In my wrap up of the 2014 Australian Open women’s singles 2nd round, I said the 3rd round match that intrigued me the most was Caroline Wozniacki vs Garbine Muguruza. I questioned whether despite looking like a future top 10 player, if Garbine was far enough in her development to handle Caroline at a Major. Question answered. A week after winning her first WTA singles title at the Moorilla Hobart International, the 20-year old Spaniard (via Venezuela) came back from a set down to eliminate the 10th seeded Wozniacki, 4-6 7-5 6-3. Not only did Garbine knock Sunshine out of the Australian Open, but the former world #1 will now fall out of the top 10 rankings following the fortnight.
“I thought she played some great tennis. She’s definitely a good player. She has beaten good players before. She’s on a roll right now. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of her in the future, definitely.” – Caroline Wozniacki
Garbine moves on to another fascinating match-up, this time against Agnieszka Radwanska. In fact, it feels like the tournament really starts for the women now with the round of 16 full of great contests. At the top of the draw, Serena Williams gets her first real test of the tournament against Ana Ivanovic, who had a rousing three-set victory over Australia’s favorite, Samantha Stosur. Then another Aussie favorite, Casey Dellacqua takes on the rising Canadian star, Eugenie Bouchard. Li Na will have her hands full with Ekaterina Makarova, who bounced Venus Williams in the first round and knocked off Serena Williams two years ago down under. Li Na better be ready. Angelique Kerber vs Flavia Pennetta features two players nobody is talking about, but nobody wants to play. They are flying under the radar but could upset a higher seed if either gets the chance. Simona Halep vs Jelena Jankovic features two players who were
on the rise in 2013 and look to build on that momentum. Maria Sharapova vs Dominika Cibulkova might look like a Masha win on paper, but the career head to head is only 3-2 in Masha’s favor. They’ve never played on hardcourt before. That should favor Masha as well, but remember that she’s had some problems the last two rounds, barely getting by Karin Knapp and having some tight moments against Alize Cornet. Dominika is better than both of those players. However, the match everybody wants to see is Victoria Azarenka vs Sloane Stephens, a rematch of their controversial semifinal from last year. Will there be any gamesmanship this time? Any bad blood? Vika looked razor sharp in the third round, but she wasn’t playing somebody the caliber of Sloane Stephens.
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