2022 Australian Open Women’s Preview and Predictions

AP/Elise Amendola, file

2022 Australian Open Women’s Preview and Predictions

The women’s draw at this year’s Australian Open should be very interesting from the very beginning.

There are some very good players that have dipped in the rankings and will be extremely dangerous in the early rounds. These are players like Osaka (13), Kenin (12) and Svitolina (15), Petra Kvitova (17), and Simona Halep (20). They have been fixtures at the top in the last few years and they will most likely return to the top as we get going in 2022. In the meantime, the higher seeds will have to contend with them early on and will very likely lose to this great collection of players. That being said, the women in the top eight seeds have earned those spots with their fine play in 2021.

Here are our predictions for the top eight Women’s seeds at the Australian Open starting on January 17th:

8. Paula Badosa

Badosa had a breakthrough season in 2021, winning Indian Wells and qualifying for the year-end WTA Finals where she made the semifinals. I wouldn’t bet against her. She’s strong-willed, determined, fit, and hungry. She will be a tough customer for whoever runs into her freight train. She will at the very least live up to her ranking at this tournament.

7. Anett Kontaveit

Kontaveit also broke out in 2021 and qualified for the WTA finals, where she fought her way to the final only to lose to a resurgent Muguruza. She won four tournaments in the second half of 2021, and there’s no reason to think that she is slowing down. Her game has finally clicked. She brings intelligence and shot-making into every match. She will also live up to her ranking.

6. Maria Sakkari

Sakkari plays with heart and has the ability to get hot and blow through opponents. Her physical game has been winning a lot of matches for her lately. Unfortunately, there’s just too much talent in this draw that is lurking all around, and I suspect that if she runs into a Halep or Svitolina early on, they will send her packing.

5. Barbora Krejcikova

I keep being wrong about Krejcikova. I was not expecting her to build on her French Open title with a climb of the rankings. Here she is and will be a favorite to go deep. Her game tends to confound opponents and pundits alike. She could lose in the first couple of rounds or make the final. She’s that unpredictable.

4. Karolina Pliskova

Unlike Krejcikova, Pliskova is very predictable. She will make a deep run into the semifinals only to lose a heartbreaker to the likes of Osaka or Barty.

3. Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza is back at the top. She will follow up her WTA Finals win with a run at the Australian Open. She may even win it. Win or lose, she will be in the thick of it.

2. Aryna Sabalenka

Sabalenka was finally able to go deep at Grand Slams in 2021. She still doesn’t have what it takes to win a Grand Slam though, and it will be tough for her to get over the hump just yet. Look for a Quarterfinal showing.

1.  Ashleigh Barty

Barty can win this tournament at home. Depending on how Osaka is playing, there is nobody out there that can contend with Barty’s talent. Additionally, she’ll have all of Australia behind her.

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