Friday, 3 August 2012

2012 Rogers Cup Preview - Women

The Rogers Cup is a good form guide ahead of the US Open. The last six finalists have all reached the final at Flushing Meadows at some time in their career and, as one of the two big events that precede the final Major of the season, it can be a good barometer of preparations for New York.

With holder and 2011 US Open runner-up, Serena Williams, absent, there is an ideal opportunity for her rivals to make a statement of intent, ahead of Flushing Meadows. The likely challengers to Williams at New York are under pressure to deliver at Montreal, none more so than Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova is 7/1 to win in the States on the Betfair Tennis webpage, behind Williams and Azarenka. 
The Russian overtook Agnieszka Radwanska as world number two after the Olympics, but she will not look back on her time in London with much fondness. A 6-0 6-1 hammering by Williams in the final, a few weeks after flattering to deceive at Wimbledon, is a major test of Sharapova’s notorious resilience. A maiden Rogers Cup triumph would restore confidence.

In contrast, Victoria Azarenka thrived at the All England club, reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals and picking up a gold and a bronze medal at the Olympics. A three-time semi-finalist at the Rogers Cup, the world number one thrives in the North American hard court season, but has never got past the fourth round at the US Open.

Sam Stosur was runner-up last year, a hint she was in good enough form to win at New York, but aside from a customary strong showing at Roland Garros, 2012 has been a struggle. She needs to rapidly regain form to be in with a chance of defending her US Open title.

US Open series leader, Dominika Cibulkova, is a spritely outsider in the US Open 2012 odds, whilst Angelique Kerber and Radwanska can build on strong Wimbledon showings to become genuine US Open title challengers.

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