Australian Open 2011 Women’s Draw Announced - Clijsters Outdraws Wozniacki

Australian Open 2011
By Hiland Doolittle, January 14th, 2011

The Caroline Wozniacki Bracket

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

At the top of the draw sheet Denmark’s gorgeous 20-year top ranked player will face stern challenges at every turn. Spunky Caroline Wozniacki, the winner of 129 tour matches in the last two years has begun 2011 out of form. She will not have much time to right the ship. Even in the first round there is danger in the form of veteran Argentinean Gisela Dulko. The second round looks less intimidating but Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, who ousted Caroline last week at the Heineken WTA event should be awaiting the Dane in round three. If she survives Cibulkova, the Round Four, opponent will be either tough Yanina Wickmayer (21), who looks ready for the next tier or veteran Marion Bartoli (15) of France.

The bottom of Wozniacki’s quarterfinal bracket features three Grand Slam Tennis Champions; Francesca Schiavone (6 – French Open), Svetlana Kusnetsova (23 – French Open, U.S. Open) and the ever dangerous Justine Henin (11), a seven-time Grand Slam Champion. Nobody wants any part of Henin, who must be regarded as the most likely survivor of this bracket.

The Venus Williams Bracket

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

The 31-year old seven time Grand Slam Champion and oft time runner-up, Venus Williams (4) became fair game for the tour’s young gunslingers last season. Her bracket poses several challenges. Her third round opponent should be Germany’s rising star, Andrea Petkovic (30) in a match pitting six footers against each other. Venus’s fourth round opponent will either be resurgent lefty Kaia Kanepi (20) or three time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, another six footer. Sharapova has been inconsistent but has an excellent opportunity to play through to the quarters.

At the bottom of Venus’s bracket is another erratic six footer, Viktoria Azarenka (8), who is a Grand Slam waiting to happen. To reach the quarters, Azarenka will need to stay focused because Daniela Hantuchova (28) should reach the second round and either French whirlwind Aravane Rezai (17) or China’s difficult Li Na (9) will be waiting in the third round.

If Azarenka and Sharapova meet in the quarters, we can expect fans to wear ear-muffs as the tour loudest screamers take to the court.

The Zvonareva Bracket

Vera Zvonareva

Vera Zvonareva

The second ranked Vera Zvonareva of Russia looks to have pretty smooth sailing through the first round before facing either Lucie Safarova (31) or American Melanie Oudin, who has been very quiet. In the third round, Vera will face the winner of a battle between two of Russia’s stars, Maria Kirilenko (18) or the dangerous Anastasia Pavlyuchenko (16). Pavlyunchenko is one of the hottest players on the tour and stretched Clijsters at the Heineken.

Number five, Australian Samantha Stosur, will have huge fan support but is not always comfortable being the hometown fan favorite. Samantha has started this season slowly but is pointed for Melbourne. To reach the quarters, Stosur will have to defeat Petra Kvitova (25), a six foot winner at Auckland, in round three and indefatigable Shahar Peer in the fourth round. Al in all, Samantha is in a good place.

The Clijsters Bracket

The third seeded Belgian and 2010 Player Of The Year, has never won the Australian Open. She is in form based on her performance at the Heineken and rarely looks beyond the next match.

Kim will have to start fast against former number one Dinara Safina in the very first round. Her third round opposition could come from retriever extraordinaire Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (26). In the fourth round, Clijsters may have to face Nadia Petrova (13) who blasted Clijsters last year 6-1, 6-0. If Petrova slips, it will probably be at the hands of Ana Ivanovic (19)

Trying to meet Clijsters in the quarters will be Jalena Jankovic (7) Alexandra Dulgheru (27), Agnieska Radwanska (12) and our favorite to reach the quarters, Alisa Kleybanova (24).

The 2011 Draw is a big improvement after last year’s unbalanced draw. Wozniacki will struggle and if she reaches the quarters will probably be overrun by Henin.

From Williams bracket, we like Azarenka or Sharapova to emerge to the quarters. Both players will give Henin trouble but the petite Belgian does have seven major titles.

In Zvonareva’s bracket, we think Stosur and Zvonareva will have a telling round of 16 match, with Zvonareva winning. Assuming Clijsters does not stumble, Zvonareva will square off with the three seed in an interesting battle.

Look for Henin and Clijsters to meet in the finals with Kim taking home the trophy.

For more details visit Australian Open 2011 Women’s Draw page on Australian Open website.


No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.