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US Open preview - women

Women's draw


Are we back to Serena domination of the WTA Tour or she is the best one left in a bad bunch? Clijsters is injured again, Wozniacki is proving a dud at number one and every other player on the women's tour seems to have issues. It seems there has never been a more urgent need for some fresh young faces to step forward and really upset the applecart.
With Hurricane Irene surging up the east coast of the US, it's hard to know at this stage just how disrupted the tournament will be, but it's a long, long odds-on that critics will be calling for a roof to be built over the show courts yet again….

Working down the draw this time.

1 - Wozniacki. In the papers more for her lovelife now than her tennis. Is that first Grand Slam win ever going to emerge? Losing first-up to McHale in Cincinnati isn't the way to suggest it will be this time, although she did reverse that result in New Haven, a tournament she always plays well in. Has form here but backing her to win the final is worse than backing Murray in the men. Shouldn't have too many worries through the first week, Petkovic/Li in the quarters will turn up the heat.

29. Gajdosova - has lost six matches in a row. Serious danger of losing R1 to Benesova. 1000

21. Hantuchova - usually a safe bet through the first week, then it all goes downhill. 1000

15. Kuznetsova - has lost three out of five since Wimbledon, gone off the boil. Leads R1 opponent Errani 3-0. 500

10. Petkovic - flying this year. If you drop the grass events out of her results, she has reached at least the QFs of her last five tournaments. Complained of a minor knee injury in Cincinnati but assured fans she will be fine in time. Has beaten Wozniacki, Jankovic, Sharapova and Kvitova on hardcore this year. 40

18. Vinci - the non-conventional player on the WTA Tour, using a lot of slice, attacking the net and confusing many of the robotic players on the circuit these days. Can't see her making an impact here, but she did beat Ivanovic, Wickmayer and Wozniacki in Toronto. 200

31. Kanepi - has been hampered by an achilles injury for months. Won't last long. 1000

6. Li - had two wins in a row this week in New Haven for the first time since Paris. Match vs Petkovic in R4 could be a cracker. Can beat them all when she clicks. Might be slightly off-form but at least you know she can do it at the business end. 20

4. Azarenka - edging her way closer to the top but needs to start racking up the big titles. Has a habit of getting injured at the wrong times, needs to break that spell to claim a Slam. Worst draw possible - meets Serena in R3. Also has Ivanovic and Jankovic in her half. 16

28. Serena W - clearcut favourite and hard to argue with that. 16-2 for the year, but did pull out of Cincinnati with a toe injury. At the time she claimed to be resting it for New York. Won 2008, missed 2010, so her last match was that controversial semi against Clijsters where she copped a point penalty on match point for threatening to kill a line judge. Has won five of the last nine Slams she has turned up to....



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