Serena Williams leads a star-studded tennis cast in the Brisbane International 2014. On the WTA side Serena is joined by Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic.
First up in the way of the Serena Slammer will be Andrea Petkovic, who on her day can trouble the best of the best. Serena should see her off in two tough sets. On the other side of the quarter is the ageless Kimiko Date-Krumm and the young British talent Heather Watson. I am going to with Date-Krumm in this section.
Semi-finalist: Serena Williams. Kimiko Date-Krumm being the dark-horse.
This is a tricky draw for Maria Sharapova, who starts off against Caroline Garcia, a hard-hitting youngster from France. Sharapova, who is coming back from a shoulder injury should get through this one, but could run into serious trouble with another Blonde-Bombshell, the clean-hitting Daniela Hantuchova. I am going with an upset here and picking Hantuchova. On the other side of the quarter, Kaia Kanepi and Hsieh Su-Wei are my picks.
Semi-finalist: Hantuchova. Hsieh being the dark-horse.
Ms. Sweet Backhand, Jelena Jankovic leads this Quarter of Death. She will be tested straight away by Francesca Schiavone and the other section is the pre-quarter of death – a battle between Angelique Kerber, Kristina Mladenovic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. In a total toss-up I will go with the talented German Kerber to come good and battle Jankovic for a spot in the semi-finals.
Semi-finalist: Kerber. Jankovic being the dark-horse.
Defending Australian Open Champion Azarenka has a good draw, at least for one match, which is the most you can ask for in a draw as loaded as this. In a straight forward draw, I pick Azarenka to set up a quarter-final with one of my favourite players to watch, Sabine Lisicki. I will pick Azarenka to move ahead.
Semi-finalist: Victoria Azarenka. Sabine Lisicki being the dark-horse.
Semi-finals and Finals