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WGM’s weekend preview

Written by Ben Blaschke

The Australian Open reaches its conclusion this weekend and what a finish it promises to be. After a relatively uneventful opening week, the past few days have seen a plethora of seeds fall by the wayside – particularly in the women’s draw where the top three seeds in Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and defending champion Victoria Azarenka were all bundled out. That leaves just one former Grand Slam champion in China’s Li Na left in the draw and the 2011 French Open winner will be a firm favorite to add another big title against remaining rivals Eugenie Bouchard, Dominika Cibulkova and Agnieszka Radwanska.

In the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic was a shock loser to Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter finals on Tuesday. WGM tipped both Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych to have big years in 2014 and the pair will meet in one semi-final with the winner to play either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer in the final. Federer has been the big surprise of this tournament. Having endured a tough 2013, many thought his best days were behind him but he has turned back the clock with comprehensive wins over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray to have the tennis world talking once again.

The PGA tour really gets going this weekend with the Farmers Insurance Open at the picturesque Torrey Pines South. A high quality field is set to assemble including world number one Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker among others. It’s hard to go past Tiger here. The defending champion, he has a great record at this course having won the 2008 US Open here and he will be very tough to beat once again.

The One Day cricket series between old rivals Australia and England reaches its conclusion with the fourth and fifth games being played on Friday and Sunday respectively. England is yet to win a game against the Aussies on this tour but with a number of the Australian players now being rested this could be their chance to finally break their duck.

And the EPL takes a break this weekend to fit in a full round of FA Cup ties. While most of the big guns will expect to take care of lower division opponents, the pick of the weekend will be Chelsea hosting fellow EPL side Stoke. The Blues are likely to rest some of their players so the visitors will like their chances of springing an upset.

Good luck and good punting