US Open Tennis 2013: Analyzing Biggest Championship Contenders in Women's Draw
The 2013 U.S. Open is in full swing, with some notable women's contenders already falling hard.
No. 4 seed Sara Errani was upset on Thursday by fellow Italian Flavia Pennetta. Not only that, but she also lost in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.
It just goes to show you anything can happen in a Grand Slam.
Yet along with the inevitable upsets that tend to occur at such high-profile tournaments, there are also those top stars who always manage to live up to expectations. So, which remaining contenders are most likely to hoist the 2013 U.S. Open trophy?
Here's a look at my top three candidates.
3. Agnieszka Radwanska
Agnieszka Radwanska has never won a major, but she reached the final at Wimbledon last year before being ousted by Serena Williams in three sets.
Unfortunately for Radwanska, she will likely have to go through Williams before she can even reach the final at the U.S. Open this year, given she is in the same half of the bracket as the 31-year-old superstar.
Nonetheless, Radwanska came into this tournament with a 42-13 record and two singles titles after going 59-19 with three singles titles last year. She's also defeated top-10 players Sara Errani, Li Na and Caroline Wozniacki this year.
Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka reached the final at the U.S. Open last year before getting ousted by—you guessed it—Serena Williams.
Who do you think will win the 2013 U.S. Open?
Azarenka came into the 2013 U.S. Open with a 36-4 record and three singles titles. That's after going 69-10 with six singles titles last year.
It's also noteworthy that Azarenka isn't in the same half of the bracket as Williams or Radwanska. At the very least, she has that going for her.
Azarenka dominated her first-round opponent Dinah Pfizenmaier, 6-0, 6-0. She did so in just over an hour, winning 76 percent of first-serve points, 60 percent of second-serve points, 83 percent of net points and 61 percent of return points.
1. Serena Williams
As if Serena Williams needs any introduction.
She's won 16 Grand Slam singles titles in her career—including capturing the U.S. Open crown four times—and she came into the 2013 U.S. Open with a 60-4 record and eight singles titles. She also won the French Open this year.
Williams defeated second-round foe Galina Voskoboeva in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0. It took her 69 minutes. She won 72 percent of first-serve points, 69 percent of second-serve points, 75 percent of net points and 55 percent of return points.
Then again, that was predictable. Williams can only beat herself these days. Azarenka would appear to be her toughest challenge if both were to make it to the final. Still, there's no doubt that Williams is the clear favorite this year.
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