Wimbledon 2017 WTA Main Draw Preview

The 2017 Wimbledon draw is out, and the draw is really as wide as this year’s French Open. Will we see favourites Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova capture the title, or surprise packages like how Jelena Ostapenko won the Roland Garros title? Let’s check out the draw…

First quarter: Headlined by (1) Angelique Kerber & (7) Svetlana Kuznetsova

Angelique Kerber (Seed 1, No.1)

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Player overview: After a couple of crazy weeks on the WTA where Angelique Kerber has somehow held on to the No.1 ranking, the top spot will definitely almost be switched unless Kerber produces an inspired performance to navigate her draw. (Kerber must reach the semifinals if not she’ll drop out of the No.1 spot). Her recent form doesn’t suggest that though – after a horrid clay season where she only won two matches (both in Madrid), she had a decent week in Eastbourne but once again was unable to snap her losing streak to Top 20 players (i. Konta).

2017 record on grass: 2-1 (QF in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Finalist (i. S.Williams)

Wimbledon record: 21-10 (2016 F, 2012 SF)

Draw projections: Kerber plays a qualifier in the first round, then either Kirsten Flipkens or Misaki Doi, the latter reaching the fourth round here last year. Lucie Safarova or Oceane Dodin looms in the third round.

Svetlana Kuznetsova (Seed 7, No.8)

Player overview: Svetlana Kuznetsova has never exactly played her best tennis in Wimbledon, where she has not progressed past the fourth round since 2008. However she has a handy 45-24 record on grass and with her quarter wide open (more on that below), she could just make a deep run here. Kuznetsova played decently in Eastbourne where she reached the quarterfinals, losing to Karolina Pliskova in a three-setter.

2017 record on grass: 2-1 (QF in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Fourth round (i. S.Williams)

Wimbledon record: 27-14 (2003, 2005 & 2007 QF)

Draw projections: Kuznetsova also kicks off her Wimbledon campaign against a qualifier, with fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova a likely second round opponent. The other seed in her section is Lauren Davis.

Agnieszka Radwanska (Seed 9, No.10)

Player overview: Agnieszka Radwanska’s year is described perfectly by the face in her photo above. Usually coming into her favourite Grand Slam, Wimbledon, Radwanska would be one of the contenders to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish, but this year it is certainly not the case. The Pole has been really lacklustre in her tournaments this year, unable to put power on her shots and rarely making a convincing venture into the net. Grass is Radwanska’s favourite surface but it hasn’t been obvious in her only grass match this year, a loss to Lauren Davis in Eastbourne.

2017 record on grass: 0-1 (R2 in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Fourth round (i. Cibulkova)

Wimbledon record: 39-11 (2012 F, 2013 & 2015 SF)

Draw projections: Radwanska has an interesting first rounder against Jelena Jankovic (who is playing equally badly as her this year). Christina McHale and Timea Bacsinszky are her likely second and third round opponents.

Garbine Muguruza (Seed 14, No.15)

Image result for muguruza birmingham

Player overview: Garbine Muguruza has been blowing hot and cold once again this year with occasional brilliance yet mixed with some weird performances. One match in the ‘weird performance’ category for Muguruza is definitely her shocking loss to Barbora Strycova, winning only just one game. Just before this week the Spaniard had reached the semifinals in Birmingham, losing to Ashleigh Barty.

2017 record on grass: 3-2 (SF in Birmingham, 2R in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Second round (i. Cepelova)

Wimbledon record: 9-5 (2015 F)

Draw projections: Muguruza plays Ekaterina Alexandrova, then either Yanina Wickmayer or Kateryna Bondarenko. She should play Kiki Bertens in the third round, overall a very manageable draw for Muguruza to get into the second week here.

Other notable players

Lucie Safarova (Seed 32, No.34)

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Player overview: Lucie Safarova was a former Wimby semi-finalist back in 2014 and she has been playing great grass court tennis this year, with back-to-back semifinals in Nottingham and Birmingham. Picking up a leg(?) injury in Birmingham, she withdrew from Eastbourne and should be in full fitness to participate in the All England Club.

2017 record on grass: 6-2 (SF in Nottingham & Birmingham)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Fourth round (i. Shvedova)

Wimbledon record: 15-11 (2014 SF)

Draw projections: Safarova plays hard-hitting Oceane Dodin in her opene then probably Shelby Rogers next. Providing Kerber gets through her first two rounds, Safarova will get her in the third round in an upset-worthy match.

