Saturday, May 26, 2007

Roland Garros: Top 10 Women's Predictions

by Mad Professah

[1] Justine Henin (BEL). The 3-time French Open champion (2003, 2005 and 2006) is playing in her first Grand Slam tournament of 2007 after accomplishing the Federerian feat of appearing in all four Major finals in 2006 (albeit only winning one while Federer won 3). Unfortunately for Justine, she is in Serena Williams' quarter of the draw, and I doubt she will get past the newly-hungry American. If she does somehow get past the quarterfinal she will have Jelena Jankovic in the semifinal. The Belgian will not make her fifth consecutive Grand Slam final. Quarterfinalist or Semifinalist.

[2] Maria Sharapova (RUS). Sharapova has been having an annus horribilis after being demolished by Serena Williams in the Australian Open final (the first Grand Slam final the "It" girl has lost) and then being beat down again at the "fifth" major at the Sony Ericsson Open by the 8-time American Grand Slam champion. Last week Sharapova was upset by up-and-comer Frenchwoman Arevane Rezai at the Tier III Istanbul Cup. She has never made it past the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and this year will be no different. 4th Round or earlier.

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS). Sveta has been moving much better and even though she still looks like her clothes are two sizes too small for her sizeable frame, she is "fitter than ever." She has had some success but no titles on clay so far in 2007. She did beat her opponent in last year's Roland Garros final for the first time in nearly a dozen tries at the Qatar German Open before losing to Ivanovic in a very close final match played on the same day as her Henin victory. A few weeks later she lost to Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 6-1 at the Rome Tier 1 tournament. Luckily the Russian has the younger Serbian player in her half of the draw. Quarterfinalist or Finalist.

[4] Jelena Jankovic. She has a beautiful draw, with only defending champion Justine Henin or (more likely!) Serena Williams as a possible bump on the road to her first Grand Slam final. It's true Jelena plays too much tennis and racks up way too many frequent flyer miles, but I think she will break through to her first final in Paris this year. Semifinalist or Finalist.

[5] Amélie Mauresmo. After having a breakthrough in 2006 by winning two Grand Slam titles (Australia and Wimbledon), the fickle Frenchwoman flamed out of this year's Australian early and missed the entire early hard courts and American clay court season due to an appendectomy and recovery. Quarterfinalist or earlier.

[6] Martina Hingis (SUI). Due to injury she has withdrawn from the one Grand Slam tournament the Swiss former teen phenom has never won, although she has appeared in two Roland Garros finals (1997 and 1999). Withdrew.

[7] Nicole Vaidisova (CZE). The young Czech player had her breakthrough at last year's French Open, defeating Venus Williams and Amélie Mauresmo en route to her first Grand Slam semi-final. However, she withdrew from two Tier 1 clay tune-ups (Berlin and Rome) before Paris with a recurring wrist injury and is unlikely to make it very far. 4th Round.

[8] Ana Ivanovic (SRB). The pulchritudinous Serbian teen won her second Tier-1 tournament two weeks ago in Berlin at the Qatar German Open over Kuznetsova in a gutsy third set tiebreak, 3-6 6-4 7-6 (4). She has huge groundstrokes and has improved her mobility on clay. She is in a weak quarter of the French Open draw and should have little difficulty making it to a Quarterfinal against Kuznetsova. Serbia versus Russia, Round 4 will likely end the Serbian victorious streak. Quarterfinalist.

[9] Serena Williams (USA). If her serve is on and she arrives in Paris ready to play seven matches there's a very good chance Serena will be on her way to winning her 9th Grand Slam title of her career and her second of the year. However, in the way is Justine Henin in the Quarterfinal round. It is likely whoever wins that match will win the 2007 French Open title. I'm putting my money on Ree-Ree. Quarterfinalist or Champion.

[10] Anna Chakvetadze (RUS). This unheralded Russian 20-year old had her best result at a Slam at this year's Australian Open by making the Quarterfinals, where she lost a "scratchy" match to fellow Russian Maria Sharapova in straight sets. It's doubtful she'll get that far at Roland Garros. 4th Round.


Vlad said...

So, the only possible champion in your view is Serena?

Craig Hickman said...

I was wondering the same. He must be suggesting Serena is the only top 10 seed who could be champion. Just a thought.

MadProfessah said...

Well I think Jankovic has a chance...

The predictions really only apply to the semifinal round or so :)

Basically, I think that if Serena beats Justine and then probably beats Jankovic, then she will probably beat Kuznetsova/Ivanovic from the other half to take the whole thing...

If Serena loses, Justine will lose to Jankovic in the semis and Jankovic versus Kuznetsova/Ivanovic is too close to call...

If Justin gets to the final, she wins it all.