It's a big weekend in women's sport and you can catch some great live action in tennis, cricket and football in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.
The Australian Open Tennis in Melbourne has 3rd and 4th round matches with some interesting match-ups. Just two to choose from include ‘Aussie Kim’ Clijsters from Belgium (11th seed) v Daniela Hantuchova (20th seed) and Germany’s Sabine Lasicki (14th seed) v Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova (18th seed).
At North Sydney Oval, the Australian women’s cricket team, the Southern Stars meet their nemesis from across the ditch in a series of five T20 matches and three One Day Internationals over the next two weeks. After North Sydney, you can see them in action in Blacktown, the SCG, Sydney Olympic Park and the MCG.
And in football, it’s the start of the finals in the Westfield W-League.
On Saturday, minor premiers Canberra United take on 4th placed Melbourne Victory at McKellar Park in Canberra at 3.00pm; while on Sunday 2nd placed Brisbane Roar meet 3rd placed Sydney FC at 2.00pm at the Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre in Brisbane.
In the first semi-final, Canberra are the hot favourites to make it to their second W-League Grand Final next week. Under new Czech coach, Jitka Klimkova, Canberra United have gone through the 10 round season undefeated. But of all their competitors, it’s Melbourne Victory that has come closest to defeating - and just two weeks ago.
For Canberra, players to watch include in-form and impressive goalkeeper, Lydia Williams, who spearheads the ‘fortress Canberra’ defence; the highly experienced Sally Shipard; and Kiwi international, Emma Kete. For Melbourne Victory, watch Amy Jackson, 18 year old Caitlin Friend and English woman Jodie Taylor.
Sunday’s match between Brisbane and Sydney pits two close rivals in the W-League with only one goal separating them in the past four meetings. In the previous three seasons, the two have met in the Grand Final but only one will make it this year.
With little to separate the two sides, Sydney FC will be counting on some of their many Westfield Matildas stars - particularly Kyah Simon and Young Player of the tournament at last year’s Women’s World Cup, Caitlin Foord. 20 year old Simon has just signed with the Boston Breakers in the US Women’s League and will swap the Sydney summer for Boston winter once Sydney’s W-League season is over. Brisbane Roar are similarly blessed with Matildas including Tameka Butt, Clare Polkinghorne and Kim Caroll and are another team with strong defensive abilities as a foil to Sydney’s fast attacking line-up.
Tickets range from $5-10 for adults and are available at the venues. One hour highlights of both semi-finals will be broadcast on ABC on Saturday and Sunday at 6.00pm.
The winners of the semi-finals will meet in next week’s W-League Grand Final.