Projected semi-finalist for first quarter: Safarova

Second quarter: Headlined by (3) Karolina Pliskova and (5) Caroline Wozniacki

Karolina Pliskova (Seed 3, No.3)

Image result for pliskova eastbourne

Player overview: The two players who are contesting the Eastbourne final, Karolina Pliskova and Caroline Wozniacki (more on Wozniacki below), headline this second quarter of the draw. Pliskova is my favourite for Wimbledon and looking at the draw so far I’ll probably pick her to win this. Even though she has not progressed past the second round in Wimbledon, she has always played her best tennis on grass having played a final each in Nottingham, Birmingham and now a second final in Eastbourne. Pliskova has the biggest chance to take the No.1 ranking at the end of Wimbledon.

2017 record on grass: 4-1/5-0 (Winner/F in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Second round (i. Doi)

Wimbledon record: 7-6 (2013-2016 2R)

Draw projections: Pliskova plays Evgeniya Rodina in her first Wimbledon match, then a tough one in Monica Niculescu (who has the game to break down Pliskova) or Magdalena Rybarikova (who has already won 2 grass court ITF titles and a SF in Nottingham). No.30 seed Zhang Shuai or former doubles partner Julia Goerges are potentially her third round opponents.

Caroline Wozniacki (Seed 5, No.6)

Image result for wozniacki eastbourne

Player overview: Caroline Wozniacki has never got past the fourth round at Wimbledon(reminds me of Radwanska and the US Open!)  and her goal will definitely be to try to get past that stage. Grass has never been Wozniacki’s favourite surface but she has a decent record on the green stuff, boosting a 44-21 record, mostly buoyed by her five semifinals in Eastbourne!

2017 record on grass: 4-1/5-0 (Winner/F in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: First round (i. Kuznetsova)

Wimbledon record: 19-11 (2009-2011, 2014-2015 4R)

Draw projections: To finally get past the fourth round, Wozniacki’s most likely opponents will be Timea Babos, Tsvetana Pironkova, Daria Kasatkina and Kristina Mladenovic (or CoCo Vandeweghe). Brutal draw for the Dane.

Kristina Mladenovic (Seed 12, No.13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Player overview: Kristina Mladenovic is on a huge high and whether be it hard, clay and grass the Frenchwoman has produced great results this year. Mladenovic played all three warm-up tournaments coming into Wimbledon this season, reaching back-to-back quarterfinal in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Birmingham, before crashing out in the third round to doubles partner Svetlana Kuznetsova.

2017 record on grass: 5-3 (QF in ‘s-Hertogenbosch & Birmingham, 3R in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: First round (i. Sasnovich)

Wimbledon record: 5-5 (2015 3R)

Draw projections: Mladenovic plays fellow Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier first, then an American in grass court stalwart Alison Riske or Sloane Stephens who is playing her first match since the Olympics. If CoCo Vandeweghe wins her first two rounds, she’ll likely play Mladenovic in a must-watch encounter.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Seed 16, No.17)

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Player overview: Last year’s Wimbledon quarterfinalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will be hoping to repeat that feat again (more on her draw below). She has only played two matches on grass this year, in Eastbourne where she beat Elise Mertens but fell to eventual semifinalist Heather Watson.

2017 record on grass: 1-1 (2R in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Quarterfinalist (i. S.Williams)

Wimbledon record: 15-10 (2017 QF)

Draw projections: Out of all the seeds in that brutal second quarter, Pavlyuchenkova definitely has the easiest draw. She plays a qualifier, then either Han Xinyun or Zarina Diyas. Daria Gavrilova is the other seed in her section.

Other notable players

Coco Vandeweghe (Seed 24, No.25)

Image result for vandeweghe grass 2017

Player overview: Not a fan of CoCo Vandweghe but she has always played well on grass (41-20 record on the surface) and IMO she has a decent chance to reach the second week of the tournament. After dropping in the first round in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, she reached the quarterfinals of Birmingham with Pat Cash in her corner as a coach. Note: Both her two career titles have come in the grass tourney in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

2017 record on grass: 2-2 (QF in Birmingham, 1R in ‘s-Hertogenbosch)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Third round (i. Pavlyuchenkova)

Wimbledon record: 11-6 (2015 QF)

Draw projections: Vandeweghe will play Mona Barthel in the first round, with Tatjana Maria or a qualifier in the second round. Mladenovic looms as a third round opponent.

Alison Riske (No.46)

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Player overview: Alison Riske has always played well on grass, amassing a 49-26 record on this surface, but unfortunately she has never won a title on grass before. Suprisingly, she has a horrid record in Wimbledon, winning only five matches. She plays Sloane Stephens in Round 1 then probably Kristina Mladenovic.

Tsvetana Pironkova (No.149)

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Player overview: It’s hard to believe Tsvetana Pironkova is on the verge of exiting the Top 150 in the rankings! After Wimbledon Pironkova probably won’t be able to play WTA main draw tournaments and will have to play on the ITF circuit so some ranking points are much needed for the Bulgarian. Pironkova’s first match in Wimbledon will be against Sara Errani; if she gets past the Italian she’ll likely play Caroline Wozniacki.

