Like the Fed Cup on steroids, the Olympics lend themselves to greater and more frequent upsets as some players choke, and some player play well above their grade in the quest for gold, silver and bronze.
Here’s how the draw breaks down for the women’s 2016 Rio Olympics tennis singles:
Seeds: (1) Serena Williams, (6) Roberta Vinci, (11) Petra Kvitova, (15) Elina Svitolina
Floaters: Alize Cornet, Caroline Wozniacki
Notes: The world No. 1 starts against Aussie Daria Gavrilova, then is looking at the upset queen Cornet in the second round…Serena pulled out of the Canadian Open prior to the Olympics, how has that healed-up?…Kvitova vs. Wozniacki looming second round…Kvitova or Woz should roll through to face Serena in the quarterfinals…Woz played World TeamTennis this week before jetting to Rio, nice effort.
Seeds: (3) Garbine Muguruza, (5) Venus Williams, (12) Timea Bacsinszky, (14) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Floaters: Jelena Jankovic, Laura Siegemund, Lucie Safarova
Notes: Jankovic played the WTA Brasil Tennis Cup event this week (losing second round) before heading to the Olympic site. Nice effort, not. Still looks to be dealing with injury…Muguruza starts against the former No. 1 Jankovic, and Venus against Belgian Kirsten Flipkens (with Safarova looming second round)…Not a whole lot of excitement here…Muguruza due for some good results, but can she thrive performing under the flag? Does Venus still have the shoulder injury?
Seeds: (4) Aggie Radwanska, (7) Madison Keys, (9) Carla Suarez Navarro, (16) Barbora Strycova
Floaters: Ana Konjuh, Annika Beck, Ana Ivanovic, Yanina Wickmayer
Notes: Tough start for Suarez Navarro against the former No. 1 Ivanovic, then meeting the winner of young guns Konjuh-Beck…Golden opportunity for Keys to power out of this quarter into the semis, and a bit of a tougher road for Radwanska to do so.
Seeds: (2) Angie Kerber, (8) Svetlana Kuznetsova, (10) Johanna Konta, (13) Sam Stosur
Floaters: Caroline Garcia, Jelena Ostapenko, Genie Bouchard, Sloane Stephens
Notes: Kerber second round will face the winner of Bouchard-Stephens…Watch out for Stosur, who doesn’t thrive under patriotic pressure, against Ostapenko.
If the seeds hold the round of 16 would see Serena vs. Svitolina, Kvitova vs. Vinci, Muguruza vs. Pavlyuchenkova, Bacsinszky vs. Venus, Keys vs. Suarez Navarro, Radwanska vs. Strycova, Kuznetsova vs. Konta, and Kerber vs. Stosur.
If Serena is healthy, like any event, it’s all up to the defending gold medalist.
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