Wimbledon 2015: Preview of the women’s draw

I’m so excited for Wimbledon! There’s always this weird feeling when it actually comes around as it’s my favourite two weeks of the year. I’m off work now for the tournament so i’m really going to enjoy it. The draw came out this morning and the order of play for day 1 at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships will be released on Sunday at midday.  Here’s my tournament preview, which is pretty bare with predictions… this is because I am still deliberating quite a few matches. I will be posting plenty of first round previews this weekend so stay tuned. Enough chit chat, let’s take a look at this draw!

Serena’s Eighth

SerenaSerena Williams headlines the women’s draw and on paper, it appears to be a favourable draw. It’s always difficult to analyse Serena’s draw because at her best, she beats everyone. Last year though she showed signs of vulnerability at the Slams. I feel like that has still been there the case for much of this year, but she has been digging out some really classy wins. At the French Open, Serena was pushed to three sets in five of her seven matches, but still found a way to win the title while not playing her best tennis and nowhere near her peak physical health. In my head I had Serena out early but i’m finding it hard to pick out a player who will beat her. Serena opens her 2015 Wimbledon campaign against Margarita Gasparyan. I remember watching the Russian player at the Premier event in Moscow a couple of years ago and she’s got an eye catching game. Gasparyan came through qualifying and will compete in her first Wimbledon main draw.

The first seed that Serena could meet is Caroline Garcia; the Frenchwoman’s year has been defined by three wins over Ana Ivanovic. After a very solid start to the year, cracks have begun to show over the year. She lost in the first round of French Open to Donna Vekic, seemingly unable to cope with the pressure of playing on Philipp Chatrier in front of a home crowd. Garcia faces another interesting crowd dynamic as she plays the Brit, Heather Watson. Another engaging first round match-up features Daniela Hantuchova and Dominika Cibulkova with the winner playing Garcia/Watson in the second round. Both matches will be previewed in more detail here on Moo’s Tennis Blog over the weekend. Serena is projected to meet her sister, Venus in the fourth round. Both sisters haven’t played any competitive matches on grass this year but it has never affected them in the past. Venus’s section features three Italians; Sara Errani and Francesca Schiavone are set to meet in the first round with the winner potentially meeting Roberta Vinci in the second round.

Ana’s Eighth

Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic and Carla Suarez Navarro are the headline acts in the second eighth of the draw. This section looks very tasty, particularly as Ana and Carla haven’t enjoyed great success at Wimbledon in the past. Ivanovic did reach the semi-finals in 2007 but hasn’t made it to the last eight since, while Suarez Navarro’s best result was reaching the last 16 in 2013. Also lurking in this section are the likes of Victoria Azarenka, Belinda Bencic, Kristina Mladenovic and Tsvetana Pironkova. Bencic and Pironkova play each other in the first round in the match that’s killing my brain. There’s always one; I remember two years ago it was Jamie Hampton and Sloane Stephens. I completely overthought it in the end and got it all wrong! It’s a tough one and to be honest, i’m still on the fence. I’ll make my mind up after the Eastbourne final. CSN has a really challenging draw as she could potentially play Kristina Mladenovic in the second round and Victoria Azarenka in the third round. If she makes it to the second week, she’s done really, really, really well.

Maria’s Eighth

Sharapova

Spare a thought for Johanna Konta. In singles she will play Maria Sharapova and in doubles she plays the Williams sisters! Konta has been in great form this grass court season and did superbly well in Eastbourne, defeating Ekaterina Makarova and Garbine Muguruza. She comes in red-hot and may have a small chance against a rusty Sharapova who hasn’t played a competitive match for over four weeks. Sharapova’s eighth also features Irina-Camelia Begu, Andrea Petkovic and Flavia Pennetta. It’s a pretty neat section for Maria to find her feet on grass before things starting hotting up. Begu faces a very tricky opener against Daria Gavrilova, who will likely be the favourite in that one if she’s fully recovered from the injury that forced her to withdraw from Eastbourne. Pennetta has a dicey opener against Zarina Diyas, while Petko plays Shelby Rogers in the first round for the second consecutive Slam. Naomi Broady has a great opportunity to win a match with a first round tie against Mariana Duque Marino.

