If I’m Caro, I’m asking for a refund on the top seed. That, or asking Kim for a trade. Nevermind even making it to the end of this quarter to play the lady on the bottom; she’s going to have to possibly survive Lucie in the third round and Masha in the fourth round. Not pretty stuff. Caro has upped her power of late, but Masha is the exact wrong opponent she would like to see, someone who can hit hard and hit through her.
Don’t count out the bottom of the quarter. I really liked Kuz’s chances of going deep or even making the final pre-draw. This draw doesn’t exactly help her out, but it’s do-able if she can avoid Masha. Even then, that’s not impossible. I like her chances against Kiri, Nails, and Caro if that happens. Oh, and this section also features the epic awesome Chak/U-Rad first rounder. I’ll have to find a way to sneak into that.
Quarterfinal: Masha vs. Kuz
This quarter might have to be the strongest in terms of possible quality matches. Even some of the first round ones are great. JJ gets young cutie Simona Halep, Bethanie/AMG, Nads/Petko. The second round could hold Sorana/Dulgheru and Sabine/Bepa. The fourth round has Wicky/JJ and A-Rad/Bepa.
In my eye, in consideration to their recent form, this is JJ’s quarter to lose and Bepa’s to win. This quarter isn’t particularly strong and is filled with a lot of non-threatening players; you’ve got to like your chance whoever you might be. Unless she mentally flies out the window (which has been happening less and less) Bepa should be able to take out whatever this quarter manages to throw at her.
Quarterfinal: Wicky vs. Bepa
The third quarter kicks off the bottom half with all signs pointing towards a Vika/Venus quarterfinal heavyweight bout… but not so fast. Could Franny conjure up some more Grand Slam magic? Pavs also looms for Vika, and yes, Mel is in there too (luckily for Vika she’s Belorussian, not Russian).
Venus could have a rematch with Pironkova (if she can get past a tricky Polona) and Flavs and Agi are hanging around too. This is a tough one to call, because the state of Venus’ health is pretty unknown, and Flavs is having some troubles now too. Still, very do-able for Venus if she’s feeling ok.
Quarterfinal: Vika vs. Venus
This quarter is absolutely packed to the nines with power. The first half of it assumes a Sam/Elena fourth rounder, but that’s far from automatic. I really don’t think Elena is in the right mental or physical state to make an impact here, which is bad news with someone like Dani or Dinara so early. Sam could get Kleybs, which is also trouble on a relatively fast surface. Hmm.
The very bottom holds Kim of course, and her draw is hardly a walk in the park. Kvitova in the third round, and a slew of tough opponents could make the fourth round including Mono, JZ and Ana. Hell, Timea ain’t a walk in the park either. Kim will say that the pressure doesn’t bother her, and while she is more mentally tough than before leaving to have Jada, it’s impossible to think that the pressure won’t get to her a little bit. Not to mention she plays at the speed of light, and when things go bad, they go really bad (I’m looking at you, Australian Open).
That being said, I think Kim is ok for the quarterfinals, though people should be keeping a close eye on her in those earlier, tough matches.
Quarterfinal: Sam vs. Kim
Semifinals: Masha vs. Bepa, Vika vs. Kim
Final: Masha vs. Kim