The Draw - Ladies’ Predictions

June 25, 2016 — If you drill down through all the news streaming in from the United Kingdom, you reach the prim and proper lawns of The All England Club, home of The Championships Wimbledon. This year’s tournament seems like a respite from the hashtags of hate and divisive nature of politics. It’s, well, two weeks of vacation we can start early. Who says we can’t?

Like many of the traditions of Wimbledon — strawberries and cream, Pimm’s, all-white court attire — the reality of picking winners on the ladies’ and men’s side begins with the dominant players. Yes, Novak Djokovic (No. 1) and Serena Williams (No. 1) are the favorites. However, Ms. Williams’ chances of winning a seventh Wimbledon crown are not assured to the extent they were just a year ago. Since then she has not won a major and continues to struggle for her 22nd Grand Slam, which would equal that reached by Steffi Graf. 

Ladies Singles - First Quarter

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Serena Williams. Photo credit WTATour.com.

Williams’ quarter is chuck full of sand traps: Roberta Vinci No. 6), who beat her at the U. S. Open; Sloane Stephens (No. 18), a gifted and improved American who hits as hard and moves better; Timea Bacsinszky (No. 11), 2015 semifinal opponent at French Open; Coco Vandeweghe (No. 27), the six-foot-one Californian, cruising for a major breakthrough on grass after winning her first grass title in the Netherlands two weeks ago. Big serve, big hitting, and hellbent on crushing opponents hopes, the American would challenge Williams in the quarterfinal — the exact spot she ended up in 2015 and would like to put behind her. 

Semifinalist - Serena Williams

Ladies Singles — Second Quarter

Agnieszka Radwanska (No. 3) and Belinda Bencic (No. 7) anchor this section. But don’t expect the Swiss teen to make her seed by advancing to the semifinals. Injuries have hampered her joy and results this year. And, her first-round opponent is a grass-court threat named Tsvetana Pironkova who has defeated Venus Williams twice on these lawns. Petra Kvitova (No. 10) is nestled in this section, too. 

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Agnieszka Radwanska. Photo credit WTATour.com. 

The two-time champion can never be eliminated from talk of making a third run. However, her consistency makes her a poor bet. Other women to watch: Great Britain’s Johanna Konta (No. 16), Nottingham’s semifinalist; and Dominika Cibulkova (No. 19), Nottingham champion as of today.

Semifinalist — Agnieszka Radwanska

Radwanska defeats Williams to reach her second final at The All England Club.

Ladies Singles — Third Quarter

Probably the most dangerous section of this year’s ladies singles draw, it includes 2014 semifinalist Simona Halep (No. 5); Madison Keys (No. 9), entering with her second Birmingham title tucked under her belt; Australian Open Champion Angelique Kerber (No. 4); Karolina Pliskova (No. 15), today’s Nottingham runner-up; and Kiki Bertens (No. 26) this year’s French Open surprise semifinalist. 

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Madison Keys. Photo credit WTATour.com.

None is considered a dominant force, but with Keys’ powerful serve and ground game, she stands out. She made the quarterfinal last year and if she can defeat Halep in the fourth round has a clean shot at the semifinal.

Semifinalist - Madison Keys

Ladies Singles - Fourth Quarter

Herein lies the biggest rub for Ms Williams … the number two seeded player, Garbine Muguruza. She dominated Williams in the French Open final to win her first Grand Slam in May, having been Williams’ runner-up at The All England Club last year. The 22-year-old Venezuela native has little pressure, loves the spotlight, and certainly is poised to give us a more convincing argument that she is the next and, hopefully, strong-showing number one. 

Venus Williams (No. 8), a five-time Wimbledon Champion and la Grande Dame of the draw, can never be erased from expectations. She could face Muguruza in the quarterfinals and has a 3-0 winning record over the promising player. 

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Garbine Muguruza. Photo credit WTATour.com

But rounds before this dream match-up, Muguruza will have her hands full. She’ll probably face 2014 semifinalist and 2015 fourth-round winner, Lucie Safarova (No. 28) in the third round. The challenge should not be great, since the Czech remains on an upward trajectory from months off due to illness and injuries. Samantha Stosur (No. 14) could present problems, as well. Her star continues to rise after a fine finish in Paris: the semifinals. 

Semifinalist - Garbine Muguruza

Semifinal - Muguruza defeats Keys

Wimbledon Ladies Championship - Muguruza defeats Williams. 

Tomorrow … the Gentlemen’s Singles Draw.

© Jane Voigt Tennis 2013