Since my esteemed colleague Sean Randall decided to totally slough off the women’s singles draw in his US Open preview, for reasons unknown to me except that some people (read: males) seem to forget that women do play professional tennis, I feel that I am honor-bound to cover
his mistake this deficiency.
First, let me begin by stating the obvious: No one knows. Least of all me. Add to this that I hate being wrong, and worse, hate being accused when I am wrong (which isn’t very often, but I do remember that one time…and regret it still). Secondly, let me point out another amazingly obvious fact: This is sport, which is totally unpredictable. Many things can happen. People get injured, have mental breakdowns, off days, and wildly surprising wins that defy the rules of many things scientific and logical. Tennis, however, is rarely scientific or logical (Federer losing to Murray is pure proof of this lack of logic). That’s why we love it. Agreed?
Therefore, if you’ve come here looking for scientific facts, you’ve come to the wrong place. Instead I will offer some observations on the United States Open 2006 Women’s Singles Championship Draws:
Top Quarter: Without question, Amelie Mauresmo got a brick in her stocking. She’s got two stoppers in her quarter that could be serious roadblocks: Ana Ivanovic and Dinara Safina, and she’s counting on sorters. The third round will be a sorter for Mauresmo, where Ivanovic will probably meet Serena Williams. In the fourth round Martina Hingis will meet probably Safina. Whether Serena or Martina stops Mauresmo’s stoppers are anyone’s guess. One thing’s for sure: this is the quarter of the draw for fans.
Second Quarter: Maria Sharapova could win. Both the editors of Tennis Magazine and Jon Wertheim have made this observation in the past week. Do I agree? Sure. She could win. Do I think she will win? No, I don’t. I do, however, think that she got an easy draw once again. She’s got a possible dangerous floater match in the first round against Michaella Krajicek, but alas, Misa’s not been playing up to snuff lately. Prediction: Easy run to the quarterfinal. We’ll see how she does there, where she could run into a well-rested Mary Pierce. Note: The elderly like their sleep.
Third Quarter: This part of the draw is a really great and exciting one, but very cut and dry, with no dangerous floaters to be seen anywhere. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nicole Vaidisova will meet up in the fourth round, and Venus Williams and Elena Dementieva will duke it out in the third. Only certainty here: Fans will be treated to two great matches that will keep the women’s side lively.
Bottom Quarter: Talk about your cake draws, let’s talk about Justine Henin-Hardenne. She could improbably hit the wall in a match-up with Lindsay Davenport, but save for some injury-fluke, Justine will just walk through to the second week, and into the final, without looking back.
If you’re going to force me into predictions, here’s what you will get:
Mauresmo vs. Sharapova
Kuznetsova vs. Henin-Hardenne
Sharapova vs. Henin-Hardenne
Have at it.
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