Sloane Stephens (No.328)

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Player overview: Welcome back to the tour, Sloane! The American is now languishing at No.328 in the rankings and will try to get as much matches as she can ahead of the US hard court swing. She plays grass court stalwart Riske in her first match since the Olympics.

Projected semi-finalist for second quarterPliskova

Third quarter: Headlined by (4) Elina Svitolina & (8) Dominika Cibulkova

Elina Svitolina (Seed 4, No.5)

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Player overview: At first glance the bottom half seems much more open than the top half, and the third quarter here is indeed really open as Elina Svitolina and Dominika Cibulkova (more on her below) have all been struggling on the grass this season. Svitolina has only won five matches on grass in her entire career, but I think that tally can really improve this week in Wimbledon with Svitolina’s new aggression and game style now suited to the green stuff. She slipped in her loss to Camila Giorgi in Birmingham last week, and is suffering from a foot injury, but the Ukrainian is already practicing in Wimbledon and should be fully fit for the Grand Slam.

2017 record on grass: 1-1 (2R in Birmingham)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Second round (i. Shvedova)

Wimbledon record: 2-5 (2015-2016 2R)

Draw projections: Svitolina has probably one of the most toughest openers with Birmingham finalist Ashleigh Barty her first opponent of Wimbledon. She could play Francesca Schiavone in the second round, then hard-hitting Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the round of 16.

Dominika Cibulkova (Seed 8, No.9)

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Player overview: I read somewhere that Dominika Cibulkova had plans to retire this season and start a family with her husband, and those thoughts have really showed in her results this year with Cibulkova amassing a medicore 14-14 record this season. After reaching the quarterfinals last year here Cibulkova is in danger of exiting the Top 10 and she’ll have to produce some vintage Domi form if she is to do so. The Slovak has not won any singles matches on grass this season, losing in her openers in all three warm-up events.

2017 record on grass: 0-3 (2R in Eastbourne, 1R in ‘s-Hertogenbosch & Birmingham)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Quarterfinalist (i. Vesnina)

Wimbledon record: 16-10 (QF 2011, 2016)

Draw projections: Cibulkova plays former Top 10 players Andrea Petkovic in her opener, with Sabine Lisicki (more on her comeback below), Ana Konjuh and Naomi Broady looming in the third round.

Venus Williams (Seed 10, No.11)

Image result for venus williams wimbledon 2016

Player overview: As usual, Venus Williams didn’t play a warm-up event coming into Wimbledon (random stat: the last time she played a warm-up event was in 2011!). However, I read that Williams had been involved in a car accident and I don’t know if she’ll be in the right mindset and right mood to make a deep run here. Venus has a 88-18 record on grass!

2017 record on grass: 0-0

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Semifinals (i. Kerber)

Wimbledon record: 81-14 (Winner 2000-2001, 2005, 2007-2008)

Draw projections: Venus plays Elise Mertens in her first match of her Wimbledon campaign then Wang Qiang in the second round. The first seed she could meet is Barbora Strycova.

Jelena Ostapenko (Seed 13, No.14)

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Player overview: After her stunning Roland Garros triumph, Jelena Ostapenko came back to earth in Eastbourne, beating Carla Suarez Navarro before falling to Johanna Konta in a thriller. Ostapenko has the credentials on grass as she has won the junior Wimbledon before and her game style is completely suited to it. Side note – Ostapenko really has no sportsmanship when she loses and she really pisses me off with that! Being a young talent hopefully she can quickly change that characteristic of hers.

2017 record on grass: 1-1 (3R in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: First round (i. Bertens)

Wimbledon record: 1-2 (2015 2R)

Draw projections: Ostapenko has a slightly difficult first round opponent in Aliaksandra Sasnovich who is decent on the grass courts. If she gets past that, she plays a qualifier or Kurumi Nara with Madison Keys, Camila Giorgi and Alize Cornet all looming as a third round opponent.

Other notable players

Madison Keys (Seed 17, No.18)

Image result for keys wimby 2016

Player overview: Madison Keys is 4-6 on the season with the wrist injury still disturbing the American, resulting in her loss to Petra Martic in the French Open. The injury also forced her out of Birmingham and Eastbourne, meaning she is coming into the tournament without any matches on the grass. Keys has not beaten a Top 50 player all season long and will be eager to do so in Wimbledon.

2017 record on grass: 0-0

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Fourth round (i. Halep)

Wimbledon record: 12-5 (2015 QF)

Draw projections: Keys plays Nao Hibino to kick off her grass court swing with dangerous Camila Giorgi or tricky Alize Cornet in the second round.

