2013 Women’s Australian Open Tennis Championship
Melbourne Park – Melbourne, Australia
Playing Surface: Plexicushion (Hard)
Sunday, January 13-Satrurday, January 26, 2013
Defending Champion: Victoria Azarenka
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker
It is the middle of January and that means it is time for the first Grand Slam Tennis event of the season. The Australian Open is always a fun event as it isn’t quite as stuffy as the French Open and Wimbledon. The blistering heat of Melbourne in the Southern hemisphere’s summer takes its toll on the players, and can lead to some unpredictable results and upsets.
Let’s take a look at some of the favorites and contenders on the Women’s side of the draw. All odds are courtesy of Bookmaker.
Serena Williams (-150)
Serena Williams, 31, has 15 major titles, including 5 Australian Open Titles. Williams last won the Australian Open in 2010. She lost in the fourth round here last year. Serena didn’t really hit her stride until the second half of the year, when she won Wimbled0n and the U.S. Open. Serena also won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. (also held at Wimbledon) She and her sister Venus won the doubles title at both Wimbledon and the Olympics.
Serena got off to a good start this season by winning the tournament at Brisbane last week in her only action of the season.
Williams is the #3 seed at the Australian Open. Seeded players in her section of the draw include #8 Petra Kvitova, #12 Nadia Petrova, #14 Maria Kirilinko, #17 Lucie Safarova, #20 Yanina Wickmayer, #28 Yaroslava Shvedova, and #29 Sloane Stephens. Her section isn’t that challenging except for Kvitova and maybe Petrova. Serena should breeze into the semifinals where she could face #1 Victoria Azarenka.
Victoria Azarenka (7/2)
Azarenka, 23 from Belarus, is the defending champion here. That was her first grand slam title. She also lost in the semis at Wimbledon and the Olympics and was the runner up at the U.S. Open. However, she lost to Serena Williams in all three. Azarenka ended up winning the bronze medal. Before last year she had never made it past the quarters at the Australian Open.
Azarenka made it to the semifinals at Brisbame but had to withdraw because of a toe infection as a result of a bad pedicure. She will play in the Australian Open but might not be 100%.
Azarenka is the #1 seed at the Australian Open. Seeded players in her section include #7 Sara Errani, #10 Caroline Wozniacki, #16 Roberta Vinci, #21 Varvara Lepchenko, #24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, #26 Su-Wei Hsieh, and #31 Urszula Radwanska. Azarenka could be challenged by Vinci in the fourth round or Errani/Wozniacki in the quarters. However, if she survives her draw, she will most likely face her nemesis Serena Williams in the semifinals.
Maria Sharapova (7/1)
Sharapova, 25 from Russia, won the Australian Open in 2008 and was the runner-up to Azarenka here last year. Sharapova won the French Open last year to complete the career grand slam. She has one of each. She won the silver medal at the Olympics, and made it to the semis of the U.S. Open. Sharapova hasn’t played yet this year. In fact she hasn’t played since last October.
Sharapova is the #2 seed here. Other seeded players in her section include #5 Angelique Kerber, #11 Marion Bartoli, #15 Dominika Cibulkova, #19 Ekaterina Makarova, #23 Klara Zakopalova, #25 Venus Williams, and #30 Tamira Paszek. Sharapova could face Venus Williams in the third round. If she survives that either Kerber or Bartoli could challenge in the quarters. Sharapova could face Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals if both survive their sections.
Agnieszka Radwanska (9/1)
Radwanska, 23 from Poland, was the runner up at Wimbledon last year. She has never won a grand slam title. Radwanska has made to the quarters here the last two years. Radwanska is 9-0 in 2013 with titles at Sydney and Auckland.
Radwanska is the #4 seed at the Aussie. Seeded players in her section include #6 Na Li, #9 Samantha Stosur, #13 Ana Ivanovic, #18 Julia Georges, #22 Jelena Jankovic, #27 Sorana Cirstea, and #32 Mona Barthel. Radwanska could face Ivanovic or Jankovic in the fourth round, and either Li or Stosur in the quarters. Radwanska is my pick to break through with her first major title. She is red hot early in 2013.
Na Li (16/1)
Li, 30 from China, won the French Open in 2011, her only major title. She was the runner up here in 2011, but didn’t make it past the fourth round in any major last year. Li is 8-1 this season with a title at Shenzhen and she lost to Radwanska in the semis at Sydney.
Li is the #6 seed and is in Radwanska’s section of the draw. Li could face Stosur in the fourth round but I don’t think either beats Radwansika in the quarters.
Petra Kvitova (20/1)
Kvitova, 22 from the Czech Republic, won Wimbledon in 2011, her only major title. She made to the semifinals here last year and at the Franch Open. Kvitova lost in the first round at Sydney and the second at Brisbane so far in 2013.
Kvitova is the #8 seed and is in Serena’s section of the draw. Kvitova could face Stephens in the third round, Petrova or Safarova in the fourth to even get to Serena. As much as she has struggled early this season, i don’t she even makes it that far.
Angelique Kerber (22/1)
Kerber, from Germany will turn 25 during the tournament. She has never won a major, and has never made it past the third round here. She made it to the Quarters at the French last year and the semis at Wimbledon. Kerber is 4-2 this season with losses at Sydney and Brisbane.
Kerber is the #5 seed, and is in Sharapova’s section. I think Kerber can beat Bartoli in the fourth round, and challenge Sharapova in the quarters.
Samantha Stosur (30/1)
Stosur, 28 from Australia, won the 2011 U.S. Open. She has never made it past the fourth round in the Australian Open, her native country. Stosur did make to the semifinals at the French last year. She is 0-2 this season with losses in the first round at Sydney and Brisbane.
Stosur is the #9 seed and is in Radwanska’s section. I think Stosur’s struggles at the Australian Open continue, and I see an early exit.
Other contenders and their odds include Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki (both 50/1) and Ana Ivanovic (60/1).
It should be a great tournament and an exciting start to the 2013 tennis season. I like Radwanska to beat Serena in the finals.