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January 20, 2014

Why is women’s tennis so unpredictable?

Now third seed Maria Sharapova has been dumped out of the Australian Open by Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round.  The Slovakian is almost a foot shorter than willowy Maria, which won’t have helped the proud Russian to swallow defeat any more easily. Despite winning the first set 6-3, Sharapova lost the next two 4-6, 1-6 and appeared to be suffering from fresh shoulder problems.

But it is not just niggling injuries to top women which make their matches so hard to predict. There was nothing wrong with Serena Williams, for example when she suffered that shock reverse to Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon last summer.

And although I dared to call that match “the real final” even before they played – a remark which automatically suggested the winner of the clash would win Wimbledon – that prediction didn’t work out either because Marion Bartoli came storming through instead, making fools of all who pretended to have a crystal ball. Somehow, with delicious frequency, the form book goes out of the window and we are left with a series of surprises which drive so-called experts to distraction. Kind of fun, though, isn’t it?

In Melbourne, it has become almost a daily ritual to see a big name crash out of the women’s draw this year.

So what now? Personally I can’t see past Victoria Azarenka and Li Na, last year’s finalists.  No offence to “Vika,” but it would be wonderful for tennis if Li Na could add to her only Grand Slam title, the French of 2011.  This would not only underline the growth of the sport in the Far East. We could also relish the sheer spontaneity of the victory speech, as it tumbled out of the mouth of one of the game’s most fascinating characters.

Oh dear. Another hint of a prediction. Which probably means that neither Azarenka nor Li Na will take the women’s title, judging by the recent crazy run of results at the  2014 Australian Open.  We just don’t know what’s around the corner, do we? So it is going to be fascinating to sit back and watch it all unfold.

Apart from the shock exit of the Bryan Brothers from the Doubles, the men have been far easier to read in Melbourne so far. The likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and David Ferrer have cruised through without even having to hit top gear.

Pretty soon all that is going to change, because they are going to have to start playing some really classy opponents – like each other.

Let the fireworks begin!

And if you want to enjoy more glorious unpredictability at Wimbledon this summer, click on the following link http://www.wimbledondebentureholders.com/

We can’t guarantee who will win through to the final stages. But we can guarantee you superb seats to enjoy all the dramatic action as it happens. And when you go to the greatest Slam of them all, it is an experience you never forget. Don’t worry. That’s not a prediction. It’s just a fact.

Mark Ryan


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