Who’s ready for this year’s Australian Open on the women’s side? It’s hard to know right now: In the season’s opening two weeks, nine of the Top 10 have either withdrawn from a tournament or retired from a match. The physical issue that matters most, of course, is the condition of world No. 1 Serena Williams. Her surgically-repaired knee has been acting up, though she insists it won’t hold her her back in Melbourne.

When it comes to injuries around the time of a Slam, it’s best to wait until the Slam itself begins before we panic. By this time next week, all may be well again. Here’s a look ahead. [DRAW]

Serena will want to get her knee in her working order as soon as she can. Her quarter is a strong one: Maria Sharapova, Belinda Bencic, Caroline Wozniacki, and this week’s Sydney finalist, Svetlana Kuznetsova, are all here. Even her first-round opponent, Camilia Giorgi, isn’t a pushover. She took Serena to a first-set tiebreaker in a Fed Cup match last year.

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Who's Ready For Oz?

Who's Ready For Oz?

Serena has come to Australia with issues before; one year it was her ankle, the next it was her back, and last year she was sick through the first week. Sometimes she has survived to win the title; other times an opponent—Sloane Stephens in 2013, Ana Ivanovic in 2014—has taken advantage. There are players in this section who can do that before Serena gets up her traditional head of second-week steam. The problem is that two other women who could go deep, Sharapova and Bencic, have had injury and illness issues of their own already this year.

Sleeper: Kuznetsova. She had a nice win over Simona Halep on Friday, and is on the opposite side from Serena in this quarter.

First-round match to watch: Bencic vs. Shenzhen finalist Alison Riske

Who's Ready For Oz?

Who's Ready For Oz?

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How real is Agnieszka Radwanska’s surge? She won the last big event, the WTA Finals in Singapore in October, and she won the first small event of 2016, in Shenzhen. Those titles capped a long comeback from the nadir she reached with  her first-round loss at last year’s French Open.

Aga has been to the semifinals in Australia, but getting back there won’t be easy this time. She could play Eugenie Bouchard in the second round, Sam Stosur in the third, and either Roberta Vinci or Stephens after that.

How much of a problem is Petra Kvitova’s health? The Czech has already pulled out of two events due to illness. A semifinalist here in 2012, Kvitova always seems ready to take Melbourne by storm, but never does. Her draw this year could be tricky: Kristina Mladenovic, Dominika Cibulkova, and Daria Gavrilova are all potential early opponents.

Sleepers: Stephens, winner in Auckland; Monica Puig, finalist in Sydney

First-round match to watch: Mladenovic vs. Cibulkova

Second-round match to consider: Radwanska vs. Bouchard

Who's Ready For Oz?

Who's Ready For Oz?

This is a section with potential. Three women who had a knack for playing epic matches last year, Angelique Kerber, Victoria Azarenka, and Garbiñe Muguruza, are all here. They’re also three of the more intriguing names in the draw. Azarenka is a two-time Aussie champion who won her first tournament in two years in Brisbane. Kerber reached the final in Brisbane and is up to No. 7 in the world. Muguruza finished 2015 looking like the most likely breakthrough player of 2016. Something, as they say, will have to give.

Also here: Jelena Jankovic, Timea Bacsinszky, Caroline Garcia

First-round matches to watch:

—Azarenka vs. French Open quarterfinalist Alison van Uytvanck

—Elina Svitolina vs. a returning Vicky Duval

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This section is bracketed by two question marks.

At the top is Venus Williams. On the positive side, she made a surprise run to the quarterfinals her last year; on the negative side, she started this season with a first-round loss in Auckland. Will it be feast or famine for Venus in Australia? We may know soon; she starts against Johanna Konta, a breakout Brit from 2015 who is 0-2 so far in 2016.

Who's Ready For Oz?

Who's Ready For Oz?

At the bottom is Simona Halep. The Romanian has also been the victim of the injury bug, having pulled out of her first event, in Brisbane. This week she looked fine physically, but was overpowered in the Sydney semis by Kuznetsova—not a great sign for her chances in Melbourne. Halep’s early matches look manageable, but she’s scheduled to face 2015 Aussie Open semifinalist Madison Keys in the fourth round.

Speaking of question marks, this is the first we’ll of Keys, and her new coach, Jesse Levine. She opens against Zarina Dyas and could get Ivanovic in the third round. How will Madison fare with serious ranking points to defend? This will be her first test.

Also here: Sabine Lisicki, Ekaterina Makarova, Karolina Pliskova, all on Venus’s side.

First-round match to watch: V. Williams vs. Konta

Second-round match to consider: Halep vs. Alizé Cornet. The Frenchwoman beat her in Madrid last year.

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Semifinals: S. Williams d. Radwanska; Azarenka d. Makarova

Final: Azarenka d. S. Williams