Australian Open 2012: 5 Things Learned from the Women's Draw

Luis BatlleContributor IJanuary 17, 2012

Australian Open 2012: 5 Things Learned from the Women's Draw

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    Australian Open 2012 has had an exciting first couple of days.

    Top-notch women's tennis talents Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova have taken care of business in dominant fashion, a Top-10 player already is on her way out, and Serena Williams looks to be back and ready to contend.

    Here are five things we've already learned about the women's draw.

     

Samantha Stosur Was a Pretender at the 2012 Aussie Open

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    Samantha Stosur, the most recent Grand Slam champion in the women's draw, had the worst match of any player in the Top 10 to open her Australian Open campaign.

    Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, struggled mightily and lost to Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 in what was a dominant second set by Cirstea.

    Cirstea's 28 winners more than doubled Stosur's 12, and was ultimately the difference in the match.

    Despite winning more of her first-serve points and dictating the tempo in the first set, Stosur's loss in the  tiebreaker drained her just enough to give Cirstea a clear path to victory.

     

Serena Williams Can Be Beaten

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    In spite of Serena Williams's 6-3, 6-2 victory over Tamira Paszek, there still was much concern about her game.

    The No. 12 seed, Williams is under pressure to perform well to better her ranking and prove she is a Top Five-worthy talent.

    In her match against Paszek, Williams was not precise with her shot placement, recording an uncharacteristic 26 unforced errors.

    At times Williams looked frustrated and out of sync, letting her emotions get the best of her.

    Williams undoubtedly has the talent to go far in this tournament. But one thing is for certain.

    The pressure to win matches is taking a toll on her game.

Roberta Vinci Will Be a Legitimate Threat

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    Roberta Vinci, the No. 23 seed, had as solid a first-round match as any of the top-ranked women.

    Her 6-0, 6-1 victory came against Alexandra Cadantu, a worthy opponent. Vinci dominated from the start, winning 51 points to 18 for Cadantu.

    Next for Vinci is Jie Seng, who was a semifinalist in Australia in 2010.

    If she is able to win that match, expect Vinci to make a promising run deep into this tourney.

     

Caroline Wozniacki Proves Her Worth

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    Caroline Wozniacki has to be getting the sense that her first Grand Slam is just around the corner.

    It was dominance from the start for the world's No. 1 player, as Wozniacki took care of  Anastasia Rodionova 6-2, 6-1 in a first-round match.

    Wozniacki was able to force Rodionova into a whopping 36 unforced errors while committing only 12 herself.

    What was most impressive was how Wozniacki won the majority of her points. Eighty-three percent came at the net and 75 percent on her first serve.

    If she can continue to put the pressure on opponents by keeping balls in play and forcing her opponents into countless unforced errors, she will make a promising run in this Australian Open.

     

Maria Sharapova Was Jaw-Dropping Impressive in the First Round

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    No. 4-seed Maria Sharapova was so dominant it would seem she is the favorite to win it all.

    After making it to the fourth round of the Australian Open and the finals at Wimbledon in 2011, Sharapova continued her stellar play with an overwhelming 6-0, 6-1 victory over Gisela Dulko in her first-round match.

    She broke Gisela Dulko six times, converting on six of her nine attempts.If she is able to keep putting that kind of pressure on her opponents, there is no telling how far Sharapova can go.