Lucie’s Eighth

Safarova

Lucie’s Eighth… As the number six seed, Lucie has an eighth!!! Personally, I think this is a really tough draw for Lucie. First up is Alison Riske who is a very competent grass courter. If she were to meet Kaia Kanepi in the second round, that would be tough as the Estonian player has made the quarters here before, but she has not been able to gather any momentum this year with injuries still thwarting her. In the third round, Lucie is seeded to meet BFF, Barbora Strycova. The delightfully wacky Czech player has drawn Sloane Stephens in a tough first rounder. The American player has been gathering pace since Indian Wells and has looked in great shape, reaching the semi-finals in Eastbourne.

This section also features Karolina Pliskova and Sam Stosur. I feel like Pliskova is due a big run at a Slam and I think it could be here. She reached the final in Birmingham and picked up another win in Eastbourne before falling against an in-form Aga. As much as i’ll be cheering for Lucie, i’ll be so impressed if she makes the quarters. No-one was looking at her for Roland Garros and look what she did there with such a tough draw. I have to be honest and say that I fancy Pliskova to take this section.

Caroline’s Eighth

Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki pulled out of her semi-final in Eastbourne with Belinda Bencic with a back injury, but later tweeted that she was ready for Wimbledon. I think it was just precautionary and she won’t play her first match until Tuesday so *should* be good to go. Her first match of the week will be against Saisai Zheng. The first seed she could meet is Camila Giorgi in the third round. This is a really dangerous *potential* match, but i’m wondering how Giorgi will respond to her match in Eastbourne where she was unable to convert on a match point against Daria Gavrilova in the second round. She looked flawless at the end of her title run in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and in her first match in Eastbourne against Christina McHale.

Wozniacki’s eighth also features Angelique Kerber who i’ve been bigging up for the grass court season. At first glance, I didn’t like her draw but now i’ve come around. She plays fellow German player, Carina Witthoeft in the first round and will then play the winner of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or Mona Barthel. Kerber could meet Garbine Muguruza in the third round, her conqueror at Roland Garros. Garbine hasn’t shown a great deal of promise on the grass with her best result being a semi-final appearance at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2013. In addition, Kerber is much more accomplished on grass than clay. There are pitfalls in this draw, but a title in Birmingham and a rest following her withdrawal in Eastbourne means that Kerber should go into Wimbledon in great shape.

Simona’s Eighth

Halep

Simona Halep arrives at Wimbledon with much uncertainty after a quarter-final loss to Kristina Mladenovic at Birmingham. It’s fair to say that her form has dropped off since Miami. Halep’s first match at Wimbledon will be against Jana Cepelova. There’s certainly danger looming in her section with the likes of Monica Niculescu, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Timea Bacsinszky and Sabine Lisicki all present in this section. Kuznetsova has had some decent wins on the grass in Birmingham and Eastbourne, and will not be an easy opponent if the pair were to play in the third round. I really liked Bacsinszky’s chances at Wimbledon post French Open but after she pulled out of Birmingham and Eastboune, i’m worried about her having no competitive matches on grass. Furthermore, she plays Julia Goerges in the first round who has reached the second week at both Slams this year. Lisicki remains one to watch in the Wimbledon draw no matter what form she is in. She did well to reach the semi-finals in Birmingham where she served very well but her groundstrokes were erratic. A quarter-final appearance would not surprise me in the slightest.

Ekaterina’s Eighth

Makarova

Ekaterina Makarova is one that i’m struggling to make my mind up on. Makarova had a solid run to the fourth round at Roland Garros but lost her only match on grass in Eastbourne to Johanna Konta in straight sets.  It was the first time in eight appearances that Makarova had lost in the first round at the Aegon International… she is the Bourne GOAT! Her section features a compelling first rounder between Ana Konjuh and Alize Cornet. Konjuh won Nottingham, her first WTA title, although it is worth noting that she didn’t beat a top 45 player in the process. Cornet lost both her matches on grass to Christina McHale (4-6 6-2 6-2, Birmingham) and Alison Riske (6-0 6-3, Eastbourne). I like Konjuh to make at least the third round.

Madison Keys and Eugenie Bouchard are seeded to meet in the third round but nothing is a given. Keys lost her first match at Eastbourne to Belinda Bencic, 6-2 6-2. I still believe she will come good. For example, she lost to Timea Babos, 6-2 6-1 in Birmingham last year before powering her way to the Eastbourne title in the next week. She just needs some time to find her game again and with her opening two rounds, I think she has been granted time. With Bouchard, who knows? She picked up an abdominal strain against Bencic in Eastbourne, but did play a very solid match against Alison Riske in the second round. Her first round opponent, Ying-Ying Duan is a very powerful hitter and will have confidence coming through as a qualifier. I’d fancy Bouchard to win a few matches, but going past the third round would be a surprise based on recent woes.

