Just yesterday, I posted my top 5 2011 US Open picks on the men’s side. Now I present you with my top 5 potential winner on the ladies side of the US Open.
With so many changes in rankings, and the recent wins and losses in the top 100 of the WTA, it’s hard to be really sure if I’m going to hit the mark with my picks. This has already been a crazy year, with Kim Clijsters winning down under, Na Li on the red clay of Paris, and Kvitova dominating on the grass at Wimbledon; it’s going to be hard to accurately predict the 2011 USO winner. It’s anybody’s chance this year, so here are the top 5 potential winners:
- Maria Sharapova- The 2006 US Open Champion is already looking like her old self. After a terrible 2009-2010 tennis season (most due to the shoulder surgery she had at the end of 2008), she’s come back and kicking some major tennis butt. Sharapova is already nestled back in the top 10, a runner-up finish at 2011 Wimbledon, and an improved attitude. Maria could certainly take the 2011 US Open by storm, though I could deal without the screeching.
- Andrea Petkovic- The entertaining German powerhouse could certainly be a serious contender this year at the Open. Andrea has come into her own this year, reaching the quarterfinals of Australia, Roland Garros, runner-up at Brisbane, semifinalist at Carlsbad, and broke though to the top 10 on the WTA rankings. I would love to see her reach the finals and win the US Open, she’s a powerful and smart player, with wins over big opponents (Wozniacki, Jankovic, and Sharapova). She’s got what it’s takes to be a contender, looking forward to her post win “Petko Dance or Petko Moon-Walk”.
- Kim Clijsters- Why wouldn’t I put the defending champion on this list? Last year she stomped on Vera Zvonareva in the final, 6-2, 6-1 which was hardly a tennis match. This year, however; Kim could face more powerful competition; I don’t really see her dominating like the previous two years but she could very well get an easy draw and cruise into the finals. Clijsters ‘cruising’ into the finals is all contingent on her health, the last couple of months, she has had ankle injuries that have pulled her out of Wimbledon, Carlsbad, and now the Rogers Cup. We’ll see if she is up to defending her 2010 US Open title.
- Petra Kvitova- I really like Petra’s chances of reaching the 2011 US Open finals. She’s got such a well balanced tennis game, one that could very well cause fits for every player in her draw. The 2011 Wimbledon Champion has what it takes to go the distance, sounds footwork, powerful groundstrokes, and solid serves. Of course, this is all considering she’s in good shape to compete, she has already withdrawn from Carlsbad with an abdominal injury. If she plays like she did at the All England Club, she’s likely to do exceptionally well at the 2011 USO.
- Vera Zvonareva- The runner-up of the 2010 US Open, 2010 Wimbledon, and semifinalist at the 2011 Australian Open. Could this be the year she get’s her head on straight and avoids the meltdowns she’s had in prior years to actually win a major? I think this could be her year to capture that elusive title that she’s been chasing for some time now. Her strokes are spot on and powerful to take it to every player that gets in her way. She’s got the gift, she’s going to have to really work on remaining calm and just play tennis.
I picked some obvious players and some wishful players, either way, I’m pretty confident with my selection. One thing that you probably picked up on, is the fact that either of the Williams sisters are not on this list. Shouldn’t they be? After they’ve won a combined 5 US Open titles, so they should be in the mix. Or not, you see, I’ve never been a fan of either of the Williams’. I do appreciate the powerful tennis game they each posses, however; their poor attitudes really taint the appreciation for me.
In any event, I’m looking forward to the 2011 US Open and watching the celebrations, disappointments, winners, errors, and the sweat that each player will have dripping down their determined faces.