Saturday, 23 June 2012

WTA Wimbledon Draw: Preview and Predictions

I cannot believe that Wimbledon is finally upon us! The draws have thrown up some intriguing clashes and as ever, the womens draw looks very open.  Lets take a look at the 2012 Wimbledon draw...

PROJECTED FIRST QUARTER - M.Sharapova (1) v A.Kerber (8)
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova kicks off her Wimbledon campaign against Anastasia Rodionova and will be feeling ultra confident having won the French Open just two weeks ago.  Sharapova has had no match practice on the grass, but her draw should allow her to play her way into form.  Her first test is likely to come in the second round against the grass-loving, Tsvetana Pironkova.  Sharapova could then be on course for a semi-final rematch with Sabine Lisicki in the 4th round.  

The German is on a wretched run of form and lost in her opening match at Birmingham.  Lisicki plays Petra Martic in the first round, who made the quarter-finals at the French Open.  Lisicki loves Wimbledon, but I am not sure if its enough to get her on the winning road again.  This section is likely to open up considerably and there are a number of players such as Petra Cetkovska, Sloane Stephens or indeed, Petra Martic who could make the second week.

Angelique Kerber has a tough draw to contend with but she has proven her mettle this year having racked up the most tour wins out of any player in 2012.  She plays the big serving, Lucie Hradecka in the first round who can beat anyone on her day.  In the second round she is likely to meet Ekaterina Makarova (who she beat in the Eastbourne quarter-finals) before a potential third round meeting with Christina McHale.  

The highllight of the first round is also in this section of the draw and sees former world number ones, Kim Clijsters and Jelena Jankovic set to clash.  Clijsters made the semi-finals of s'Hertogenbosch this week, but once again she was forced to pull out with injury.  If she is fit, I have no doubt she will beat Jankovic but her fitness issues lead me to believe that she will not progress past the 4th round.

My Quarter-Final Prediction - Sharapova v Kerber

1st round matches to watch out for - Hsieh v Razzano, Cetkovska v King, Martic v Lisicki, Zvonareva v Barthel, Clijsters v Jankovic and Hradecka v Kerber

Seeds in danger - Vera Zvonareva has not played since Madrid and has been hampered by persistent injuries.  Barthel, who has been in terrible form of late, should be able to take out a rusty Zvonareva and make the third round.  I also predict Foretz-Gacon to take out Niculescu in the 1st round.

PROJECTED SECOND QUARTER - A.Radwanska (3) v S.Stosur (5)
Nadia Petrova
The second quarter-final is by far the weakest and is very likely to see some upsets.  Agnieszka Radwanska takes on Magdalena Rybarikova in the first round, but will once again have her eyes on Venus Williams in the second round.  Radwanska has won their last two matches at Miami and Roland Garros, but playing on grass is a whole different kettle of fish for Venus.  Radwanska was extremely negative about her chances on grass after her first round exit in Eastbourne, claiming she was tired and just preferred hard courts.  

The Birmingham champion, Melanie Oudin is in the section and plays another talented youngster, Timea Babos.  The winner is likely to play Nadia Petrova, who won the title in s'Hertogenbosch and is my dark horse tip to go far this week!

The bottom half of the second quarter is anyones for the taking.  Li Na is somewhat of an unknown quantity following her surprise 4th round exit at Roland Garros and having played no warm-up tournaments for Wimbledon.  She plays Ksenia Pervak (who she played in the first round of the Australian Open) and then potentially Sorana Cirstea (who she played in the first round of the French Open!).   

Sam Stosur has never done well at Wimbledon and was tumbled out by Melinda Czink in the first round last year.  This year she takes Carla Suarez Navarro who equally struggles on this surface.  I do not fancy Stosur to do well here and predict her to fall against the winner of Arantxa Rus and Misaki Doi.  The other seed in this section is Peng Shuai, who has been ravaged by serious injuries this year... 

 My Quarter-Final Prediction - Petrova v Li

1st round matches to watch out for - V. Williams v Vesnina, Benesova v Watson, Hampton v Hantuchova, Babos v Oudin, Li v Pervak and Suarez Navarro v Stosur

Seeds in danger - I have already mentioned that I think Stosur will be gone by the third round and I think Peng will follow her through the exit doors in the first two rounds.  I also predict that the young Brit, Heather Watson could spring an upset against Daniela Hantuchova in the second round.

PROJECTED THIRD QUARTER - S. Williams (6) v P. Kvitova (4)
Petra Kvitova
The third quarter-final is by far the most intriguing on paper and it could see the clash that I have been waiting to see all year! Serena Williams will look to put that shocking first round loss at the French Open to Virginie Razzano behind her as she takes on Barbara Zahlavova Strycova in the first round.  Her draw looks relatively open with either Zheng Jie or Aleksandra Wozniak likely to be waiting in the third round; both good players, but unlikely to trouble Serena.  

In the other third round match in this section, Lucie Safarova and Sara Errani are scheduled to meet, but I could see both falling.  Safarova is a great player, but so often fails to deliver at Grand Slams.  I fancy the Roland Garros quarter-finalist, Yaroslava Shvedova to be very dangerous in this section.  Errani plays the big serving, big hitting Coco Vandeweghe in the first round, who made the final of the ITF event in Nottingham.

