Since Tracy Austin has finally given her picks for the top women contenders for the big W, I'd like to offer my own if I may...
Justine Henin - The Mighty Belgian, fresh off her 4th French Open title, is hungry for the one trophy that would seal her place in the record books with a career Grand Slam. Maybe just as important to Henin, a win at The Big W would put her 1 slam behind archrival Serena "ReRe" Willaims and the bragging rights as best of their generation. Don't think that's not on either of their minds, so let the games begin!
Maria Shriekapova - Oh Shrieka. What has become of your year? You started off 2007 fresh off your title run at the U.S. Open and with the chance to become THE dominant player this year. Then...WIPEOUT at the hands of ReRe Williams in The Aussie Open final. But you had your best showing at Roland Garros (semis) so you must've been feeling good - until you lost the final of the Birmingham on grass to...
Jelena "Weird Al" Jankovic - Weird Al is having a career year. I do hope she breaks through at a Slam this year. I love her game and her personality on the court, though I think she hides her fear of the pressure by showing a super casual attitude (a la Kimmie Clijsters). If she can truly confront the pressure, this could be her Slam to lose.
Serena Williams - No one gives good drama like ReRe. She has proven she can come from nowhere-ville and take out the best in the world. Not much else to say!
DARKHORSE:Although I would've picked Ana Ivanovic as my dark horse, she just suffered a horrible, out of left field loss to Dani Hantuchova with a scoreline of 6-3, 6-1. My dark horse is now Nicole Vaidisova - she's been struggling of late but she's due for a breakthrough. With her big power game and solid serve, I see her rounding into form and giving the top players the shakes.