Friday, January 11, 2013

Vika and Serena--together again?

Now that the Australian Open draw has been published, the potential WTA event that's being talked about the most--with good reason--is the likely semifinal match between defending champion Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams. If the draw progresses that way, there will be an electric atmosphere surrounding the semifinal.

Williams beat Azarenka in the hard-fought 2012 U.S. Open final. The two have an interesting history. They were supposed to have met in Brisbane, but Azarenka withdrew before the match because of a pedicure-induced toe infection. Interestingly, Williams had just had minor surgery on her two big toes. Talk about toe-to-toe.

Azarenka's quarter includes Caroline Wozniacki, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (who appears to finally be meeting her potential), Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Sara Errani. Williams is in the same quarter as Maria Kirilenko, Nadia Petrova, Sloane Stephens, Laura Robson, and Petra Kvitova.

There are some interesting first round match-ups:

Jamie Hampton vs. Urszula Radwanska--Both players are on the rise
Caroline Wozniacki vs. Sabine Lisicki--Woz's to lose, but--oh, what a pair
Francesca Schiavone vs. Petra Kvitova--Kvitova's to lose, but......
Chang Kai-Chen vs. Samantha Stosur--Can Sammy hold it together in the opening round?
Mona Barthel vs. Ksenia Pervak--Barthel runs hot and cold, and Pervak is on the rise
Casey Dellacqua vs. Madison Keys--Dellacqua will have the crowd behind her; will it be enough?
Anabel Medina Garrigues vs. Marion Bartoli--The Spaniard has to be feeling good after Hopman Cup
Dominika Cibulkova vs. Ashleigh Barty--A tired, probably spirit-crushed Cibulkova will also have to deal with extreme crowd support for her opponent

And in honor of Vika and Serena and their toes, here's a little something for your listening pleasure:

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