
 

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Main Contenders:

1) Serena - She is playing really well at the moment, is commited to improving, and is healthy. She'll be playing adidas International for warm-up. If she holds up mentally, can win it all!

2) Lindsay Davenport - If her knee injury is not serious and she gets in shape in time for the AO, this will be her chance. Mainly because she has always done well here, she has great form and because she can beat any one in the draw except Serena, because Venus will be ill-prepared.

3) Venus Williams - By not playing any warm-up tournaments and not playing through fall, she is hurting her chances here. She takes more time to shake off rust compared to Serena, but nonetheless, still a contender. Could go all the way with a few easy early round opponents to shake rust off with.

4) Monica Seles - She could have been ranked higher, but it is difficult to do that because she has not done well against Lindsay and Venus. Furthermore, because of her low seeding, she'll have to plough through many difficult opponents, and that might hurt her in the later rounds. But Seles has always done well here, so we can't underestimate her here.

Dark Horses:

Justine Henin: This surface is just right for her game. A medium paced surface that allows her enough time to take a swing at the ball, but not fast enough for her to be overpowered by other players. Could really do well here in the future!

Martina Hingis: Though she may be injured, but some one that has reached the finals at least 5 times in a row cannot be discounted.
 

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Main Contenders:<br />1. Lindsay Davenport<br />2. Serena Williams<br />3. Martina Hingis

Dangerous Floaters<br />Jelena Dokic<br />Kim Clijters<br />Capriati
 

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Top Picks-

1. Serena- Every year she plays AO she keeps improving. It seems like she may want this title more than her sister. Only obstacles may be Venus and Capriati.

2. Venus- After playing in only one tournament in the fall leading up to the AO, she still managed to make the semis. Imagine if she shows up in condition and plays a warmup event. The only one who can stop her is herself.

3. Monica S.- I think she looks at J. Capriati and says if she can do it why not me? After all who wouldn't agree that Seles is the better player of the two. I think her obstacles will be Venus & Serena. I don't expect Davenport to be in the best of form with her current injuries, Monica won't take Capriati as lightly as she may have this year at the AO and I don't see Hingis being as dominate a force as she had been in years past.

**Side-note: Capriati will not repeat at the AO, she'll be out by the quarterfinals. It's a combination of attitude and pressure, how can you win the AO and FO and not win anymore big titles after the FO.
 

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1. Venus Williams-Always my favorite in any event. I must say that it all depends on the severity of her current injury, whether she's able to prepare properly for AO.

2. Serena Williams-Always my second favorite. She's looking real good right now. If she continues to practice as hard as she says she is, then she can win this event. It's hard court, she's had great results at the end of this year, and she's healthy right now. She's also frustrated in the sense that she knows she should be doing much better in the slams. I doubt that she's satisfied with one GS. Serena will be anxious to prove herself at this event.

3. Lindsay Davenport-Her results will also depend on her preparation. She always looks good at AO, but she'll be coming off an injury as well. It's also about time for her to win another slam. She's stated that the ranking isn't so much of a big deal to her, but I'm sure she'll be trying to collect as many points as possible to maintain.
 

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The main favourites are obviously Venus, Serena and Lindsay. If I'd have to pick one of these three - I'd go for Lindsay, I think she is really playing great on this surface.

However if Martina is getting healthy again soon and is going to work hard during the next months she has got a chance to win the Australian Open.
 

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Serena, Lindsay and Venus<br /> <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <br />One of tese three will win, im 100% sure
 

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Favourites:

Serena Williams - looking motivated, and is playing with controlled aggression

Lindsay Davenport - has had an amazing indoor season

Martina Hingis - great record at Oz, should be rested and healthy again. maybe even motivated again?

Other contenders:

Monica Seles - has picked up the level of her play recently, could do very well here

Venus Williams - not played since the U.S. Open, but always a contender.

Jelena Dokic - has had a very good indoor season too, and will get some rest & some tactical coaching

Kim Clijsters - always consistent although I really can't see her winning this she could pull off an upset
 

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For the Australian open you always have to be in form to even have a chance at winning it,<br />you cant slack off during the break during the christmas weeks or just rely on your power.<br />Thats why the williams sisters aren't as good as they are in the other tournaments, because they don't prepare as well during the break, its hard to compete if you havent practiced in weeks.

My Predictions-the Australian is always been a mystery so...........

Favorites:<br />Davenport- always consistent here, playing great right now with lots of confidence and more fittness.<br />Hingis- she is always the most consistent here <br />Henin- she prepares good for tournaments, she could cause some suprises<br />Dokic- maybe cause some suprises, but cappriati was unexpected too , and so was mary pierce

Dark Horses:<br />Kim Clijster- not really strong at the beggining of a year but things change.<br />Amanda Coetzer- she will be working her ass off with lori, she wants a slam real badly, espeacially the one that is her favorite.<br />Venus Williams-doesn't play as well in the beggining of the year but things change<br />Serena Williams-not ready for a australian, but maybe a wimbeldon <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <br />Monica seles-has great motivation right now, problem is she gets too tired in Grand slams after 4 or 5 rounds , thats the reason she lost to badanova in the Rof16 at the us open....<br />Jennifer Cappriati-Will have lots of confidence, but she has lacked fitness lately, and she will also have too much pressure for her to defend, she will probably go out in the 3d or 4th R.<br />Mouresmou-has the game, but she lacks mental motivation, she is not ready<br />Maleeva-could cause suprises but not ready<br />Hantucheva- might be the big suprise<br />Testud-lacks motivation , QF at best<br />Schett- could suprise us, but most likely not!!!!<br />LINA K- ?????????????<br />Anna K-?????????????<br />MARY P ???????????????<br />IVA M ??????????????<br />AS VICario- i don't know about the australian, she has dropped her fighting ability a bit, she is not as strong physically or mentally, but u never know with arantxa<br />Dametieva- not prepared as well...
 

