Grand Slam Tennis – Hits And Misses In The Women’s Draw


I might make Serena Williams an exception but the problem with the Williams sisters is that nothing is a given, nothing is sure. Just when one thinks they are out, they fight back and win, just when one thinks they are sure to win, they fail and lose.The women’s side has produced the biggest upset at the time I wrote this. Top seed Jelena Jankovic lost her fourth round match and received a straight sets thrashing from Frenchwoman Marian Bartoli, 1-6, 4-6. Jankovic’s exit follows the path of fellow Serb Ana Ivanovic who was the fifth seed and Venus Williams who was the sixth. But unlike the two, Jankovic’s conqueror has better credentials, someone who can beat the top seed at any given day as long as she plays her best tennis.Marion Bartoli, the 16th seed, gained prominence last year at Wimbledon when she reached the final and played against eventual winner Venus Williams. But what made her feat remarkable was the road she took in reaching the finals. She beat the then third seed Jankovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a match that was stopped many times because of the weather. Her most notable conquest was when she came from behind a set down and defeated the then top seed Justine Henin in the semi-final 1-6, 7-5, 6-1.Dinara Safina battled really hard and clawed her way back as she defeated Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, seeded 15th with a tennis score of 6-2, 2-6, 7-5. Safina displayed true grit and determination as she tried to turn the match in her favor while facing two match points against herself. She was 2-5 down and then faced two match points at 3-5. But she saved both of them as she produced winners and Cornet wilted under Safina’s onslaught to finally win the match. The Russian though had high total of 52 unforced errors and eight double faults against her opponent’s 29 and four double faults. She should bring these numbers down in her next match in the quarterfinals which could be against Jelena Dokic or fellow Russian Alisa Kleybanova.For the other seeds that fell, I am more puzzled with what is ailing Ivanovic. Is it a crisis of confidence? Has she recovered from her injuries? I guess she even cannot figure out what is wrong with her. But I did notice a lot of things when I watched her play. Gone is the fire in her eyes, that drive that makes someone persevere through difficult moment of the match. One can just see the uncertainty replacing the fire. When she plays the tough points, she seems unsure of what to do and scared to make the shot that can win the point. I saw that fire when she battled Daniela Hantuchova in their semi-final match last year. The same edge when she battled Maria Sharapova in the first set. Perhaps all she needs is an ego-boosting win over a high ranking player. Then her confidence can improve tremendously.Venus Williams has not won an Australian Open title. Perhaps, she will never win it. Her erratic showing during this tournament undescores one thing, that her preparations for this tournament is not enough for her to get into the groove. Probably for her that is fine, as long as she wins Wimbledon or the U.S. Open.Catch the live tennis match results of the Australian Open at

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Peri Witny is an author of Sports News.
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