Venus, Serena Williams Bookend French Open Draw: Preview
by Jeremy Davis | May 21st, 2010, 11:47 am

The Williams sisters, Serena at No. 1 and Venus at No. 2, bookend the seeding at the 2010 French Open, where a number of land mines in the form of low-seeded or unseeded former No. 1 players lay in wait.
Serena Williams receives a soft draw, opening against Swiss Stefanie Voegele, and potentially meets No. 29 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round, and No. 13 Marion Bartoli in the fourth round. No. 7-seeded Sam Stosur is in Serena’s quarter of the draw, but the favorite to meet the younger Williams sister in the quarterfinals is No. 22-seeded Justine Henin.

No. 12 seed Maria Sharapova is also in this quarter, but between the Russian’s shoulder and confidence issues, she will be lucky to get to the third-round meeting against Henin.

No. 4-seeded former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic is the high seed in the second quarter, and starts against Aussie Alicia Molik, who is not at her best on clay.

The second quarter of the draw is chock-full of interesting early match-ups, including No. 27 Alona Bondarenko against Russian grinder Vera Dushevina, former No. 1 and current No. 9 seed Dinara Safina against the ageless Kimiko Date-Krumm, and a likely second-round meeting between No. 28 Alisa Kleybanova and Ana Ivanovic.

As this is the WTA Tour, the favorite to come out of the second quarter is — flip a coin.

The third quarter of the draw is bookended by No. 3 seed Caroline Wozniacki and No. 6 seed and defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who may still be dealing with injury issues. Kuzy will be tested in her opener against Romanian Sorana Cirstea. The Woz starts against Russian Alla Kudryavtseva.

Other starters of interest in the third quarter are No. 30 Maria Kirilenko against Karolina “The Spreminator!” Sprem, and No. 24 Lucie Safarova vs. Jelena Dokic, who is on comeback No. 23.

Venus is the queen of the fourth quarter of the draw, and No. 5-seeded Elena Dementieva could be her heir. Both will be tested early, Venus opening against Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder, and Dementieva looking at a second-round meeting with the player who has become her rival, American Melanie Oudin. If Oudin can get through her opener against Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues, it will be the third time this year she has faced Dementieva, losing the two previous at the WTA Paris event and in Fed Cup. Oudin won their career-first meeting last year at the US Open.

The by-the-seeding quarterfinal match-ups would be (1) Serena vs. (7) Stosur, (4) Jankovic vs. (8) Radwanska, (3) Wozniacki vs. (6) Kuznetsova, and (2) Venus vs. (5) Dementieva.

I’m going to go with (1) Serena vs. (22) Henin, (4) Jankovic vs. Ivanovic, Schiavone vs. (14) Pennetta, and (5) Dementieva vs. (15) Rezai.

After that, flip a coin. Or save time and start in the first round. Got a better read on the quarters than me? Post them here and we’ll see who comes out on top.

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17 Comments for Venus, Serena Williams Bookend French Open Draw: Preview

jane Says:

I’m a little surprised you picked Ivanovic to get by Kleybanova, a very hard hitter, but since this is clay you may be right. I hope Rezai can continue to build on her run at Madrid.

Daniel Craig Says:

murray should play on the women’s side this year to get some much-needed confidence

sar Says:

From Murray Twitter:
@andy_murray Hit with novak this morning… about 3 hours ago
Murray has Gasquet so the crowd may play a factor?

alex Says:

i think venus will be the one to come through from the bottom half of the draw, she only lost to rezai because she was tired from the doubles match that she was playing till midnight the night before the final. She is playing well and i think is the top favourite for the title

Ty Says:

i think that this one is up for grabs- Justine and Serena should be the favorites, but its up for grabs this time. Alot of people are hungry, namely Justine henin. I would love for it to come to Serena and Justine . They are the two best that they are – I would love to see Serena win, but she is not as comfortable on clay whereas its Justine’s home surface. Its going to be interesting to see who takes it. May the best woman win!!

Tyron Says:

i think that this one is up for grabs- Justine and Serena should be the favorites, but its up for grabs this time. Alot of people are hungry, namely Justine henin. I would love for it to come to Serena and Justine . They are the two best that they are – I would love to see Serena win, but she is not as comfortable on clay whereas its Justine’s home surface. Its going to be interesting to see who takes it.

sar Says:

I want to see a new person win the women’s championship. Any new person.

