WTA Olympics: Preview and Predictions

Its time for Wimbledon take two as this bumper year of tennis continues with the Olympics… let’s take a look at the womens draw.

Angelique Kerber
By virtue of reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon, Victoria Azarenka returned to the world number one spot and she is the number one seed for the Olympics.  Azarenka opens up her account against Irina-Camelia Begu and her first projected seed is Nadia Petrova in the third round.  Petrova has one of the trickier first round matches against Zheng Jie, who pushed Serena Williams hard in a tough-as-nails third round match at Wimbledon.

Angelique Kerber has a difficult draw for the Olympics, but she showed at Wimbledon her consistency on the grass courts as she reached the semi-finals; Kerber takes on Petra Cetkovska in the first round.  The landmark match in this section is a first round encounter between Venus Williams and Sara Errani.  On a grass court you would always plump for Venus, but after her battles with Sjogren’s Syndrome and a convincing first round loss to Elena Vesnina at Wimbledon, then think again.  However Venus worked so hard over the last year to get her ranking up for the Olympics and although Errani is super consistent, I think Venus can win a few rounds here…

Prediction – Azarenka v Kerber

Serena Williams
SECOND PROJECTED QUARTER – S. Williams v C.Wozniacki
Serena Williams opens up her Olympic campaign with the most eyecatching first round match against Jelena Jankovic.  Jankovic has one of the best records against Serena on the WTA tour, but on the grass and based on her recent dire form, this will not be much of a contest.  Vera Zvonareva could meet Francesca Schiavone in the second round; Zvonareva holds an incredible 12-0 head-to-head lead, but her form and fitness is impossible to predict at the minute.

Caroline Wozniacki has had some stinking draws of late, but she has a much better draw for the Olympics, at least to the third round.  She will take on the Brit, Anne Keothavong in the first round.  Wozniacki could play Tamira Paszek in the third round, who she suffered an agonising loss too in one of the most thrilling matches at this year’s Wimbledon.  Paszek will first have to get past Alize Cornet and then the winner of an interesting first round match between Li Na and Daniela Hantuchova.

Prediction – S. Williams v Paszek

Sabine Lisicki
Sam Stosur will once again open up on the grass courts of Wimbledon against Carla Suarez Navarro.  She could meet Kim Clijsters in a blockbuster second round match; on any other surface I would probably go with Stosur, but her inability to perform on the grass makes me think Clijsters despite her fitness worries.  The winner is most likely to play the winner of a tough first round match between Christina McHale and Ana Ivanovic.

Maria Sharapova will play Shahar Peer in the first round and is in line for another clash with the German firecracker, Sabine Lisicki in the third round, who produced a sensational upset of Sharapova at this year’s Wimbledon.  Lisicki will take on the Tunisian wildcard, Ons Jabeur before a second round match with Simona Halep or Yaroslava Shvedova; the latter will be a very dangerous opponent for Lisicki, but she loves being at Wimbledon so I would back her to meet Sharapova in the third round…

Prediction – Clijsters v Sharapova

Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova has one of the better draws as she plays Kateryna Bondarenko in the first round.  If she wins her opener, she will play either Hsieh Su-Wei or Peng ShuaiDominika Cibulkova, who is coming off a title win in Stanford, has a tough opener against grass-court loving, Tsvetana Pironkova.  Cibulkova has a 5-0 head-to-head lead, but Pironkova’s form on the grass is enough to overlook their previous matches.

Agnieszka Radwanska meets Julia Goerges in the first round in a repeat of this year’s final at the Premier event in Dubai.  It may look a tough match on paper for Radwanska, but Goerges will have to play an incredible match to rival the Pole’s consistency.  Maria Kirilenko could be on course for another match-up with Radwanska in the third round; she will first have to get past Mariana Duque Marino and then potentially Heather Watson who has been handed a kind draw against Silvia Soler Espinosa.

Prediction – Kvitova v Radwanska

Gold Medal Match – Serena Williams d. Petra Kvitova

Bronze Medal Match – Victoria Azarenka d. Maria Sharapova

I will warn you that everytime I tip Serena Williams, she folds like a cheap tent so get your bets on everyone else! I just cannot look past Serena, who served so incredibly well during Wimbledon.  If she is anywhere near that level, she cannot be touched.  I have gone for a minor surprise with Petra Kvitova to claim the silver medal.  Victoria Azarenka has been incredibly consistent this year and proved her mettle on the grass at Wimbledon so I expect her to get a medal too, beating Maria Sharapova in the bronze medal match.

This should be a really exciting week of tennis and something different, particularly with the bronze medal match, which is likely to be just as fiercely competitive as the gold medal match in terms of the quality in the draw.


Please feel free to leave your own predictions!

My men’s preview is currently in the pipeline and will be released tomorrow night so stay tuned!!!

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