The women’s field is wide open at Wimbledon in 2018 with no clear favorite at the All England Club.
World No. 1 Simona Halep has sidelined herself since winning the French Open. Defending champion Garbine Muguruza is looking to find her championship form.
Ones to watch are the world No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki who just won the Eastbourne title, and French Open finalist Sloane Stephens, both of who can wrestle the No. 1 ranking from Halep during the fortnight.
Muguruza will be tested and the Wimbledon fans will be behind her first-round opponent, Britain’s Naomi Broady.
Here’s a look at how the four sections of the draw panned out for players:
Top 4 Seeds: (1) Simona Halep, (8) Petra Kvitova, (12) Jelena Ostapenko, (15) Elise Mertens
Floaters: (24) Maria Sharapova, (22) Johanna Konta, (30) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, (26) Daria Gavrilova, Sam Stosur
Notes: Brutal quarter featuring the world No. 1 Halep, the two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion Sharapova, and the Grand Slam winner Stosur…Third-round match-ups include (12) Ostapenko vs. (24) Sharapova and (8) Kvitova vs. (26) Gavrilova or Stosur…(1) Halep vs. (24) Sharapova in quarters?
Top 4 Seeds: (3) Garbine Muguruza, (6) Caroline Garcia, (11) Angie Kerber, (14) Daria Kasatkina
Floaters: (18) Naomi Osaka, (Q) Genie Bouchard, (Q) Vera Zvonareva, Carina Witthoeft, Alison Riske, Belinda Bencic
Notes: Interesting starts include (17) Ashleigh Barty vs. (Q) Bouchard, (11) Kerber vs. the former finalist and former world No. 2 (Q) Zvonareva, (27) Suarez Navarro vs. Witthoeft, and (6) Garcia vs. Bencic (winner to meet the Riske vs. Timea Bacsinszky winner).
Top 4 Seeds: (4) Sloane Stephens, (7) Karolina Pliskova, (9) Venus Williams, (13) Julia Goerges
Floaters: Svetlana Kuznetsova, Andrea Petkovic, Victoria Azarenka
Notes: Veterans pose challenges in openers when (23) Barbora Strycova faces Kuznetsova, and (31) Shuai Zhang meets Petkovic…2nd round could be (7) Pliskova vs. Azarenka…Toss-up in this quarter.
Top 4 Seeds: (2) Caroline Wozniacki, (5) Elina Svitolina, (10) Madison Keys, (16) CoCo Vandeweghe
Floaters: (25) Serena Williams, (19) Magdalena Rybarikova, (21) Anastajisa Sevastova, (32) Aggie Radwanska, Tatjana Maria, Camila Giorgi, Lucie Safarova, Ekaterina Makarova
Notes: The Group of Death contains two former No. 1s, a No. 2, and last year’s US Open semifinalist and quarterfinalist among other floaters…Tough starts for (5) Svitolina vs. the grasscourt title-winner Maria, (21) Sevastova vs. Giorgi, (32) Radwanska vs. Safarova 2nd rd., and (2) Wozniacki vs. Makarova 2nd rd…(25) Serena’s early path is former world No. 1 junior Arantxa Rus, a qualifier/wildcard, then (5) Svitolina, then (10) Keys.
Wildcards were awarded to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, Czech Tereza Smitkova, and Brits Katie Boulter, Naomi Broady, Harriet Dart, Katy Dunne, Katie Swan and Gabriella Taylor.
Withdrawing from the event were Catherine Bellis, Sara Errani, Beatriz Haddad Maia, Laura Siegemund and Elena Vesnina.
Former champions in the field are Muguruza (2017), Serena Williams (2016-15,’12,’10-09,’03-02), Kvitova (2014,’11), Venus Williams (2008-07,’05,’01-00), and Sharapova (2004).
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