Daniel Craig Says:

according to the 2-year grand slam separation pattern established by sharapova, she should win this year’s french (2004 wimby, 2006 USO, 2008 AO)

Albrecht Says:

If I look at the long-term tendencies in women’s tennis, the one that strikes me most is the collective failure of the Russians at major tournaments, heralded by Melanie Oudin’s run at the 2009 US Open and an undeniable fact since the WTA Championships. While in the past, many Russian players have slumped one or two at a time, they have never done so collectively. I have no explanation for it, but I cannot deny the fact. Safina, Kuznetsova, and Zvonareva have completely lost their game since the beginning of the year. After her two defeats by Henin, Dementieva has joined them. Petrova ist still fighting, but who knows how long. Pavlyuchenkova and Kleybanova have won one small tournament each, but hardly a match since then. Sharapova–we shall see.

Whoever wins the French Open, no Russian woman will reach the semifinals. This is the only prediction that I will make.

Lisa Says:

I think Venus will do much better than the last two years which will keep her moving up the rankings. She’s only defending 3rd Rd points. I’m terrible at predictions but here it goes:>)

Serena D. Stosur
Jankovic D.Ivonovic
Li Na D. Pennetta
Venus D. Dementieva

Serena D.Janko
Venus D. Dementieva

Winner Serena !!!!!!!!!!

Andrew Miller Says:

My picks (first time predicting things in a while!)

Serena Williams
Justine Henin
Suarez Navarro

Na Li
Flavia Pennetta
Elena Dementieva
Aravane Rezai



Serena vs. Rezai

Serena. Rezai may or not be able to come back from the loss as she faces the one player who plays like her, but better.

Kevin Says:

Henin is there to kick sisters out…Allez Juju!

tk Says:

Final wil be

Serena Vs someone on

and the winner is


just watch

PJ Says:

There are two players who I feel bad for because of their first round match-ups. The first is Patty Schnyder. I wouldn’t be surprised if she retires soon. She has always been one of my absolute favorites. Even though Serena has never lost a first round match at a Slam, she’d have had a better shot against Serena than Venus (who Patty has never beaten). The other is Simona Halep. I never even heard of her until this clay court season, but she’s done really well at lower-tier events. She qualified, but probably got the worst qualifier placement (vs. Stosur).

I can’t predict the top half. Serena will most likely make the quarters, but will be challenged by either Henin or Stosur. The winner of that could be in trouble if the quarter goes long and the winner faces Jankovic.

Lisa Says:

“3. WTA Tour is in the Trunk?
The Williams sisters are No. 1 and 2 in the world. What have the Williams sisters won lately? Nothing. Sad lack of competition.”

This is a crappy analysis/statement to make about the WTA and the Sisters being ranked 1&2. What has Federer won lately? Rodger is #1. The last time he won anything was the last time Serena won anything, at the Australian Open (AO)!!!!
Venus has made it to the QF of AO and Rome, Won Dubai, Acapulco & BJK Exhibition, and she made it to the Finals of Miami & Madrid. Venus was also injured and missed Stuttgart & Fed Cup. She is doing her thing Playing Tennis and being committed to the tour. She is 30 years old and is fighting the good fight without taking a 2 yr hiatus/fake retirement/flat out walking away from tennis or quitting to have a baby or find herself!!!!!!!! She’s always been there but it won’t last forever. Leave her be and just enjoy the show weather she wins or loses because there will never be another Venus Williams. When she is gone that’s when the WTA will be “In the Trunk”.

Andrew Miller Says:

I love Patty Snyder’s game. Definitely my favorite to watch, along with MaKiri and Flavia Pannetta, because I like their style too.

(It’s becaise I think those two are the “lookers” of the tour! Aravane too. Publicize her a little!)

Assassin5 Says:

Even if Venus and Serena don’t win the French, they will both put in a strong showing. Real tennis fans will watch them and support them regardless. They are 1 & 2 in the world for a reason and have records to back them up. Between them they have 79 singles titles, including 19 Grand Slams-half of which they played against each other, and 41 doubles titles. Serena has more slams but Venus has more singles titles. When all is said and done, they will be listed in the top 7 or 8 players in the history of the game with: Martina Navratilova., Stef. Graf, Chris Everett, and about 3 others. You can ‘hate and debate’ all you want to but the records don’t lie. When they walk away from tennis (and some new young starlet-yet to be determined-will have to run them out of town), they will be the Greg Normans’ of the WTA. Clothing lines, charities, businesses that will continue to brand them years out of the game. They are 1 & 2 for a reason.

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