January 11th, 2013
The paper world No. 1 Azarenka (whose reign at No. 1 will likely end after Melbourne) landed in a posh section with few competitors, but lots of low-level seeds. We mean low. Azarenka’s path to the semis would likely see her play Romanian Monica Niculescu, Eleni Daniili-don’t, (16) Roberta Vinci, then (7) Sara Errani, Kuznetsova or (10) Wozniacki in the quarters. That’s a walk in Melbourne Park. Tough openers include (31) Urszula “Not Aggie” Radwanska vs. the in-form American Hampton, (10) Wozniacki vs. German schlep-herd Sabine Lisicki, and (7) Errani vs. Suarez Navarro. (26) Su-Wei Hsieh is looking at a second-round meeting with the unseeded Kuznetsova if she can get there.