Petra’s Eighth

Kvitova

Petra Kvitova returns to Wimbledon as the defending champion. Her record at this event speaks for itself… semi-finals, champion, quarter-finals, quarter-finals and champion. Two of Petra’s losses came against Serena and the other one was against Kirsten Flipkens when she was under the weather and suffering from a virus. After skipping Eastbourne due to a viral illness, Petra will likely be nervous opening up on Centre Court on Tuesday. She has a favourable early draw, opening against Kiki Bertens, but we all know Petra can be vulnerable against anyone in the draw! Last year she had *that* match against Venus Williams that she survived before sauntering through the draw to win her second Wimbledon title. In her quarter this year are the likes of Jelena Jankovic, Agnieszka Radwanska and Elina Svitolina. Jelena on grass is unlikely to pose too many issues, but Aga seems to be working back up to some form on the grass after reaching the final in Eastbourne.


Semi-Final Predictions: S.Williams d. Pliskova, Kvitova d. Kerber

Final Prediction: Petra Kvitova d. Serena Williams


It’s Petra for me as I explained above. Her game is just dynamite on this surface but it will depend on getting into a rhythm after playing no competitive grass court matches. Pre-draw, I felt like Serena would fall early, but I don’t see who she will fall to and i’ve written her off before only for her to make me look like a fool. Completing the French Open-Wimbledon double is such a difficult thing to do, it will require a huge effort from Serena. I’d love to see a Serena-Petra final with both on their game… that would be SO AWESOME. However, that’s a long way away and we’ll have to see how it all unfolds. Moo’s Tennis Blog will be there every step of the way and i’ll be releasing plenty of first round previews to focus on the matches that we know are going to happen. As always, i’d love to hear your comments about the draw so fire away with your predictions and give us your winner in the poll 😀

38 thoughts on “Wimbledon 2015: Preview of the women’s draw

  1. Garcia gets a lot of mention without ever having done anything special in my opinion. I fail to understand how she gets so many mentions in so many blogs. Watson is more than capable of beating her and I hope she does.

    Ana’s, Lucie’s, and Simona’s eights are most interesting to me. Serena and Maria’s are most boring. Both Serena and Maria should be in quarterfinals based on the draw. Simona’s eighth is full of tricky players.

    With this draw Bouchard should be able to make it to quarterfinals. Petra should be able to make it to final eight too, I dont see anybody stopping her.

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    • In regards to Garcia,technically she is one of the best players currently on the WTA tour,I love watching her play,though at this stage of her young career,the area she falls down in at present is her mentality and focus,hopefully these two vital elements will follow sooner rather than later.

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    • Garcia has almost flawless technique. She’s one of the few players who has it in her to beat any player, if she’s in form. But her mental strength lacks big time. She should be winning big titles by now.

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      • I never said she was flawless. I did say why she isn’t winning though. It’d be nice if you either read what I write properly or just don’t bother responding.

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      • Lets me rephrase, she is not even close to perfect. How to be almost flawless? Almost flawless = 99.% or 50% in your standard.

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      • Sigh…2 of my favorite bloggers going at it. Judging from the # of posts in this exchange I give the score 40-30 to Andrew-assuming he’s serving since he posted first. Andrew…we need one more reply from you. Sudut-shutup!

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  2. The favorites are Serena ,Venus ,Petra and Lisicki. I really don’t see a different champion being crown. I’m leaning towards Serena because she really wants this title. The 2 main trophies she wanted was AO and Wimbledon.

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    • It’s a shame than Venus and Serena are in the same draw, Venus is excellent at Wimbledon, not happy with them in the same draw.

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  3. Hurray!! #TeamPetra!! I am with you James, come on Petra! Btw, something that I have noticed about the women’s draw this year :-
    1. Some of the first rounds matches that do not feature a seeded player are between relatively lower-ranked players eg Broady-Duque, Linette-Nara, Gallovits-Ula, Hercog-Davis, Gibbs-Tsurenko, Zhu-Sasnovich, Diatchenko-Friedsam, Erakovic-Poots
    2. This means that most seeded players got a first round opponent that barely missed the seedings eg Pennetta-Diyas, Garcia-Watson, Bencic-Pironkova, Begu-Gavrilova, Strycova-Stephens, Riske-Safarovara, Muguruza-Lepchenko,

