2010 US Open: Sharapova, Kuznetsova, and Williams Still Around in Wide Open Draw

Andrew TongeAnalyst IISeptember 3, 2010

Maria Sharapova looks to return to the winners circle in a Grand Slam
Maria Sharapova looks to return to the winners circle in a Grand SlamMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

The women's draw at the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York is still anyone's to grab, and I still say we may get another first time grand slam champion. The moment of truth is coming soon for some of the bigger names, though.

If we look at the top quarter of the draw, Wozniacki and Sharapova are on a collision course to meet in the fourth round, assuming Sharapova can dispatch the pesky American, Beatrice Capra, who has become one of the good story lines.

Kuznetsova has an easier draw, but her inconsistent play makes her a candidate for an upset. She should get through, but she is capable of losing to Kirilenko, or Cibulkova (who I believe will beat Dominguez Lino). 

This is an excellent opportunity for Kuznetsova to get to the semis. If that is going to happen, she has to play with confidence and with the knowledge that she has been there before. She must refuse to fold in pressure situations.

The winner of the Wozniacki and Sharapova match could win the whole thing. Wozniacki needs to make a statement to validate her number one seed. Sharapova needs to prove that she has moved past her injuries and is not just a marketing giant for the sport, but also a  perennial grand slam champion threat. Can't wait for this match.

Jelena Jankovic is holding steady in her part of the draw, which so far has been pretty easy.  If she can get by Kanepi in her next match, that should give her some added confidence. It is good to see her back in the mix again, but in her part of the draw is Vera Zvonareva, who is one of my dark horses to get to the semis.

If they meet, and I think they will, Zvonareva has too much fire power in her arsenal for Jankovic to deal with. You do not see very many women out hit Zvonareva. That being said, with the conditions being what they are this year, fitness is an important factor, and has already been a major factor in some of the results already.

The next part of the women's draw, I have named the Italian Stallion Division. French Open champion Francesca Schiavone is having an awesome year, and is having a great US Open so far, but I worry about her lack of fire power.

She struggles against the bigger hitters on the tour. She has a tough third round opponent in Alona Bondarenko, who had a win over Wozniacki this year, but if she can get past her, I can see her getting to the quarters. Her country women Flavia Pennetta has a chance, I feel, to make it all the way through this part of the draw.