Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Angelique Kerber and Australian Open 2013

Angelique Kerber had the best season of her career in 2012 where she made it to the semi-finals of Wimbledon and booked a spot in the Year end championships and ended the year in the top 5 for her first top 10 finish.

Kerber had a sluggish start to the year. She started her season in Brisbane where she won first 2 matches to make it to the quarter-finals but then bowed out to eventual runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Kerber looked very rusty in her first 3 matches. At the moment she is playing in Sydney and will be playing her quarter-final match tomorrow against former U.S Open and French Open champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova. Kuznetsova is coming off a 6 months injury lay off, and has looked strong in her first 2 main draw matches in Sydney where she took out Goerges in the opening round and Wozniacki in the second round. It will be a tough test for Kerber tomorrow.

Angelique Kerber will be seeded 5th for the Australian Open 2013.

Let us what the chances of Kerber doing well at the Australian Open are.

Angelique Kerber and Australian Open – Based on the history of 5th seeds at Australian Open

Kerber and her fans will be happy to know that a 5th seed has won the Australian Open before, although only once in the past 25 years. It happened in the recent past when 5th seeded Maria Sharapova went all the way to lift the trophy and she did that in style, beating the then top seed Justine Henin in the quarter-finals, 3rd seed Jelena Jankovic in the semi-finals and 4th seed Ana Ivanovic in the final, all in straight sets.
Kerber  has a 50% chance of making it to the quarter-finals or better of Australian Open, based on 5th seeds’ history at the Australian Open. She has a 13% chance of making it out of the quarter-finals.
Interesting thing to note is that a 5th seed has lost in the 1st round of the Australian Open only once before in the past 25 years. It happened way back in 1995, when 5th seeded Gabriela Sabatini lost in the first round in straight sets at the hands of Marianne Werdel-Witmeyer. Werdel-Witmeyer went on to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open where she lost in straight sets to the top seed Arantxa Sánchez Vicario.
A thing of concern for Kerber might be the fact that during the past 7 years a 5th seed has managed to make it out of the 4th round only once, in 2008 (Maria Sharapova won the title).

Will Kerber be able to turn around the recent trend or will she follow the trend set by her fellow 5th seeded players at the Australian Open?

Angelique Kerber and Australian Open – Based on Kerber’s past performances at Australian Open

Kerber is a poor 5-5 at Australian Open. Her best showing on Melbourne tennis courts came in 2010 and 2012, when she made it to the 3rd round, only to lose to then 3rd seeded Kuznetsova in 2010 and then 4th seeded Maria Sharapova in 2012.

An interesting thing to note is that Kerber has never lost to an un-seeded player at the Australian Open, and all her 5 losses have come at the hands of players ranked above her.
2008 – [25] Francesca Schiavone
2009 – [6] Venus Williams
2010 - [3] Svetlana Kuznetsova
2011 - [29] Dominika Cibulkova
2012 - [4] Maria Sharapova
*Seeds are represented in the brackets.

This should be interesting now that she is seeded 5th, and if she follows the pattern of not losing to a player ranked below her at the Australian Open, she will definitely make it to the quarter-finals, where she may face one of the top 4 seeds if the seedings hold.

Kerber has the game, the fire power and the will to go deep in the Grand Slams. Has her time come, and will she make her way to the trophy remains to be seen.

How far do you see Kerber going into the Australian Open?

For a preview of other players, please refer to:

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