The ladies’ draw at this year’s Championship shapes up as a fascinating one with a number of genuine contenders in various parts of the draw. There are no fewer than 8 players who have won a major amongst the top seeds and a handful of others who have made it to a grand slam final. World number 1 Serena Williams is the favourite to go back-to-back at Wimbledon and to claim her first major title of 2016, but for mine there are up to half-a-dozen players who could take out the title this year. Let’s have a look at the top seeds and my predictions for this year’s women’s draw…
The Top Seeds
- Serena Williams (USA) – Still the one to beat on the women’s tour in my opinion, particularly at grand slam level. Is gunning for her 7th Wimbledon title (on top of 5 doubles titles) and for me has the best grass-court game on the women’s tour. Will take some beating.
- Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) – The form player on the tour in my opinion, especially coming off a maiden grand slam victory at the French Open. Also made the final at Wimbledon last year so is more than competent on the grass courts. Has the easier side of the draw as well and I expect her to do very well at this year’s tournament. Serena’s biggest challenger in the women’s game at the moment.
- Agnieszka Radwańska (POL) – Runner-up at Wimbledon in 2012 and twice a semi-finalist. The only thing in her way in my opinion is a tough side of the draw which she shares with both Petra Kvitová and Serena Williams. Will need to be at her very best to win this year.
- Angelique Kerber (GER) – This year’s Australian Open winner for me starts on the easier side of the draw. Reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon at 2012 and is more than comfortable on the grass. Definitely a big chance this year.
- Simona Halep (ROU) – With the exception of her run in 2014 where she made the semi-finals, Halep hasn’t had a great deal of success at Wimbledon. Hasn’t played any lead up tournaments on grass either so could be vulnerable in the early rounds.
- Roberta Vinci (ITA) – A brilliant doubles player which can usually translate to some success on the grass. However Vinci has struggled at Wimbledon, particularly in recent years. Doesn’t have great form leading into this year’s Championships and has a challenging draw.
- Belinda Bencic (SUI) – Won at Eastbourne last year so is comfortable on the grass courts. Made the round of 16 at Wimbledon last year and should be able to progress at least a step further with her seeding. Whilst she should be there in the second week, I can’t see her taking out this year’s title.
- Venus Williams (USA) – Easy to forget that she’s a 5-time Wimbledon Champion. Has struggled with injuries over the past few years but has cemented a spot in the top 10 and is playing some good tennis again. The number 8 seed gives her a good run through to the quarter-finals and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see her progress even further than this.
- Madison Keys (USA) – Brings some great form into Wimbledon with victory at the AEGON Classic in Birmingham only last week. Has won both of her WTA Titles on grass so she is very comfortable on this surface.
- Petra Kvitová (CZE) – Hard to believe she’s seeded all the way down at number 10 at this year’s tournament. A very dangerous player on grass and is twice a Wimbledon Champion. A powerful left-handed serve which is always a handful, especially on a grass court. A big chance in my opinion.
Sam Stosur – I wrote an article about Stosur earlier this week and her Wimbledon preparation. She hasn’t had great results on grass in the past and had a very bad loss to Caroline Wozniacki a few days ago at Eastbourne. Unfortunately, despite her seeding of 14, I can’t see her doing much damage at this year’s tournament.
Daria Gavrilova – Unseeded at this year’s event and has only made the maid draw once previously where she was knocked out in the first round. Plays a fellow unseeded opponent in the first round so hopefully she can progress beyond then.
Winner: Serena Williams
Still the best in the women’s game in my opinion. Has too many weapons on a grass-court and has failed to make the Wimbledon final on only 3 of the last 8 occasions. Should add to her 6 singles titles here.
Runner-up: Garbiñe Muguruza
Will be full of confidence after winning the French Open earlier this month. Also has the easier side of the draw and will only have to beat one of Serena Williams, Radwańska or Kvitová to get claim the title. This said, I still think that Serena has the edge over her on this surface.
Dark Horse: Venus Williams
Has quietly made her way back into the top 10 after injury and following the withdrawal of Victória Azárenka finds herself with a crucial seeding in the top 8. Not to mention she has also won this tournament 5 times and has a decent draw. Definitely a big chance with all of this considered.