[Tennis] Australian open seeds - Women.

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Once again there is a prediction at the end by CNN, I think Henin will win this tournament but I am not sure if Venus is going to make to the finals.

1 Justine Henin-Hardenne: She has to be considered a fairly strong favorite to win the whole thing. In winning two of the last three Majors, she's had to negotiate tougher fields. You hate to say that the tournament is hers to win, but ...

2. Kim Clijsters: Before the ankle injury, Aussie Kim would have been our pick. Everything was breaking right: Mrs. Hewitt-to-be would have had the crowd support; the surface suits her great; and if she's going to break through, it's likely to be at the Slam with the least pressure. Unfortunately, it's hard to see her fulfilling her destiny with limited mobility. That said, if she can miraculously recover and locomote into Week 2, look out.

3. Venus Williams: The big wild card. On both talent and experience she'd be a good bet to win. We wonder, however, what the loooong layoff (only six events played over the past year and none since July) has done for her match toughness? And has she found the confidence that was missing in 2003? We'll know for sure in two weeks, but we still have a hunch that Henin-Hardenne will prevail.

4. Amelie Mauresmo: It was -- gulp -- five years ago that she emerged from obscurity and reached the final. Unfortunately for her, she has yet to replicate that performance. The game is there but what happens to her in the late rounds when it's 4-4 in the third set? On the other hand, she ought to cruise through semis like a hot knife through vegemite.

5. Lindsay Davenport: Say this: she's unlikely ever to play another Slam under such favorable circumstances -- a ravaged field, a generally benign draw, a surface to her liking. Suddenly Davenport has a real shot to win her fourth Slam. The problem is getting by Henin-Hardenne in the quarters. Head over heart, we don't see it.

6. Anastasia Myskina: Solid, talented player utterly deserving of her ranking. But is she ready to take the next step? Possible third-round Battle of Russia with Maria Sharapova could be entertaining.

7. Elena Dementieva: Quietly made a nice mini-comeback since dropping out of the top ranks. We like her baseline game but her punchless serve will haunt her against the Big Babes.

8. Ai Sugiyama: Japanese veteran enjoying a nice career resurgence has already won a title this year. A peg down from the Big Babes but a good bet to survive the first week.

9. Chanda Rubin: Here's a player well worth keeping an eye on. (Of course, we said the same thing before the U.S. Open and she was bounced in the first round.)

10. Nadia Petrova: She's a complete player and good athlete, but her durability is open to question. Latest injury is a gluteal strain -- a real pain in the butt.

11. Vera Zvonareva: Wish she were 10 percent bigger, but she doesn't miss much and she likes to compete.

12. Paola Suarez: She may live up to her seeding, but she'll go no further at a hardcourt Slam. At least not in singles.

13. Conchita Martinez: Her best days are behind her, but she will make life hell for the right (wrong?) opponent.

14. Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi: We love the name; we're enamored with her track record at Majors.

15. Daniela Hantuchova: There's little indication that her wayward ship is headed to calm waters.

16. Magui Serna: The Massu of the women, she deserves props for her stealthy upward mobility, but it's hard to see her exceeding her seeding.


17. Meghann Shaughnessy: Reached quarters last year and tends to start the year strong.

18. Francesca Schiavone: A pesky, feisty baseliner.

27. Amanda Coetzer: Best days are behind her, but she usually plays well in Australia and her fitness is unimpeachable.

19. Eleni Daniildou: She played a nice tournament to start the season and it's high time her results catch up to her explosive game. Plus, her country of origin will make her a crowd favorite in Melbourne.

28. Maria Sharapova: Just to cover our bases.

29. Nathalie Dechy: We've always liked her elegant game. She's never failed to disappoint us. We'll keeping going back to the well.


Dinara Safina: A much better player than her ranking suggests.

Amelie Loit: Tricky lefty came close to beating Serena last year in Melbourne.

Julia Vakulenko: Just because.

FIRST-ROUND MATCHES TO WATCH (and there ain't many thanks to the 32 seeds)

Shaughnessy v. Nicole Pratt: Feisty homegrown Pratt will make Shaughnessy work to advance.

Adriana Serra-Zanetti v. Hantuchova: If Serra-Zanetti can coax coach Ubaldo out of retirement, it could make all the difference.

Sugiyama v. Tatiana Pavova: Battle of the mighty mites.

Karolina Sprem and Lina Krasnoroutskaya: Two of the better players you've likely never seen.

Ashley Harkleroad v. Venus Williams: Want to bet ESPN televises this one?


SEMIS: Henin-Hardenne vs. Mauresmo, Venus Williams vs. Clijsters

FINALS: Henin-Hardenne vs. Venus Williams

WINNER: Henin-Hardenne

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I like CNN's prediction. I can see a Henin vs. Williams final. I'd like to see how healthy she is though. If she's on her game then I could see her winning it all.

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True but yes she is much weaker then Serena, and currently you can say Henin is stronger than Serena. We will have to sit back and see waht happens.

Who would you like to win though?

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