Australian Open 2012 TV Schedule: Top Women's Matches to Watch on Jan. 17

Dan Renfro@danrenfroCorrespondent IIIJanuary 16, 2012

Australian Open 2012 TV Schedule: Top Women's Matches to Watch on Jan. 17

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    For Jan. 17, there are some great women's matches.

    Whether it will be a close match or a star player hoping to start on the right foot, there are plenty of good matches on tap. Depending on your taste, you may want to watch great play quickly, or you may want to watch a match go longer.

    Either way, I have compiled a list of the top women's matches and how to watch them for Jan. 17. These matches are in no particular order, and you should do your best to check out all of them.

(4) Maria Sharapova vs. Gisela Dulko

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    Maria Sharapova is one of the top seeds in the tournament, and this will be a quick match.

    She is looking to win this Grand Slam, and it will start with this match. Gisela Dulko is a fine tennis player, but she is by no means on the same level as Sharapova.

    This match will go quickly, and if you want to watch some domination, be sure to check it out.

    The match will be played at 11:00 a.m. local time (Tuesday), and coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. eastern time (Monday) on ESPN3.

(6) Samantha Stosur vs. Sorana Cirstea

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    Samantha Stosur is an Australian-born player who will take this tournament extremely serious.

    Not only that, but she will be a fan-favorite. If you don't have a favorite player, it is always fun to watch a player feed off the crowd.

    Stosur is sure to be one of those players. Sorana Cirstea is a good player, which could make this match relatively interesting. However, Stosur understands the importance of this tournament, and she'll be able to wrap this up, despite possibly dropping a few games.

    This match will be at 11:00 a.m. local time, with coverage on ESPN3 starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern time on Monday.

(21) Ana Ivanovic vs. Lourdes Dominguez Lino

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    Ana Ivanovic is one of the most aggressive players in the Australian Open.

    She will jump out right away to try and win quickly. While that could help her make quick work of Lourdes Dominguez Lino, it could also make her susceptible to an upset.

    Ivanovic will be aggressive, and Lino will be relaxed. She is a veteran without much to lose, so she should be able to keep her composure. If so, Ivanovic better be careful.

    Upsets are always fun to watch, and Ivanovic should definitely be on alert.

    ESPN3 will have coverage of the match at 7:00 p.m. Monday.

(2) Petra Kvitova vs. Vera Dushevina

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    Pera Kvitova is a powerful, left-handed player who is incredibly tough to outmuscle.

    She has a tremendous serve, for it is both quick and dangerous. If a player is lucky enough to return it, she will probably smash a forehand for a winner.

    Early in the tournament, close matches aren't likely. With Kvitova looking forward to winning this Grand Slam, she will try to make extremely quick work of Vera Dushevina.

    Her power and force are incredibly fun to watch, and you won't want to miss it. ESPN3 begins coverage at 7:00 p.m. eastern time on Monday.

(27) Maria Kirilenko vs. Jarmila Gajdosova

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    When you can watch a close match early in the tournament, you have to do it.

    Maria Kirilenko lost as the 27th seed in the 2009 Australian Open, so she'll be looking to expel those demons. She understands how easy it is to lose early, and she doesn't want that to happen again.

    Jarmila Gajdosova is looking for the upset.

    She will dare Kirilenko to come to the net, hoping to win some points early and often. If Gajdosova can build a lead, she would be in great shape.

    This match will be shown on ESPN3 at 7:00 p.m. eastern time on Monday. Be sure to see if Kirilenko can turn her fortune around.

(14) Sabine Lisicki vs. Stefanie Voegele

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    Sabine Lisicki is my sleeper pick to win the Australian Open.

    She got the furthest she ever had in the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open last year, including a semifinal appearance at Wimbledon.

    Obviously, this is a much different tournament with much different stakes. However, Lisicki could make some noise. She is one of the best young players in the world, and this 22-year-old could be ready to make the leap to become a top player.

    Stefanie Voegele is a solid opponent, but she shouldn't provide much of an obstacle. If Lisicki looks good in this match, don't be surprised if she is playing until the very end.

    You can watch this match on ESPN3 at 7:00 p.m. Monday.

(12) Serena Williams vs. Tamira Paszek

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    You never know what to expect from Serena Williams.

    She still has plenty of talent, and she could go on a tremendous run to win the Australian Open. Conversely, she could just as easily lay an egg in the first round and be knocked out.

    How can you not watch her?

    Tamira Paszek has never made it past the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam, but the 21-year-old will be out to prove herself. She has the talent. She simply needs to show it.

    This is the most intriguing first round match, and you won't want to miss it. It will be at 7:00 p.m. local time at Rod Laver Arena. ESPN3 will have live coverage at 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday. It'll be worth being awake at that time.