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Wimbledon 2013 Women's Draw Analysis: Can anyone stop Serena?

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If the men’s draw is more open than in most years the women’s draw has only one clear favourite looming large over the rest of the players – Serena Williams.

The American is in the best form of her career and her success and focus is only matched by the time she won 4 straight Slams in 2002-03. Last year, this was the Slam that renewed her dominance in women's tennis as she rode to victory on the back of a record 102 aces to claim her 5th Wimbledon title. The tennis betting odds suggest that she is a cinch to go all the way once again this year.

Far behind her are rivals Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, the 2nd and 3rd seeds, respectively. Azarenka is more of a threat to Williams’ dominance seeing that she has already beaten the world no.1 in Doha this year and came close to her first U.S Open title when she led the American 5-3 in the final set in 2012. Sharapova meanwhile has been crushed and put aside at every opportunity.

4th seed and 2012 runner up Agnieszka Radwanksa, 6th seed Na Li and 8th seed Petra Kvitova are the other real threats to the top seed’s ascendancy.  Radwanksa pushed the American to three sets last year while Kvitova is the 2011 champion.

Since her upset of the her idol in Serena Williams at the 2013 Australian Open, 17th seed Sloane Stephens is on everyone’s radar to be the next big thing in American tennis. Expect her to provide some fireworks at Wimbledon as well.

Let us get down to the brass tacks and make a close perusal of the women’s draw so as to see how the ladies stack up against each other at the 127th edition of the Wimbledon Championships.

Quarter 1

Top seed Serena Williams will begin her title defence against Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella. Early challenges to her progress could come from Jie Zheng or 28th seed Tamira Paszek. 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki and 14th seed Samantha Stosur will fight for a place in the 4th round only to have the defending champion awaiting them in what could an entertaining 4th round encounter.

10th seed Maria Kirilenko will open against Britain’s Laura Robson. If she overcomes that challenge Julia Georges could well be her next opponent. 7th seeded Angelique Kerber is the highest seed in this draw and starts against Bethanie Mattek-Sands who had a superb French Open. Urszula Radwanksa is another player who could challenge the German’s ascent.

Predicted Quarterfinal match-up: Williams vs Kerber


Quarter 2

2012 runner up and 4th seed Agnieszka Radwanksa will face qualifier Yvonne Meusburger in the first round. Britan’s Heather Watson has also been drawn in her half and they could face each other in the third round. Radwanksa is in pretty good form and expect that to carry her to the 4th round where 13th seed Nadia Petrova, two time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, could stand in her way.

6th seed Na Li will be looking to make amends from her early exit at the French Open and also to better her record on the grass courts of Wimbledon. She will face Michaella Krajicek in the first round. 11th seed Roberta Vinci and 18th seed Dominika Cibulkova will both get an opportunity to stop Asia’s lone Grand Slam winner from returning to the last 8.

Predicted Quarterfinal match-up: Radwanksa vs Li


Quarter 3

The most open quarter. In the top section, 5th seed Sara Errani is the highest ranked player but is more of a clay court specialist and was humiliated at last year’s SW 19. 9th seed Caroline Wozniacki is another top player but is in a slump and it is unlikely that she will progress very far. 17th seed Sloane Stephens meanwhile has all the firepower and aggressive game that a player needs to succeed at Wimbledon and will look to cement her position as one of the future top women’s players of tennis.

In section 6, 3rd seed Maria Sharapova looms large. The Russian has been dominant throughout the year only to stumble time and time again against the women she beat for her first Grand Slam title at the 2004 Wimbledon Championships – Serena Williiams. She begins against 20 year old Kristina Mladenovic  and her toughest challenge will come in the 4th round where an encounter with 15th seed Marion Bartoli, 2007 finalist and the only women to beat Serena Williams at Wimbledon since 2009, awaits her.

Predicted Quarterfinal match-up: Sharapova vs Stephens


Quarter 4

2013 has been a disappointing year for 8th seed Petra Kvitova but she will have a terrific chance to get back to her best at the venue of her 2011 Grand Slam triumph. She has a more or less clear cut route to the 4th round before 12th seed Ana Ivanovic appears as a hurdle.

2nd seed Victoria Azarenka will begin against Maria Joao Koehler. Her first real challenge will also come in the 4th round, if 16th seed Jelena Jankovic is able to make it that far. Despite never having gone beyond the 4th round at Wimbledon, Jankovic is having a career resurgence this year and could end up giving the 2nd seed a run for her money in the battle of former world no.1s.

Predicted Quarterfinal match-up: Kvitova vs Azarenka


Possible Semifinal 1: Williams vs Radwanksa

Last year’s final will take place at an earlier stage in 2013. Once again, it will be the counter-punching skills of Radwanksa against the no holds barred aggression of Serena Williams.

Last year, the Pole was able to force a deciding set but this year the American is in red hot form. If everything goes according to plan the world no.1 could close matters quite quickly to progress to her 2nd successive Grand Slam final.


Possible Semifinal 2: Sharapova vs Azarenka

This one is tougher to pick. The duo are quite evenly matched and that is evidenced by Azarenka’s narrow 7-6 lead in head to head match ups and is quite possibly women’s tennis’ best current rivalry.

Still, Sharapova has the slight edge because she has defeated the Belarusian twice in a row and has more experience on the grass courts of Wimbledon and is a former winner here. Expect the Russian to edge it in three hard fought sets.


Predicted Final: Williams vs Sharapova

Likely Champion: Serena Williams