Petra Kvitova has a good draw as she tries to defend her Wimbledon title.  Akgul Amanmuradova will be her first round opponent and she is projected to meet Nastia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round.  Dominika Cibulkova and Francesca Schiavone are seeded to meet in the other third round match.  Schiavone is involved in one of the most interesting first round matches against Laura Robson.  The Brit has been handed a string of tough draws at Wimbledon in previous years, but she has a real, real chance in this one.  Cibulkova too has a very challenging opener against Eastbourne semi-finalist, Klara Zakopalova, but I think she will scrape by in three sets.

My Quarter-Final Prediction - S.Williams v Kvitova

1st round matches to watch out for - Scheepers v Shvedova, Pous-Tio v Keothavong, Vandeweghe v Errani, Cibulkova v Zakopalova, Robson v Schiavone, Pavlyuchenkova v Arvidsson and Baltacha v Knapp.

Seeds in danger - I think Errani and Schiavone will fall in the first round, and that Safarova and Zheng could go in round two.

PROJECTED FOURTH QUARTER - C. Wozniacki (7) v V.Azarenka (2)
Marion Bartoli
Caroline Wozniacki has one of the toughest opening matches against the Eastbourne champion and 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finalist, Tamira Paszek.  The Dane's recent form has been disappointing and she has lost the ability to tough out close matches.  As has become a tradition in 2012, she has been handed a testing draw.  In the third round she is likely to meet the winner of an intriguing first round match between Yanina Wickmayer and Svetlana Kuznetsova (who met in the third round of Wimbledon last year).  The Russian showed some glimpses of form in Paris, but has not played any warm-up tournaments due to injury.   

Marion Bartoli is nestled in a nice section of the draw with Roberta Vinci or Urszula Radwanska likely to be waiting in the 3rd round.  The only worry is a leg injury she picked up in Eastbourne, but if she can overcome that, she could really go deep in the draw.

Victoria Azarenka has what I define as a cakewalk to begin her Wimbledon championships! Irina Falconi is her first round match, who perhaps should not be taken too lightly having had a resurgence in form in recent weeks having reached the quarter-finals in Birmingham.  

Her 4th round opponent is projected to be between the winner of Julia Goerges and Ana Ivanovic in the third round; both have played no grass court warm-up tournaments with Ivanovic being sidelined by injury and Goerges stupidly opting for the clay of Bad Gastein.  They have potentially sticky openers as Ivanovic takes on the serve-and-volleying, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who took out Jankovic at Wimbledon last year, and Goerges plays Shahar Peer.  In truth, Azarenka should make the quarter-finals without having to work too hard.

My Quarter-Final Prediction - Bartoli v Azarenka

1st round matches to watch out for - Wozniacki v Paszek, Arn v Voskoboeva, Wickmayer v Kuznetsova, Vinci v Barty, U. Radwanska v Erakovic, Ivanovic v M. Sanchez, Goerges v Peer and Medina Garrigues v Halep.

Seeds in danger - Julia Goerges has shown no intent to prepare for Wimbledon on the grass so I think she could fall to Peer in the first round.  Roberta Vinci will also be in danger of falling before the third round to the in-form, Urszula Radwanska.

Final Prediction - Maria Sharapova d. Petra Kvitova
After going for Serena at the French Open, I swore myself never to trust her again as I rarely predict her for the win! For me right now, Sharapova is the most complete and consistent player out there at the moment and I was so impressed with her at Roland Garros that I think she will claim the double sweep this summer.  Her draw is particularly favourable with a few obstacles along the way, but I cannot see her falling victim to a shock.  

Petra Kvitova is my tip from the bottom half; I think she will beat Serena in an epic quarter-final (I hope!) and then Bartoli will take out Azarenka at the same stage.  I have fancied Kvitova to retain her Wimbledon title all throughout 2012 but her recent performances have left me thinking she might just come up short.

A tough one to call, but i'm hoping that my champion pick does not fall in round one like the French Open... come on Sharapova, don't let me down!!!

You can view my full predictions from start to finish for the womens Wimbledon draw HERE

Please feel free to leave comments with your predictions for the WTA draw :-)


  1. Nice preview :)
    I seem to like your pick of Bartoli but I think if Wozniacki makes it out of the first round, she will take Bartoli out should the two meet! You are right about her ability to close matches and her ability to tough it out has declined a lot but I hopecshe can make a deep run here.

  2. Great preview as usual. :) I notice you left out Kirilenko from Li's section of the draw...I think she has a great chance to do well, despite not being great on grass. :)

  3. Thanks for the kind comments :-)

    I'm not convinced about Wozniacki's chances having watched her in Eastbourne last Tuesday. She has one of the toughest first round draws in Tamira Paszek so if she can get through that it might give her confidence to go deep in the draw!

    Interesting that you mention Kirilenko... I think she is in a very nice section of the draw although i'm unconvinced by her recent form and as you mentioned, not sure about her chances on grass. Still, if she can get past Li in R3 (unlikely, but you never know!) she will be dangerous in the draw for sure!