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  4. Oh Moo, you just know how I LOVE Petra; hence im delighted to see you pick her as the eventual champion! Im very glad that she got an easy draw, and I really do hope that she finally defends a title.
    I expect Sharapova, Halep, Makarova, Ivanovic, and Bacsinszky to fall early-ish, and can totally see Pliskova, Radwanska (if she gets past Hradecka in the first round), and Lisicki making a deep run a

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  5. James I also have a Petra v Serena final.If the Petra of 2014 shows up like she did in the final last year quite frankly I cannot seeing Serena defeating her,she was in the ‘zone’.In saying that I believe Serena will be out to win Wimbledon this year,her sheer will to win and mentality can get her over the line.My one question mark with Petra is I hope she is 100% fit,both players can work themselves into the draw.Sad to see Venus one of the greatest grass court players in the same section as her younger sister.As a huge Venus fan I would love her to win Wimbledon again.Pliskova and Kerber are my dark horses,good luck to all players

    Serena Williams to win her 21st Grand Slam title.

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    • Peak Serena is still better than peak Petra. As good as Kvitova was in Madrid, she almost let Serena back in the match despite Williams playing really poor tennis. On grass Serena can keep the ball low and out of Petra’s strike zone and she’ll get a lot more free points on her serve on grass.

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      • I like Pliskova but I don’t think she can win. Those who know how to beat her will play drop shots near the net.

        Kerber. Sorry I don’t like pusher.

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  6. Serena will win it all. The rest is playing for second place. I actually think Petra will get eliminated early this time.

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  7. Love your predictions although they are a little bit risky with regard to Petra;) I think Pliskova could do very well, but I’m not sure either whether she could win against Serena. However, IF Petra makes it to the final, I’m very much convinced she would also win against Serena. I know Serena’s record in GS finals is great but IMO she must be nervous and Petra has a great record in finals too.

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    • Thank you… I think it’s risky in the sense that Petra comes in with no matches. If Petra can get through the first few matches unscathed she’s in it with a chance but it’s obviously a big if!

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      • yes indeed. That’s what I meant. I think as soon as she is in the second week she could easily make it to the final! Just happy I can watch most of the matches…perfect time and not that much to do work related!! Also, love that Kerber is your dark horse 😉 A good run in Wimbledon would be great (to the semifinal or even further) but I’m already quite satisfied with her three titles and the way she turned around her bad record in finals this year 😛

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      • There is hope. Remember Kvitova’s ‘dismal form’ w next to no expectations coming into Madrid. The current situation coming in w no matches might help her to dig deeper and avoid some pressure. I hope so.

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  8. I can’t believe I’m the only one to say this, but how come no one has given Maria a chance! And on grass of all places. Not even Victoria Azarenka ?? I’m undecided now as to the winner, have to investigate the full draw, but I already think a dark horse will win. Seeing as your dark horses are Pliskova and Kerber, I’ll wager on Kerber. I see there is little love for Lisicki, who just crammed 27 aces into a short week a while back. Sans her love for mental breakdowns which the green grass of Wimbledon helps to keep at bay, it is within reason that she could come good at a point, no??

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    • Maria hasn’t had the greatest of results in recent years at Wimbledon. Her serve is not the weapon it used to be and she tends to prefer slower surfaces where she has time on her groundstrokes. To top it off she doesn’t have an easy draw really.

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  9. My predictions are:
    SFs: Serena bts Sharapova, Kvitova bts Lisicki
    Final: Serena bts Kvitova
    Let me know what you think!

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  10. Why are you such a Serena hater? She’s proven herself time and time again and yet you continue to bet against her. When giving your predictions on a site that people look to for insight, you should be able to separate you predictions from you hopes. Ijs

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  11. Petra’s draw for the first three rounds is a dream, whoever she meets in them. From there on, things potentially get a lot more difficult. A R4 against Aga…I don’t know if I can take that. And I absolutely do not want her to play Keys again. I don’t like that Keys can outhit Petra. That’s just not supposed to happen..Hopefully Keys falls before the qfs. And petra does not. I really have no idea who will win this. It will probably be Serena in the end, but I’m hoping it’s either Petra or someone completely random (preferably Czech though). We’ll just have to see how it unfolds..

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    • It’s a great early draw for Petra to hopefully find some form, but I think she can be vulnerable against anyone. I read an article with Petra where she said she will be really nervous in her first match. Still, I believe she can do it but won’t be easy at all! And indeed, i’m looking forward to see how it all unfolds.

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