The struggling Williams sisters are here, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters are out of retirement, the Russian women as a group are falling off the map, former Wimbledon champ Maria Sharpaova is a shadow of her self after shoulder surgery, former No. 1s Dinara Safina and Ana Ivanovic can’t advance deep in tournaments to save their lives — the storylines are all here, so let’s take a look at the 2010 Wimbledon women’s draw.
World No. 1 Serena Williams actually has a difficult draw. She will start against the screamer Michelle Larcher de Brito, then probably meet former Top 10er Anna Chakvetadze in the second round. No. 25 Lucie Safarova or Dominika Cibulkova await after that, then a fourth-round showdown with Sharapova. Pencil in No. 9 seed Na Li to be waiting for Serena in the quarterfinals.
No. 3 Caroline Wozniacki is the top seed in the second quarter, where if the seedings hold she will meet No. 6 Sam Stosur in the quarters. In between them awaits — not a lot of competition. No. 14 seed Victoria Azarenka is a threat, and she starts against qualifier Mirjana Lucic, a blast from the past and a tester. No. 31 Alexandra Dulgheru starts against the ageless Kimiko Date Krumm, the player no one frankly wants to play — because she is 39 years old and still beating players (ex: Safina).
The third quarter landed the No. 8-seeded Clijsters and the No. 17-seeded Henin, and they are scheduled to meet in the fourth round. Clijsters starts against Italy’s Maria Elena Camerin, then meets the winner of Karolina Sprem and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. En route to their potential meeting, Clijsters has No. 27 Maria Kirilenko in her path, and Henin has No. 12 Nadia Petrova blocking her way.
Other opening-round matches of interest in the third quarter are No. 15 Yanina Wickmayer vs. American wildcard Alison Riske, who last week demonstrated her prowess on grass (winner to meet Melanie Oudin or Kirsten Flipkens). No. 4 Jelena Jankovic, the top seed in the quarter, opens against Brit wildcard Laura Robson, winner to meet Aleksandra Wozniak or Eleni Daniilidou.
Venus Williams is the top seed in the bottom section, and oh what an easy road it is. Venus’ first challenge will come in the third round against No. 26-seeded ball thumper Alisa Kleybanova of Russia, then in the quarters she will face either No. 11 Marion Bartoli, No. 13 Shahar Peer, No. 20 Safina, Sania Mirza, Alicia Molik, or No. 22 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. In other words, wide open to the quarters, except for Venus who will be there. The No. 13 Peer starts against the sad Ivanovic (winner to face Mirza).
Put one, likely two Williams sisters into the final, but like the WTA Tour this year, anything can happen.
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