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U.S. Open 2008: Women’s Draw Predictions and Previews

The last grand slam of the year is set to start on Monday and the women’s champion is usually someone who has managed to stay relatively healthy through the year.

Quarter One:

The whole top half of this draw is loaded so whoever is going to come through is really gonna have to duke it out. Top seed, Ana Ivanovic, is in this quarter, but is still recovering from an ailing thumb. However, she did not play in Beijing so it just makes her that much fresher. Daniela Hantuchova, Amelie Mauresmo and Nadia Petrova could cause some damage, but you never know what you’re going to get with them. 17 seed, Alize Cornet, is always a tricky opponent. Dinara Safina rounds out the quarter and we’ll see if her meltdown in Beijing affects her play. I’m betting it does.

Semifinalist: Ana Ivanovic

Quarter Two:

This quarter houses both the Williams sisters and most likely they will meet in the quarterfinals. Nicole Vaidisova could make some noise if she somehow manages to find her form, but I wouldn’t count on it. Agniezska Radwanska is the potential fourth rounder for Venus and is probably has the best shot at stopping an all-Sister quarter. I still think Venus and Serena are going to fight it out for a place in the semis. I’d go with Serena, who’s bound to hungry for a major, her last win was at the Aussie Open in ’07.

Semifinalist: Serena Williams

Quarter Three

This quarter is home to three Russian head cases, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elena Dementieva and Anna Chakvetadze. Dementieva is hot off a gold medal, but I just don’t see her ever seriously contending for a major and don’t get why people suddenly think she’s going to start winning some now. Crafty Swiss veteran, Patty Schnyder could cause trouble for the fragile Russians if she’s on her game. Somehow, I see Kuz finding herself in the semis again.

Quarter Four:

World number 2, Jelena Jankovic’s quarter could have some interesting match ups, but should be an easy through for JJ, if she’s healthy. Bronze medalist, Vera Zvonareva, is the next highest seed, but she is very streaky. Lindsay Davenport is in this quarter, but she hasn’t played a singles match since Wimbledon due to a knee injury and I wouldn’t be surprised if she withdrew. The two youngsters, Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka are my dark horse picks for this section and if Jelena isn’t in the semis one of these two will be.

Semifinalist: Jelena Jankovic

Semifinals: Serena def. Ivanovic, Jankovic def. Kuznetsova

Final: Serena def. Jankovic

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