2011 Australian Open Women's Breakdown: Belgian Battle Looming

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2011 Australian Open Women's Breakdown: Belgian Battle Looming

Poor, poor Serena Williams. Sidelined with a gimpy foot, steaming at her lost chance to snag yet another slam. Hell, she should have entered herself anyway. What odds would you have put on a one-legged Serena? Quarters, semis? 

Without the younger Williams sister here to trample the field, opportunity is knocking more loudly than a Seles-Sharapova grunt-off. Considering the mass exodus of women's stars that is fast approaching, it'd be great to see a young gun or new face take the trophy. But Caroline Wozniacki got handed too tough a draw. Vera Zvonareva still doesn't have it together mentally, and Sam Stosur still isn't confident in her newfound elite status. And Victoria Azarenka has yet to reign in her high temper and lethal groundstrokes.

So who's left but a couple of part-time Belgians, more than ready to leapfrog their mentally weak pack and snag yet another Grand Slam trophy. Henin, barring her elbow injury doesn't flare back up, has a comfortable draw to follow up on her enormous success Down Under. Trendy pick Kim Clijsters also lucked out with a great path to the finals, and you can be sure she wants to erase all memories of that horrific display against Nadia Petrova in last year's third round. I'm picking Clijsters to take major No. 4, but there could be several twists and turns in sight.

Just what are they? Take a look as I delve into the mysterious abyss known as the top-heavy 2011 Aussie Open women's draw – perhaps the most wide-open Grand Slam field the sport has ever seen.

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