Australian Open 2012: Women Guaranteed to Fail on Jan. 18
Round one of the Australian Open has concluded, and now the field has been cut down pretty extensively. Among those eliminated was U.S. Open champion and Australian, Samantha Stosur.
The next round begins tomorrow, and with it will come yet another batch of fresh eliminations. What top seeds will be eliminated tomorrow? Who's hopes of an Aussie Open title will continue?
For these ladies, the road will be coming to an end.
Marina Erakovic isn't far from home in Australia, as she is from New Zealand. She won her first round match against Irena Pavlovic 7-5, 7-6 (7-4).
The problem with that is that Pavlovic is ranked 219th in the world—and Erakovic had to win seven games in both sets against her.
As for Erakovic's opponent, American Christina McHale dominated 24th ranked Lucie Safarova, 6-2, 6-4.
McHale seems to finally be moving up in the tennis world, and her domination of a world-ranked player says a lot about her game. That being said, she will put Marina Erakovic to shame.
Being from Australia, Casey Dellacqua is one of the few hometown athletes left in the Open after Samantha Stosur's loss. She performed well in round one, but she will be running into a much tougher opponent in the second round.
Victoria Azarenka is the third-ranked woman in the world, and brushed off Heather Watson easily in her first tournament match. Though historically Azarenka hasn't done well in the Australian Open, that luck goes doubly for Dellacqua.
This match is a very basic mismatch. Azarenka should have no problem stepping over Dellacqua and into the third round.
It's true that Romina Oprandi played pretty well in her first round match. She skated to the second round.
Now, however, she'll be running into 10th-ranked Francesca Schiavone, who has compiled some impressive victories over the past couple weeks. She dominated Samantha Stosur just last week, and beat Jelena Jankovic at the Brisbane International a couple weeks ago.
This match isn't so much a matter of the better player (though I do find Schiavone is better overall), but who's got the momentum. Oprandi has not been able to crack the third round of any grand slam tournament, while Schiavone is fresh off two top-ten victories.
I'll take Schiavone to win in straight sets.
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I won't waste a whole lot of time on this one.
Jamie Hampton has only been in a handful of grand slam tournaments and is still showing growing pains on the court. Still, I like her abilities for the future.
Unfortunately, the future will not begin in 2012 in Melbourne because her second round opponent is a much more talented Maria Sharapova.
Hampton may be able to give Sharapova a few fits in the first set, but the Russian bombshell will come out on top.
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Just to clear up any confusion, the photo is of Sorana Cirstea, who will be Urszula Radwanska's opponent—finding a picture of Radwanska proved to be nearly impossible.
Cirstea was one of my picks to be an upset winner in the first round. Personally, I've found that Samantha Stosur was a bit overrated after her U.S. Open victory—but that's not what this is about.
Radwanska's victory was a bit of a struggle, as she had to go three sets with Allison Riske, who is still pretty new to the pro tennis world. Meanwhile, Cirstea sent Stosur packing in straight sets.
Cirstea will continue her quest towards a shocking run as she rolls through Radwanska.
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Trust me guys, I've got no desire to see Maria Kirilenko leave the tournament. Unfortunately, she's due.
In her entire career, Kirilenko has only made it to one grand slam quarterfinal, and that was the 2010 Australian Open. She really just doesn't compete as well as her 27th ranking would indicate.
She'll meet Aleksandra Wozniak in the second round, who had no issues in her first round match. Though she's not ranked, I've always though Wozniak was under appreciated—she's quick and has a gorgeous backhand.
This one will go to three sets, but the gorgeous Kirilenko will fall.
There's no doubt that Svetlana Kuznetsova is talented, but it's her worst tournament as her career would indicate. She won her first round match, but struggled against Chanell Scheepers. They had to go to three sets, and Kuznetsova was shut out in the second set.
Her opponent in round two will be Sloane Stephens of the United States, playing in her first Australian Open. She won her first round match pretty easily.
Stephens showed a lot of speed and power throughout her first match and given the age difference, I can see her being too much for Kuznetsova to contain. Watch for the unranked Stephens to upset Kuznetsova in straight sets.