Sunday, September 6, 2009

US Open Women's Draw, Update #1

Ok, so far half of the players I picked to make the quarters in the women's draw have already lost. Olats. Including Elena Dementieva who I was rooting for to win it all... Booooo!!! The silver lining is it was 17-year old Melanie Oudin who beat her.

It's a silver lining to me because Oudin actually has a nice, thinking game (and not the brainless baseline ball-bashing style that makes the WTA Tour so booorrrriiing to watch.) She also reminds me a lot of Martina Hingis and Justine Henin, she's like a 17 year-old hybrid of the two (ok, ok, with less talent and less firepower than Hingis and Henin, but hey, she's got time to improve on that.) And also, she's got a hot fraternal twin watching her matches from the stands. (edit: wait, that hot girl isn't her twin sister, says this article)

Maybe Melanie just happens to play really well against tall, blonde, pretty Russians, because she followed her win over Elena with another win in the 3rd round against Maria Sharapova (who was serving awfully... 21 double faults in the match!) Their match lasted for almost 3 hours, but I only got to see the second half of the last set. Masha was really serving badly, but when her serve landed in, her groundstrokes looked as big as ever. Melanie did what she did against Elena, which was hit the ball deep and find the angles at the right moments. She was really able to control the rallies despite not having the same power that Shazza has. She also had great footwork, which was a good advantage to have over the taller-by-8-inches Shriekapova. (yes, I collect Maria Sharapova nicknames)

#1 Dinara Safina is also out, after barely surviving against Australian teenager Olivia Rogowska in the first round, and barely surviving again in the 2nd round, she finally fell to 19-yo Czech Petra Kvitova in the 3rd round. Last year's runner-up, Jelena Jankovic has also been booted out by Kazakh (by way of Russia) Yaroslava Shvedova, who could really pass for Scarlett Johansson's athletic sister. This year's tall blonde teen phenom, Victoria Azarenka, also fizzled after some good Grand Slam results earlier this year, losing in the 3rd round to the Italian Francesca "Sapakan Tayo sa Kanto" Schiavone.

In other, non-upset related news, Kim, Venus and Serena are all still in it, and Flavia Pennetta is ripping through the draw. She's lost just 6 games in 3 matches (though that didn't help Dinara at the French Open...) Caroline Wozniacki is also still in it, and she faces Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the quarters. If she doesn't choke, she's got a good chance to reach the finals. Interestingly enough, I think Melanie Oudin will be her biggest obstacle there.

And, in other, weird news: one of Yanina Wickmayer, Gisela Dulko, Kateryna Bondarenko and Petra Kvitova will reach the semis. This is not a prediction, this is an actual fact. A WTF how-the-hell-did-that-happen fact.

Lastly, and more importantly, Daniela Hantuchova is in the 4th round! Woohoo! She'll face Serena next, where she'll most likely lose, but I'm just glad that Daniela looks to be getting back her form and is getting to the 2nd week of the Grand Slams.

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