Google Down the Line!: VANtage Point: Breaking down the Sony Ericsson Open

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

VANtage Point: Breaking down the Sony Ericsson Open

Hello, and Happy New Year! Granted, that sentiment might be a little late, but this is the first VANtage Point of 2011 and it would be rude for me to proceed without the proper salutations!

And if you’re wondering what VANtage Point is, it’s where guest blogger Van from Tennis Talk, Anyone? (that’s me) pops in on DtL and gives a breakdown of some of the biggest events on the ATP and WTA calendars. So let’s get into it, shall we? First, with …

This Week’s Spotlight: I’m taking my tournament-predicting talents to South Beach* - the scene of the Sony Ericsson Open - and what many in the tennis world consider the unofficial “Fifth Slam.” The defending champs are Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters who are both back in the field with all of the game’s elite. You know, players like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniacki, Novak Djokovic and Vera Zvonareva—yeah, those guys!

Players to Watch: It’s funny to write this but keep your eye on that Federer fella. It’s hard to gauge how his season has gone so far: He’s made deep runs at every event he’s played—as he’s apt to do—but he keeps losing to Djokovic, who even took away Fed’s number-two ranking after capturing the crown in Indian Wells last week. Djokovic has a nice big bagel sitting in the loss column for the year, but can he keep the run he’s going on through Miami? Also, watch out for Andy Murray, who could possibly be a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him seed in Florida.

On the women’s side, I’m going to actually point out a whole quarter for you to watch! Check out the one where Zvonareva is the high seed. I think there are all types of players that could get far in the draw that aren’t the world number three. She could go out in the second round after playing the winner of the Dinara Safina-Jelena Dokic first-rounder. You also have last week’s Indian Wells finalist, Marion Bartoli, lurking. Higher up in that quarter, top-10 seeds Francesca Schiavone or Agnieszka Radwanska have a great shot at getting to the semis.

The Final Fours: For the men on the top half, I’m going with the dream match-up—Federer vs. Nadal with Federer winning. On the bottom half, I have a little bit of a surprise with Stanislas Wawrinka over Djokovic. As for the women, on the top half, I like Wozniacki to take out Svetlana Kuznetsova, then Schiavone falling to Clijsters.

And the Winners Are … : Federer and Clijsters: two future Hall-of-Famers getting it done. Enjoy the tournament.

*And a special kudos to you if you can figure out where I got that asterisked sentence from, tennis fans!

Van Sias writes the blog Tennis Talk, Anyone?. Follow him on Twitter @ttanyone and Facebook here.

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