2008 US Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 1

Nick’s Picks along with Tennis Week and CBS Sports will bring you live coverage of the US Open from New York City. Check back everyday for insight leading up to the Open and then throughout.

Venus Williams (USA) vs. Samantha Stosur (AUS)

Venus and her sister Serena come into the US Open having just won the Gold Medal in the Olympics in doubles. This will definitely be a confidence booster for both players, because they showed that they have recovered from their knee injuries and are looking healthy once again. That means one thing for the rest of the field: Watch out!

Stosur comes into the tournament ranked #71 in the world. She is a better player than her ranking suggests, and back in 2007 she was as high as #27. She is also an excellent doubles player, as she was the #1 ranked doubles player in the world in 2006.

The Match-Up:

Venus is 2-0 against Stosur, with one of those wins coming earlier this year in Rome. Stosur has a booming serve, is a very good athlete, and must take advantage of any defensive balls from Venus. She may want to come in a little more, as she is good at the net because of her doubles play. We all know how good Venus can be if she is completely healthy, but her biggest problem has been unforced errors from the forehand side. If she can keep those down, she will go a long way.

Nick’s Pick – Williams in 2 sets

Amelie Mauresmo (FRA) vs. Nathalie Dechy (FRA)

Mauresmo isn’t the player she was two years ago, and it is difficult to really figure out why. Are the problems on-court or off-court? We just don’t know. Reaching the semifinals at New Haven last week is a plus for her, and that may give her the confidence she needs to challenge the top players in New York.

Dechy is a veteran Frenchwoman, who comes into the tournament ranked #73 in the world. Back in 2006 she was ranked as high as #11, and she has been to the fourth round here twice in her career.

The Match-Up:

These two fellow countrywomen are very familiar with each other. They have played eight times previously, with Mauresmo winning five of those matches. However, Dechy just beat her in Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago. Both players are smart on the court and crafty, especially Dechy. Mauresmo is definitely the more talented player here, and if she believes in herself then she will win this match. Her one-handed backhand is excellent, and she uses it to control the points. I look forward Mauresmo to win, but I don’t think it will be easy.

Nick’s Pick – Mauresmo in 3 sets

Jelena Jankovic (SRB) vs. Coco Vandeweghe (USA)

I want to begin by congratulating Jankovic on reaching #1 in the world a couple of weeks ago. It is a great achievement for her, and something that I know she wanted badly since she was a young girl. It was nice seeing her at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy recently, and I think she has a very good chance to reach her first Grand Slam final here in New York.

Vandeweghe is the beneficiary of a wild card from the USTA, and rightly so. She is a very talented 16-year old, who I feel has a very bright future. This will be her first career US Open, and it marks the first time she is playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

The Match-Up:

This will be the first career match between Jankovic and Vandeweghe. If Jankovic is healthy she is one of the best players on the Tour. She has to hit more two-handed backhand down-the-line shots, which is her best shot. Her serve can be tentative and attackable, and it seems to put her at a defensive position at times. Jankovic can do everything well, she has to force the issue more and cannot wait to win.

I certainly think Vandeweghe is one of the best young athletes on the WTA Tour, and would recommend anyone to go out and watch her. She is an all-court player, and I love the way she plays the game. In time, she will definitely be a player to contend with. Right now the advantage has to go to Jankovic.

Nick’s Pick – Jankovic in 2 sets

Shahar Peer (ISR) vs. Na Li (CHN)

Peer has fallen back a bit since her run into the top 15 last year. She has yet to reach the final of a tournament in 2008, but she did reach the quarterfinals here in 2007. She comes in ranked #25 in the world, and she won’t go down without a fight.

Li made her breakthrough in 2006 at Wimbledon, where she reached the quarterfinals. She has really struggled through injuries in 2008 (playing only eight tournaments), but she did reach the semis at the Olympics in her home country, beating Venus Williams along the way.

Match-up:

Both girls were ranked in the top 20 in 2007, and both have also fallen back a little since then. Li is 1-0 against Peer, with that win coming earlier this year at Doha. Peer will have a lot of supporters behind her, especially after her great run last year. Li, who had the home fans behind her in Beijing, will not have that same luxury here. She should be full of confidence though, and I don’t think that will have a big effect on her. Both girls have excellent groundstrokes and move well. Peer is a warrior out there, and nothing really rattles her. This match really could go either way. The way I see it, if it goes two sets Li will win, and if it goes three Peer will win.

Nick’s Pick – Li in 2, Peer in 3

Matches to Watch

Melanie Oudin (USA) vs. Jessica Moore (AUS) – This is a match between two young girls that were both given wild cards into the tournament. I would highly recommend checking this match out to see what some of the up-and-coming players on the WTA Tour look like on the court. Oudin is a sparkplug out there, and is a joy to watch.

Jamea Jackson (USA) vs. Alona Bondarenko (UKR) – Jackson has really bit hit by the injury bug over the last couple of years, which is a shame because she really starting to come into her own. Against Bondarenko she is going to have to do more than just keep the ball in play. Jackson will have to go for winners and take some risks if she wants to win this match.

Lindsay Davenport (USA) vs. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) – This match is all about Davenport’s health. She couldn’t play singles at the Olympics because of her knee, but if she can get some momentum she will be a big crowd favorite. She beat Wozniak last year 6-1, 6-0 in Quebec City, but I don’t think it will be as easy this time.

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~ by Nick's Picks on August 24, 2008.

One Response to “2008 US Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 1”

  1. I’m with JJ and i hope that she will be champion US Open 2008!!! GO JJ

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