Sunday, June 23, 2013

Slumber in the Grass -- 2013 Wimbledon Women's Preview

Chris Evert / Martina Navratilova
Tonight we look at the women's draw. Unfortunately, I can't only preview the women who have a real shot at winning the tournament because then it would just be a blog post about Serena Williams. And while there certainly is enough material to fill an entire blog just about her last few weeks, this post is about Wimbledon. So, we'll run down most of the usual suspects (and maybe one or two unusual ones). Onward.

1. Serena Williams – Sloane Stephens, Virginie Razzano, Ekaterina Makarova. That's the list of players who have beaten Serena Williams in a major tournament since the beginning of 2012. Want a list of players who haven't beaten her in a major since the beginning of 2012? That would be a list of the players currently ranked in the top 15 (16 actually) in the world. If you want to go back a little farther, say to her first major after returning from a life-threatening injury, then the list is only the top 13. What I'm trying to say here is that the biggest threat to Serena Williams is Serena Williams. Just when you thought maybe she was ready to grow up and just be a professional tennis player, the Rolling Stone article drops and she's blaming rape victims, calling Maria Sharapova out for being happy, insinuating that Grigor Dimitrov might be the anti-Christ. If she can put all that behind her and just play tennis, no one beats her. But if she spends the whole first week arrogantly trying to downplay her idiotic statements (“what I supposedly said” – c'mon Serena, you don't think that interview is recorded), she could have a U.S. Open-style meltdown against someone who dares to stay in the match for more than a set. Either way, there will be drama.
Stefanie (Steffi) Graf

2. Victoria Azarenka – Azarenka is like the bizarro Kim Clijsters. I find it difficult to believe that anyone on the tour (or on earth for that matter) likes her. If she weren't a tennis player I imagine she'd be a professional Mean Girl. And such a drama queen. How many times has she almost died on the tennis court? Fainting spells, heat exhaustion, concussions, heart/panic attacks. Don't bump her car in the parking lot; she probably has a neck brace in the trunk in case of whiplash. And still she might be screeching at the top of her annoying lungs all the way to the semi-finals.
Venus Williams

3. Maria Sharapova – If Serena is focused, Sharapova is playing for second place. It's a shame though, because no one works harder on the tennis court than she does. But she's not mentally in the same league as Williams. If Serena implodes somewhere along the way, Maria could hold that Wimbledon plate for the second time in her career.
Monica Seles

4. Aga Radwanska – I couldn't even be bothered to check how to spell her first name. She couldn't be less interesting. I always think she must have dropped out of the top ten because no one is ever talking about her, but there she is still ranked number four. She probably wins half her matches because her opponents don't even notice her on the court until the middle of the second set. With any luck, she'll be upset by Tsvetana Pironkova in the fourth round. If you're wondering why I think that's possible, Pironkova beat Venus Williams here two years in a row. And there's usually at least one surprise semi-finalist in the women's draw. 

Amelie Mauresmo

5. Sara Errani – Last year at Wimbledon, she lost one set without even winning a point.

6. Na Li – Na(h).

7. Angelique Kerber – She's about as interesting as white wallpaper.
Jennifer Capriati

8. Petra Kvitova – Oooh. All the way down here at number eight we have someone who's actually won this tournament before. She appears to be having the same career as Svetlana Kuznetsova, which means she could lose in the second round or win the tournament. I'm sure your guess is as good as hers. Praying she beats Azarenka in the quarter-finals.

Kim Clijsters

Well I'm completely out of things to say about this draw. I couldn't even dig a thousand words out of this mess. To amuse myself, all the pictures I'm using for this post are players I WISH were playing.

As for predictions, hmmmmm.

Serena def. Pironkova
Sharapova def. Kvitova

Serena def. Sharapova 6-3, 6-2

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