Posted: Thursday August 24, 2006 10:04AM; Updated: Monday August 28, 2006 12:17AM
Serena Williams has said tennis is her main focus. Now's her chance to prove it.
17. Daniela Hantuchova: Sadly, her best days seem to have passed her by, but she's still capable of springing an upset or two. And rest assured, she will play at least one match that will end 7-5 in the third set.
19. Jelena Jankovic: A big, big hitter who has beaten both Venus and Serena Williams in '06. Now if she could only play with more consistency.
20. Maria Kirilenko: Hingis Lite wins on wile and consistency, not power.
21. Shahar Peer: Another from the next generation of the Big Babe Brigade.
22. Katarina Srebotnik: The athletic, attacking Slovenian could give the right opponent fits.
24. Na Li: The Chinese breakthrough is a question of when, not if.
Serena Williams: She has been adamant that tennis is her main priority. Well, now's the time to prove it. We've hardly been dazzled with her summer results (a few nice wins, two desultory losses and usual mess of withdrawals). And she needs to get past Ivanovic and Mauresmo just to reach the quarters. On the other hand, we know how quickly both she can shake off the rust.
Vera Zvonareva: The former top-10er is still capable of fine results now and then.
Viktoria Azarenka: One of the better players most fans have never heard of.
Jamea Jackson: The young American, now in the top 50, has quietly put together an awfully good year, filled with fine efforts against the best players.
First-round matches to watch
Hantuchova vs. Bethanie Mattek: If only for the fashion statements.
Sharapova vs. Krajicek: Brutal first match for third seed.
Myskina vs. Azarenka: Upset special?
Tatiana Golovin vs. Ashley Harkleroad: Who wears short shorts?
Vaidisova vs. Chanda Rubin: The future versus the past.
Schiavone vs. Romina Oprandi: Pasta lovers' special.
Lisa Raymond and Sam Stosur
Mauresmo vs. Sharapova Vaidisova vs. Henin-Hardenne