Chris’ picks for the women’s draw at the 2007 U.S. Open (men’s picks here):
Quarters: Serena d. Henin, Jankovic d. Venus, Kuznetsova d. Hantuchova, Sharapova d. Chakvetadze
Semis: Jankovic d. Serena, Sharapova d. Kuznetsova
Final: Sharapova d. Jankovic
Heavy at the top: The women’s draw is very top heavy. Until I watched the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day yesterday on CBS, I had Henin over Serena. But liked Serena’s form and attitude (hitting targets on a court is such a wonderful gauge for this, I know!). Being the first hard-hitter that Henin would face, the fresh Serena (coming back from an injury break) will be too much for Henin to handle.
If Serena doesn’t shape up, an on-form Safarova could give Henin some trouble in the fourth round.
In the bottom quarter of the top half, I think Venus will get hot again and upset Ivanovic in the fourth round but I see Jankovic returning to New York with too much confidence from last year to lose to Venus or Ivanovic in the quarters. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jankovic only loses six or seven games through the fourth round (where she’d face Dementieva or Bammer).
The lower half: In the top section of the lower half, I see Azarenka making some noise until she runs into Kuznetsova in the fourth round. I also pick Hantuchova over Petrova in that round; the Slovakian is due for a good slam result (plus I wasn’t impressed with what I saw of Petrova in LA). I think Kuznetsova’s win at New Haven will give her the confidence to power past Daniela and into the semifinals.
Re: Sharapova’s draw — it’s not that easy as you might think. Radwanska, her possible third round opponent, won on the hard courts in Stockholm earlier this summer. In the fourth round Masha could face Peer, a fan favorite and always capable of a big win. Then she’d have to play Chakvetadze, who I would say maybe had the best summer over all, in the quarters. If Chakvetadze loses early, it’ll be to Mirza (who has also been playing her best lately) or Schnyder (always dangerous). If she makes it through that, then she’ll get a break facing Svetlana in the semis before a tough match against Jankovic in the final.
Oh yeah, that Vaidisova chick — she’s my first round upset special going out to Kudryavtseva.
What do you think of Chris’ picks? Tell us!