Armchair guide to the Australian Open women’s draw

Justin Cormick Roar Pro

By Justin Cormick, Justin Cormick is a Roar Pro

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    Serena Williams' greatest tournament win came at Melbourne Park a decade ago. (AFP PHOTO/ Martin Bernetti)

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    After yesterday’s mens’ instalment, here is the armchair guide to the women’s draw at the upcoming Australian Open.

    Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will all be fighting for the WTA number one position when the Australian Open begins on Monday.

    Azarenka, the current number one and defending champion, begins her tournament against Romania’s Monica Niculescu. The Belarusian was forced to pull out of this month’s Brisbane international due to an injury, but I back her to recover and be a dangerous player.

    Second seed Maria Sharapova faces compatriot Olga Puchkova in the first round. Sharapova will be hoping to improve from last year’s performance where she was a losing finalist.

    Serena Williams will also be competing for the number one ranking. With triumphs in last year’s Wimbledon and US Open, Serena will be aiming for a third-consecutive grand slam trophy. And after winning the Brisbane International Williams will be a favourite for the Australian Open.

    My favourite for the tournament is 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska. The 23-year-old Pole played well in Sydney where she won the final against Dominika Cibulkova.

    Radwanska had an impressive 2012 and will aim for better things this year. And winning the Australian Open will be a great way to start off 2013.

    Cibulkova did well to make the Sydney final and will be a dangerous player in the draw. Also keep an eye on Germany’s Sabine Lisiki who faces former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the first round.

    If she can get past this difficult opponent, I back Lisiki to do well.

    Australia’s Sam Stosur begins her tournament against Chang Kai-Chen from Chinese Taipei. Sammy out ranks her opponent, who is ranked 84 compared to Stosur’s 9, but the Aussie will need all the luck on her side to beat her home voodoo.

    Fellow Australian Jarmila Gajdosova faces a tough first round match with Belgium’s Yarnina Wickmayer.

    Be sure to watch the Australian Open when it begins on Monday, and check out The Roar for more reviews and predictions.

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • January 13th 2013 @ 7:15am
      Johnno said | January 13th 2013 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      Serena Williams will win the 2013 OZ open, and she is the greatest female tennis player ever. Her demolition of the 2nd greatest female tennis player since Navratolva, after here Serena Willams, Maria Sharapova at the London Olympics was breathtaking. Playing for the gold medal, Sharapova was in awesome form and was playing well vs Serena Williams, and Serena wiped her off the court in a demolition job, thrashed her even though sharapova was in great form that day. Amazing stuff, Serena Williams just lifted up too many gears. The greatest ever female teens player serena williams, then Navratolava , then Sharapova 3rd.

      • January 13th 2013 @ 11:41am
        Rob said | January 13th 2013 @ 11:41am | ! Report

        Hahaha. No Graf. You are having a laugh putting sharapova anywhere near the all time greats. Navratilova yes, Williams, yes. Sharapova not even close. In recent years Venus, henin and even Hingis would rank higher. Sharapova is the next tier down with clijsters et al.

        • Roar Guru

          January 13th 2013 @ 9:31pm
          Turnover said | January 13th 2013 @ 9:31pm | ! Report

          Well said Rob. I think Monica Seles might be a little upset to hear that Sharapova is the 2nd greatest since Navratilova, let alone Graf.

    • January 13th 2013 @ 6:19pm
      Jayden said | January 13th 2013 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

      Has everyone forgotten Margaret Court? The greatest female player ever.

      Graf, Hingis, Henin, Williams, Goolagong-Cawley

      All ahead of Sharapova

      • January 13th 2013 @ 8:14pm
        clipper said | January 13th 2013 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

        Monica Sels was pretty handy too.

        • January 13th 2013 @ 8:18pm
          Johnno said | January 13th 2013 @ 8:18pm | ! Report

          Chris Evert was handy too. Capriati is the most naturally talented female tennis player ever, .She didn’t reach her full potential due to injury. And I think she was the youngest to ever play not he wta tour was 13.
          But still won an Olympic games singles gold medal at age 16 at Barcelona 1992, beating Spain’s Sanchez-Vicario on her home turf, in the semi final, and l Steffi Graf in her prime in the final, phenomenal.
          And a few grand slams including the OZ open, and reached world no 1, but shoulder injuries ended her career.

          • Roar Guru

            January 13th 2013 @ 9:32pm
            Turnover said | January 13th 2013 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

            I think Capriati dabbled in a few substances that didn’t aid her injury recovery.

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