Former No. 1s Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters unseeded? Former champ Maria Sharapova the No. 1 seed after reclaiming the No. 1 ranking? Serena Williams lurking down at the No. 6 seed? Strawberries and cream half price?
We’re searching for new storylines for the 2012 version of Wimbledon, but it’s looking a lot like the same-old same-old between the “old guard” of the Williams sisters, Sharapova, Clijsters, etc. Isn’t this around the time of year that Justine Henin makes a comeback? Martina Hingis in doubles? Yawn…we need some shake-ups in women’s tennis. Was 2011 just a fluke for Petra Kvitova, who could not claim a grasscourt title coming into the All England Club this year?
Here’s a breakdown of the four quarters of the draw at 2012 Wimbledon:
Seeds: (1) Maria Sharapova, (8) Angelina Kerber, (12) Vera Zvonareva, (15) Sabine Lisicki, (18) Jelena Jankovic, (23) Petra Cetkovska, (28) Christina McHale, (29) Monica Niculescu
Floaters: Kim Clijsters, Sloane Stephens
Notes: How about a (1) Sharapova vs. unseeded Clijsters QF?; Sharapova opens against fellow Russian Anastasia Rodionova, and Clijsters against (18) Jankovic, who can’t win pressure matches on grass (or anywhere?); Jankovic 1-6 career vs. Clijsters; possible third round featuring former world No. 2 (12) Zvonareva vs. former No. 1 Clijsters; (28) McHale gets the cake opener against Brit wildcard Johanna Konta; first Sharapova test probably not until 4th rd. against (15) Lisicki.
Seeds: (3) Aggie Radwanska, (5) Sam Stosur, (11) Li Na, (16) Flavia Pennetta, (17) Maria Kirilenko, (20) Nadia Petrova, (27) Daniela Hantuchova, (30) Shuai Peng
Floaters: Venus Williams, Melanie Oudin
Notes: Here’s where Venus lands, opening against Russian Elena Vesnina, with (3) Radwanska in the 2nd rd.; Oudin could face (20) Petrova 2nd rd.; not a lot of excitement in this quarter — (5) Stosur vs. Venus QF?
Seeds: (4) Petra Kvitova, (6) Serena Williams, (10) Sara Errani, (13) Dominika Cibulkova, (19) Lucie Safarova, (24) Francesca Schiavone, (25) Jie Zheng, (31) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Floaters: (Q) Coco Vandeweghe, (WC) Laura Robson
Notes: Tough openers for the French Open finalist (10) Errani against the hard-hitting qualifying-toughened Vandeweghe, if the American can hold it together and cut down the regular flotilla of errors, and for (24) Schiavone against the Brit hope (WC) Robson; fast forward to the (4) Kvitova vs. (6) Serena QF.
Seeds: (2) Victoria Azarenka, (7) Caroline Wozniacki, (9) Marion Bartoli, (14) Ana Ivanovic, (21) Roberta Vinci, (22) Julia Goerges, (26) Anabel Medina Garrigues, (32) Svetlana Kuznetsova
Floaters: Tamita Paszek, Yanina Wickmayer, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Shahar Peer, Simona Halep
Notes: Definitely the most competitive quarter with a number of seeds facing first-round upset possibilities including (7) Wozniacki vs. Paszek, (32) Kuznetsova vs. Wickmayer, (14) Ivanovic vs. Martinez Sanchez, (22) Goerges vs. Peer, and (26) Medina Garrigues vs. Halep; Woz lost first round at Eastbourne this month; (1) Azarenka opens against American Irina Falconi, and the draw only gets easier after that; (1) Azarenka vs. (9) Bartoli in the QF?
(1) Sharapova d. Clijsters
Venus d. (5) Stosur
(6) Serena d. (4) Kvitova
(9) Bartoli d. (1) Azarenka
(1) Sharapova d. Venus
(6) Serena d. (9) Bartoli
(6) Serena d. (1) Sharapova
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