Women to watch at the Australian Open, which begins Monday (rankings in parentheses):


Age: 20

Country: Denmark

2010 Match Record: 62-17

2010 Singles Titles: 6

Career Singles Titles: 12

Major Titles — 0

Last 5 Australian Opens: '10-4th round, '09-3rd, '08-4th, '07-DNP, '06-DNP.

Topspin: Made Grand Slam breakthrough in 2009 in New York by reaching first career major final, beating 2005 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round and stopping American teen Melanie Oudin's surprising run in the quarterfinals. Seeded No. 1 at a Grand Slam tournament for the second time in a row — she lost in the semifinals at last year's U.S. Open. A rising talent, won half of her 12 singles titles in 2010.


Age: 26

Country: Russia

2010 Match Record: 49-18

2010 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 10

Major Titles: 0

Last 5 Australian Opens: '10-4th, '09-Semifinals, '08-1st, '07-4th, '06-1st.

Topspin: Made it to two Grand slam finals last year, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, but lost badly in both, 6-3, 6-2 to Serena Williams at Wimbledon and 6-2, 6-1 to Kim Clijsters in New York. Still, Zvonareva improved her ranking from No. 9 at the end of 2009 to No. 2 at the end of last year. She had a strong 19-6 start to the season, winning her 10th career title at Pattaya, Thailand. Zvonareva trounced Wozniacki 6-1, 6-0 in 58 minutes at the Hong Kong Classic last week in an exhibition match. Zvonareva also beat Venus Williams in straight sets earlier in Hong Kong.


Age: 27

Country: Belgium

2010 Match Record: 40-7

2010 Singles Titles: 5

Career Singles Titles: 40

Major Titles: 3 — U.S. Open ('05, '09, '10)

Last 5 Australian Opens: '10-3rd, '09-DNP, '08-DNP, '07-SF, '06-SF, '05-DNP

Topspin: Made her first year back after 2½ years of retirement one to remember, winning five singles titles, including her third U.S. Open championship, second in a row and 40th overall title of her career. Clijsters is still popular Down Under because she was once engaged to Lleyton Hewitt. When she won the 2009 U.S. Open, she became the first mother to win a Grand Slam singles title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980. During her absence from the tour, she got married and had a daughter.


Age: 30

Country: United States

2010 Match Record: 38-7

2010 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 43

Major Titles: 7 — U.S. Open ('00, '01), Wimbledon ('00, '01, '05, '07, '08)

Last 5 Australian Opens: '10-QF, '09-2nd, '08-QF, '07-DNP, '06-1st, '05-4th.

Topspin: Hasn't reached the final here since 2003, when she lost to sister Serena in their fourth consecutive Grand Slam final meeting, and will have to make do this year at Melbourne Park without the support of her sister and defending champion, who is recovering from a foot injury. Hasn't won a Grand Slam title outside of Wimbledon since 2001, when she won her second U.S. Open championship in a row.


Age: 26

Country: Australia

2010 Match Record: 47-19

2010 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 2

Major Titles: 0

Last 5 Australian Opens: '10-4th, '09-3rd, '08-DNP, '07-2nd, '06-4th.

Topspin: Last year marked her first top-10 season, winning her second WTA title at Charleston, defeating Zvonareva in the final. She lost the French Open final in straight sets to Italy's Francesca Schiavone, the first Australian woman to reach a Grand Slam final in 30 years. Stosur made four semifinals in 2010, but in five other events she lost her opening matches, including at Wimbledon. The home crowd at Melbourne Park may not be much of an advantage because the added pressure seems to affect her concentration.


Age: 28

Country: Belgium

2010 Record: 32-8

2010 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 43

Major Titles: 7 — French Open ('03, '05, '06, '07), U.S. Open ('03, '07), Australian Open ('04).

Last 5 Australian Opens: '10-Final, '09-DNP, '08-QF, '07-DNP, '06-F.

Topspin: Yet another homecoming for Henin at Melbourne Park. She lost the final here last year to Serena Williams only three tournaments into a comeback to the tour after 20 months in retirement. Won the Australian title in 2004, retired in the final against Amelie Mauresmo in '06 and lost to Sharapova in the quarterfinals in '08, only a few months before she quit, becoming the only woman to retire while ranked No. 1. She withdrew from all post-Wimbledon events in 2010 with a right elbow injury. Started 2011 in good form by leading Belgium to the Hopman Cup team final in Perth, Australia.