Naomi Osaka (No.58)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Player overview: This is Naomi Osaka’s first Wimbledon main draw debut having been injured last year. I always feel that Osaka’s big game is really suited to the grass, she got a few wins in Birmingham and feeling that she could make some kind of upset here. She plays Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first round with Barbora Strycova her second round opponent.

Sabine Lisicki (No.127)

Image result for lisicki wimbledon grass

Player overview: Yep guys, another comeback player is into Wimbledon and this time it’s former finalist Sabine Lisicki! If you haven’t realised Lisicki returned in Mallorca where she reached the quarterfinals, falling to fellow German Julia Goerges. Her first round opponent is No.27 seed Ana Konjuh.

Projected semi-finalist for third quarter: Venus? Gosh this is tough

Fourth quarter: Headlined by (2) Simona Halep & (6) Johanna Konta

Simona Halep (Seed 2, No.2)

Image result for simona halep eastbourne

Player overview: Simona Halep has once again another opportunity to take the No.1 ranking but she must reach the quarterfinals in order to have a chance to take it. Halep took a wildcard into Eastbourne and played decent matches against Duan Ying-Ying and Caroline Wozniacki. Some matches on the grass would definitely help Halep and I think she has a real chance at the No.1 spot with her draw (read below).

2017 record on grass: 1-1 (3R in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Quarterfinalist (i. Kerber)

Wimbledon record: 12-7 (2015 SF)

Draw projections: Simona plays a qualifier in round 1, with home wildcard Laura Robson a possible next opponent. Carla Suarez Navarro and former finalist Eugenie Bouchard are likely opponents for the round of 16.

Johanna Konta (Seed 6, No.7)

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Player overview: Johanna Konta is in danger of not being able to play in Wimbledon as she suffered a shocking fall on match point against Angelique Kerber in Eastbourne yesterday (she won the match in the end, but withdrew the next day with a thoracic spine injury). Konta is against a race to get fit in time and it’ll be a pity if she does not play as she had decent performances in all her three warm-up tournaments in the UK.

2017 record on grass: 8-2 (F in Nottingham, 1R in Birmingham, SF in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Second round (i. Bouchard)

Wimbledon record: 1-5 (2016 2R)

Draw projections: Konta plays Hsieh Su-Wei in a repeat match-up from the French Open where Hsieh won. She will play Natalia Vikhlyantseva or Donna Vekic next, the latter having beat her in the Nottingham final. The first seed she could meet is Roberta Vinci.

Petra Kvitova (Seed 11, No.12)

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Player overview: We all know Petra Kvitova’s credentials in Wimbledon, and now she has claimed the Birmingham title, beating Ashleigh Barty. She withdrew from Eastbourne later on but it was likely only precautionary. Even though it’s only her third tournament since her comeback, Kvitova is now one of her favourites for Wimbledon and I don’t think anyone will be surprised if she wins with the wide open draw!

2017 record on grass: 5-0 (Winner in Birmingham)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Second round (i. Makarova)

Wimbledon record: 29-7 (2011, 2014 Winner)

Draw projections: Kvitova plays Johanna Larsson in her first match in the All England Club, then Madison Brengle or Richel Hogenkamp, the former beating Kvitova before. The other seed in her section is Caroline Garcia.

Elena Vesnina (Seed 15, No.16)

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Player overview: Other then winning the Indian Wells title this year, reaching the semifinals of Wimbledon last year probably was Elena Vesnina’s best achievement up to date in singles. She’ll have a big test ahead of her though having to defend her semifinal points. Having not played too many matches on grass this month I don’t know whether she can do it…

2017 record on grass: 1-1 (2R in Eastbourne)

Last year’s Wimbledon performance: Semifinalist (i. S.Williams)

Wimbledon record: 16-11 (2016 SF)

Draw projections: Vesnina starts with a qualifier, before facing either Victoria Azarenka or Catherine Bellis. Mallorca champ Anastasija Sevastova looms as a third round opponent.

Other notable players

Victoria Azarenka (No.678)

Image result for azarenka mallorca

Player overview: Victoria Azarenka will be playing her first Grand Slam and her second tournament since her maternity leave. In Mallorca, she saved a match point to beat Risa Ozaki before fading away against Ana Konjuh. Azarenka’s level there was decent considering it was her first two matches but the rustiness was still there. She’ll play Catherine Bellis in Wimbledon in an intriguing first rounder.

Projected semi-finalist for fourth quarter: Halep

Some photos taken from mootennis.com 🙂

I know this was a long read but thank you for reading it! Wimbledon predictions will be out at the original place tomorrow. 🙂

 

 

 

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