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Hmm...

Favorites:<br />1.) Serena Williams<br />2.) Lindsay Davenport<br />3.) Venus Williams

Not-Quite-Outsiders:<br />4.) Martina Hingis<br />5.) Monica Seles<br />6.) Jennifer Capriati<br />7.) Kim Clijsters<br />8.) ? (I like to keep things open)

Summaries for the Top Ten:<br />Serena Williams showed up after a long layoff, showed a lot of patience in her play, and walked away with the trophy (and the check) at Munich. I see her winning this...as long as Venus isn't in her path...or someone more determined.

Because of their injuries, it's hard to make a call on Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams or Martina Hingis. Assuming they come back reasonably fit, each should be able to mount a strong challenge. Hingis likes this surface (as evidenced by her numerous finals appearances) and Davenport has won here before. Venus hasn't, and came last year ill-prepared and still made the semifinals.

It's hard to judge exactly what kind of level Monica Seles is playing on. Dominating not-so-strong Asian Tier IV fields isn't a great indicator. Nonetheless, she has a great record at the Australian Open and showed in 2001 that she can beat players ranked above her (granted, her own ranking fell off a bit). If she comes back fit (like Capriati did in 2001), she should be a serious contender for this championship.

Jennifer Capriati, Justine Henin and Amelie Mauresmo will be glad to set foot on Rebound Ace again. There's a marked difference between their achievements indoors and their successes in Australia. Of the three, the surface probably suits Capriati the best but she'll be hard-pressed to repeat 2001's Melbourne success. Can she get back into shape? Australian hardcourts are the surface where Henin compiled a 13-match winning streak. Nerves were her undoing in Melbourne...and they also hurt her innumerable times afterwards. Can she get over them? And speaking of nerves, Mauresmo isn't so great at upstairs management either. But the Australian Open was the only Slam final she ever reached. She's capable of getting there. Will she do it again?

Is Jelena Dokic due for a Slam final appeareance? She used to be something of a "giant killer." Now she can steamroller lower-ranked players only to lose to the first high echelon player she faces. Can she put both together? And how will the Aussies treat her?

They'll probably be cheering for Kim Clijsters. Being Lleyton Hewitt's girlfriend makes her "Australian by association." She will be coming off a great indoor season. She's got serious game and has been to the finals of a slam on her least favorite surface. And, of the youngsters, she's more of a proven entity by having solidly progressed the past couple of the years (including her title defense at Leipzig). Is she ready to win one?

[ November 06, 2001: Message edited by: cynicole ]</p>
 

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Well, nix that bit I wrote about Jelena Dokic. If the reports are to believed, it's all irrelevent: She won't be there.

At least Amelie will get the 8th seed. I wonder which poor soul will get Monica in the R16. My money's on Justine...because she seems to get the worst draws now.
 

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Bulgar can you please stop lumping Serena and Venus together. Serena played a warm-up before the AO just like Lindsay. She had her chance to get to the Semis and blew it. She was not unprepared. Preparation had nothing to do with it. And I think if she was in the same situation again she would beat Martina. Venus on the other hand wasn't prepared last year, but got to the semi-finals. In fact the 2 years that she did play warm-ups she only made it to the quarters. This is Venus and Serena's results starting in 1998.

Venus:<br />1998-Warm-ups (Exhibition, Adidas International AO-quarters<br />1999-Warm-ups (Adidas Int.-quarters) AO-quarters<br />2000-DNP, Injured<br />2001-Warm-ups(Doubles Adidas) AO-semis

Serena:<br />1998-Warm-ups(Adidas Int) AO-2nd Rd<br />1999-Warm-ups(Adidas-2nd Rd) <br />AO-3rd Rd<br />2000-No Warm-ups<br />AO-4th Rd<br />2001-Warm-ups(Adidas-quarters)<br />AO-quarters

<br />So Venus only made it to the quarters in 1998 and 1999 both years that she played warm-ups. Just goes to show she wasn't fully developed and probably made it that far on raw talent alone. In 2001 she didn't play a warm-up and made it to the semis on minimum preparation, but managed a long stretch on talent and intelligence until she faced an opponent where she had to be prepared as well.

Serena on the other hand suffered a bad loss in the 4th round when she didn't play a warm-up, but has improved every year she's played at the Australian Open. This year she failed to close out the match and it was the start of a problem that would plague her for months until she managed to overcome it before the USO.

So the way I look at it is Venus has yet to combine her new game with preparation. When she did prepare she wasn't developed, and when she was developed she wasn't prepared. If she combines those two this year you have to pick her as the fav.

Serena has improved every year, and with her confidence back on her side she is the second threat to the field.

My picks for the 2002 AO are.

Venus Williams<br />Serena Williams<br />Lindsay Davenport

Outsiders:

Monica Seles<br />Justine Henin<br />Martina Hingis (If she is recovered in time)
 

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Bump!
 

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Serena - She's pledged to be No.1 next year and this will be her first step to it... She's got the determination and the game to carry her thru. the only ones standing in her way are Venus and Monica<br />Venus - May want to add the Oz to her collection. Depends on how hungry she is to win. We have seen how she is simply undefeatable when she wants to win.<br />Monica - If she continues improving on her fitness and finds her rhythm and form, she can is a big threat.

Others who may win:<br />Lindsay - Her injury is what may stop her<br />Hingis - Has always done well in Oz. depends on whether she can fine tune her game to take on the big girls<br />Henin - She was on a roll in Australia last year and she wasn't even at her best then... imagine what she could do this year... <br />Capriati - eager to retain her crown... she shouldn't be written off
 
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