Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova didn't sweat much in their third round victories at the Australian Open.
Serena's opponent Greta Arn was the closest to challenging the American in the beginning of the first set, when she had a break point in the opening game, but that was all from the Hungarian who was quickly overpowered 6-1 6-1. Despite that, Serena claims that she's nowhere near her desired form and is just playing through the rust.
Sharapova was also quick, losing just three games to Angelique Kerber to reach the fourth round 6-1 6-2. The Russian has actually lost just five games so far at the tournament. Read more »
The 2012 has gained its full swing with the Australian Open, and our loyal contributor and reader John Bolan would like to share his predictions of how the Top 10 rankings will look like at the end of the season. Don't forget to share your Top 10 picks in the comments, as John will send the person whose predictions turn out to be the closest to the actual 2012 year-end Top 10 a picture with an autograph of a Top 10 player. Nice incentive!
Once again, it is time to pick the Top 10 players in the order they will finish on December 31, 2012. We have had a few weeks to observe which players have played well this year. Logic, injuries and where the players finished for 2011 are the main criteria used to make these picks.
TOP 10 FOR 2012 1. Victoria Azarenka 2. Maria Sharapova 3. Kim Clijsters 4. Serena Williams 5. Petra Kvitova 6. Caroline Wozniacki 7. Agnieszka Radwanska 8. Vera Zvonareva 9. Li Na 10. Sabine Lisicki
My pick for number 1 in 2012 is Victoria Azarenka (I also picked Victoria for number 1 in 2011). She squeaked by Maria Sharapova for third place last year, but is definitely a rising young star whose time has come. Maria is my pick for the runner-up spot – number 2. Let’s hope she stays healthy for the remainder of the year.
Three players who have already been injured this year are Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams and Andrea Petkovic. Do we take a chance and put any of them in the Top 10? Kim is my #3 pick and Serena #4. Although Andrea is the most sensational player in women’s tennis, she is seriously injured and will miss months on the tour in 2012. Read more »
Following a 6-3 6-2 victory over Tamira Paszek and going 46-0 in Grand Slam openers, Serena Williams defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-0 6-4 in the second round of the Australian Open and won an impressive 500th match in her career. Even more so, it’s Serena’s 16th consecutive match win at the Australian Open, the tournament she has won five times.
Here’s what the 13-time Grand Slam champion, who now doesn’t even know what to pick for her next milestone, said about the achievement:
It's great. I haven't even thought about it. It's like the ultimate. It's really, really cool. The first thing I asked, of course, Is there anyone that achieved a thousand? I guess not. I never will get there either. But it's really cool. 500 is a lot of matches to play, let alone to win, so it's pretty cool.
Two points before the end of the match against Zahlavova Strycova, Serena twisted her right ankle, but luckily there was no pain and it was a different ankle from the one she injured this month in Brisbane. After the match, Serena assured the fans that both her ankles are doing good.
Additional info: Together with Andy Roddick Serena is playing the mixed doubles and they are facing top seeds Kveta Peschke and Mike Bryan in the first round. Serena already has to Grand Slam mixed doubles titles to her name, but she hasn’t played that type of competition at a major tournament since 1999.
Hey everyone. The Australian Open is about to start and this year the field seems to be wide open without clear favorites. Also many of the top players are struggling with injuries and Andrea Petkovic already had to withdraw from the event because of a back injury. In this article I want to give you my view on who has the best chances to win the tournament.
I decided to pick out four players who I believe have the biggest chance to win this year’s Australian Open title.
1. PETRA KVITOVA
Petra Kvitova is currently in a close battle with Caroline Wozniacki for the world number 1 ranking. She had her breakthrough winning Wimbledon last year and I think she has very good chances to become the most successful player in 2012.
Her game is big, she played well in the warm up matches to the tournament, and she seems to have the confidence and belief now.
CHECK OUT HOW WELL KVITOVA IS PLAYING IN THIS VIDEO
2. KIM CLIJSTERS
Clijsters is the defending champion and in my opinion always a threat at any Grand Slam. She had a tough second half of the season in 2011, where she did not play much at all because of several injuries.
Having had such a long preparation could be an advantage for her because she is probably in great shape right now. At the warm-up tournament in Brisbane she seemed to be in strong form but had to pull out because of a hip injury. The latest reports are saying that she is practicing at 100% though and therefore I think she is one of the favourites to win the title.
3. SERENA WILLIAMS
As usual it is difficult to assess what kind of form Serena Williams is in for the Australian Open. She has not played much before the tournament but she obviously likes the tournament, having won it five times in the past.
In a recent interview I heard Brad Gilbert, famous coach and expert, talk about how hard Serena was preparing and how well she looked out on the practice courts. An ankle injury forced her to pull out of Brisbane but she has also been seen practicing hard on site in Melbourne. She has not played many tournament matches in a while so it will be crucial for her to get through the first couple of rounds.
If she gets through the first couple of rounds and stays healthy she will definitely be one of the top favourites for the title. Read more »