Saturday, January 12, 2008

Will the Australian Open feature a Radwanska moment?

Upsets are part of tennis; without them, there would be no point in playing or watching. But major upsets, such as the defeat of Maria Sharapova by Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round of the U.S. Open, are another thing. (The same could be said, perhaps, about Marion Bartoli's upset of Justine Henin in the Wimbledon semifinals, except--by the time Bartoli got to Henin--she had already taken out Jankovic, and looked (at least to me) ripe to go all the way to the final. I was not surprised by the score.)

Could a Radwanska-type upset occur in Melbourne? Do we want it to? The excitement can be great, but we also sometimes have to watch our favorites go down in unexpected defeat. I do not expect any specific major upsets to occur, and am, in fact, horrified by the thought of a few of them. But one could happen.

Which lower-ranked player do you see pulling a big upset and having a Radwanska moment in Melbourne?


Anonymous said...

I don't mean to hog your board, Diane, but you did ask! (Your blog is also my fav for tennis.) I anticipate no "Radwanska moment" at the Open at all. Her first upset possibility is Kuznetsova in Rd 3, and I just don't see it. True, their last two matches were three setters (Kuz is 3-0 total, all in 2007). But if she keeps 80% of her level from the Medibank final, she will overpower talented young Aggy. Keep your eye on equally young and talented Victoria Azarenka though -- Serena will be tested in her Rd 3!

Diane said...

I'm going to re-phrase my question. What I meant was--which upstart might have a Radwanska moment?, not who might be upset by Radwanska? (I say no one). But you have answered that question, too--that it could be Azarenka, and I couldn't agree more.

There are some other possibilities in the draw, too, though none as dramatically possible as the probable Azarenka-Williams match-up.

Todd Spiker said...

I'd be tempted to say Paszek over Jankovic in the 1st Round, but Jelena will probably get through that one.

Pironkova/Kuznetsova in the 2nd Round could be a possibility. The Bulgarian has pulled some slam upsets before. Maybe Brengle over Zvonareva in Round 2, what with Vera's injured ankle? Mirza against Venus in the 3rd (though she has so many things swirling around her at the moment). Olaru over Vaidisova in the 1st? All right, maybe I'm reaching quite a bit with that one, huh?

Diane said...

I thought of some of those, Todd. I think Zvonareva is definitely vulnerable because of the ankle (I'm halfway expecting her to withdraw), and Jankovic--if she is still injured--is certainly vulnerable to Paszek.

I think Vaidisova will win her first round, but I do consider her the most vulnerable of the (healthy) top players. I saw Olaru play once, and she was mediocre, but since then, she has gotten some good reviews.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Todd Spiker's comment about Jankovic.

Jankovic nearly took herself out of contention for the Australian Open after competing in the Hopman Cup on a badly injured thigh.

Anonymous said...

I can see a potential Davenport def Sharapova in second round but i guess a lot of people can see that.

also judging by the way Nadia Petrova has played in her first two tournies of the year...i don't see her sticking around, despite the ranking.


Anonymous said...

forgot to add...

Official news report confirms that the new plexicushion surface is even SLOWER than the old rebound ace so that could possibly have an effect on the player's game.

maybe the more tactical players will have an advantage over the smash-n-bash players.


Anonymous said...

well... there was a "radwanska moment". and a very radwanska one :)