Australian Open 2012: Petra Kvitova Will Play Caroline Wozniacki for Top Ranking

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2012

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 27:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark congratulates Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic after their match during round robin play of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships Istanbul at the Sinan Erdem Dome on October 27, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Let's look into the crystal tennis ball and make a prediction: Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki will meet in the Australian Open final with the world's top ranking on the line.

Will Wozniacki maintain her ranking and win her first Grand Slam title? Or will Kvitova overtake the top spot, win her second Grand Slam and continue her excellent run of play started in 2011?

My guess is with Kvitova, though the two seem equal when comparing resumes.

Wozniacki is 3-2 against Kvitova, though Kvitova won the last time they played at the WTA Championships in October. The two were tied for the most singles titles in the WTA last year with six, though Kvitova boasted wins at Wimbledon and the WTA Championships.

The two finished with very similar records, Kvitova going 60-13 on the year and Wozniacki finishing 63-17.

But Martina Navratilova thinks Kvitova should be No. 1. And I'm going to go with Navratilova on this one. From Dan Baynes of Bloomberg:

Navratilova, who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, said that Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova should already have dislodged Wozniacki atop the Women’s Tennis Association rankings because she had a better 2011 season overall.

“Clearly nobody feels that Wozniacki is a true No. 1,” Navratilova said yesterday at a news conference at the Australian Open in Melbourne. “If we still had the same ranking system we were using six years ago, when they were giving bonus points for beating players, Kvitova would have ended up No. 1 because she had beaten more top players than Wozniacki.”

As Margie McDonald wrote for The Australian, "Wozniacki enjoyed eight wins over top-10 players in 80 matches last year. Kvitova had 13 wins from 73 matches."

Kvitova combines a solid serve along with excellent power from both her forehand and backhand, making her a formidable opponent and entertaining player to watch.

Wozniacki plays less aggressively and relies on her speed and consistency to win longer rallies.

It's the most intriguing possible final for the Australian Open: the two top-ranked players in the world; the top ranking on the line; two players with different styles but still a lot to prove.

My money's on Kvitova. I'm just hoping I get to see this final.

Hit me up on Twitter—that's where the magic happens.

Follow TRappaRT on Twitter