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Roland Garros 2013: Women’s Draw Analysis

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Who can stop Serena Williams from capturing her second French Open crown is the question on everyone’s lips when it comes to the women’s draw. Such is the American’s dominance over her major rivals that her relative lack of success at this particular major underlined by a shocking first round exit last year, is largely being ignored. So can Sharapova defend her crown or can Azarenka overcome her pitfalls on the clay? Or will a darkhorse in the form of Kvitova, Li Na or Stosur come through for a fairytale finish? Let’s examine these scenarios by digging deep into the draw using that well known approach - bracketology


Quarter 1:

Serena opens her campaign against little known Georgian Anna Tatishvili. Her early rounds are largely risk free with Roberta Vinci and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova the highest seeds close to her. That is what we thought when she played Virgine Razzano last year but surely lightning can’t strike twice? The bottom half of this quarter is more competitive with Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki both facing tricky opening encounters. The German faces compatriot Mona Barthel and the hard hitter has the weapons to cause an upset while Wozniacki faces rising young Brit Laura Robson. Former winner Svetlana Kuznetsova is far from her best but could well make a run here.

Quarterfinal: S.Williams v A.Kerber

Semifinalist: S.Williams


Quarter 2:

Radwanska and Errani bookend this competitive quarter and entering as favourites in tricky opening rounds. The 4th seeded Radwanska plays Israeli Shahar Peer while 2012 finalist Errani opens against giant killer Arantxa Rus. Sabine Lisicki, Ana Ivanovic, Julia Goerges & Venus Williams are other big names looking to resurrect careers that are either plateauing or heading into the sunset. All are capable of causing the big upset or making a mini run through the draw, but one suspects that the tournament winner will not come from this quarter.

Quarterfinal: Errani v Ivanovic

Semifinalist: Errani


Quarter 3:

Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka heads this quarter and opens against Russian Elena Vesnina. Awkward Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli is also in her section and is well capable of causing the upset. Francesca Schiavone is way off the level that took her to a title and a final in 2010 & 2011 but past champions are well known to play above their levels at venues of triumph. Another former champion Li Na sits at the bottom of this quarter and will be hoping for a reprisal of 2011 when she became the first Asian woman to win a slam. Also in the quarter are feisty Maria Kirilenko and ‘Miss Perfect’ Yaroslava Shvedova.

Quarterfinal: Azarenka v Li Na

Semifinalist: Azarenka


Quarter 4:

Defending champion Maria Sharapova heads this quarter and opens against unheralded but unorthodox Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei. Also in Sharapova’s section are diminutive Slovak Dominika Cibulkova and upcoming tyro Sloane Stephens. Stephens has faced a few reversals since her successful run in Melbourne and needs a strong showing in Paris. At the opposite end of the quarter is Petra Kvitova who more than anyone else needs to prove Wimbledon 2011 was not a fluke. Another relative underachiever is Sam Stosur and will want to go the extra step from her finalist showing in 2010. Jankovic and Safarova are other dangerous floaters in this section

Quarterfinal: Sharapova v Stosur

Semifinalist: Sharapova


Semifinal 1: Serena v Errani – Errani is gutsy, crafty clay courter and will give it her all against Serena. Williams however has too much game and will outpower the Italian in straight sets

Semifinal 2: Azarenka v Sharapova – Azarenka edges their head to head but Sharapova won their last two matches on clay and their last encounter in Istanbul. Both have lost a final each on clay this year to Serena and are vying for a chance at retribution. It is a tight call but expect Azarenka to just edge it in a tense encounter.


Final: S.Williams v Azarenka

Champion: Serena Williams