Wimbledon: Women's seed report
Justine Henin had best beware of Serena Williams
1. Justine Henin:
The lone Slam she's never won looks utterly attainable. She dominated in Paris and her comprehensive skills should serve her well on grass. Still, we have a hunch the "Dream Quarter" (Henin vs. Serena) will go much differently than it did in Paris.
2. Maria Sharapova:
The 2003 winner has the weapons to win here again. But the state of both her shoulder and psyche are unanswered questions -- and don't look now, but she's gone an awful long time without winning a title. If nothing else, she sure can't complain about her draw.
3. Jelena Jankovic:
If only she would play more tune-up events. Jankovic is in the throes of a terrific season and has made a smooth transition to grass, beating Sharapova in Birmingham. Jankovic's erratic serve is troublesome, but it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see her inevitable breakthrough Slam come here. At the very least, look for her in the semis.
4. Amelie Mauresmo:
The defending champ has been unremarkable in 2007 and slow in recovering from her appendix removal. Wish she came in with more momentum, but she has the game and the draw to make a deep run.
5. Svetlana Kuznetsova:
The enigmatic Russian has the fundamental game to win every Slam she enters, but she has an unfortunate knack for finding ways to lose.
6. Ana Ivanovic:
Like Jankovic -- they're as easy to yoke together -- the Serb has been having a fine year. On the heels of reaching the Roland Garros
final, her confidence ought to be abundant. Her serve is potentially vulnerable, but she ought to at least live up to her seeding.
7. Serena Williams:
Her likely quarterfinal match against Henin is the de facto final.
8. Anna Chakvetadze:
It will be interesting to see if her game translates to grass. Look for her in the round of 16, but no later.
9. Martina Hingis:
Sadly, the (yikes) the 1997 champ has looked over-the-hill of late -- injured, a step slow and frustrated. She's never minded the grass and her movement is rewarded, but can she still hang with the heavy hitters?
10. Daniela Hantuchova:
She has done well at Wimbledon in the past and is quietly playing top-10 ball again. Her first round match will interesting, but if she gets by that, she could make a serious run.
11. Nadia Petrova:
Both her body and spirits have seen better days and she comes in with very little momentum. That said, she's an athletic, fairly versatile player who is due for a quality result.
12. Elena Dementieva:
Sadly, she's simply no longer an elite player, especially on a surface that punishes a weak service game. An opening round defeat to Dechy would not be a surprise.
13. Dinara Safina:
She's not quite as bad as her brother, but can generally rely upon her to reach Week 2 and then lose to a higher-seeded player.
14. Nicole Vaidisova:
We're still waiting for the Czech this year. Those endorsements bonuses don't kick in unless you win.
15. Patty Schnyder:
The enigmatic Swiss is quietly playing some of the best tennis of her erratic career. She's never done particularly well at Wimbledon and -- particularly given her temperament -- it remains to be seen if she has overcome her Paris meltdown.
16. Shahar Peer:
The athletic Israeli is a player to watch, but she still needs to show that she has the fortitude to take down a higher-ranked foe in a big match.
Notables in 17-32
20. Sybille Bammer:
Moms is in the midst of an awfully nice year. She reached the third round here last year as well.
23. Venus Williams:
It's odd to see her seeded so low, but she is a three-time champ. Enough said.
24. Alona Bondarenko:
A future top-10 player.
25. Lucie Safarova:
The big match player tends to raise her game the first week of Slams.
27. Samantha Stosur:
The Aussie's attacking game and athleticism should be rewarded on grass.
31. Michaella Krajicek:
On family history alone.
Dark Horse Nation
The American sprained her ankle last week, but has been playing some of the better tennis of her career lately.
The Junior star will step up to the big-time.
The snakebitten Aussie has been faltering a bit lately, but her game is ideal for grass.
A future top-10 player.
Though she had to qualify, Hungarian has been on a roll of late.
First round matches to watch
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Daniela Hantuchova:
The highly-regarded teen starts off against a vet. (We pity the guys who prepare the signboards with the players' names.)
Vania King vs. Nadia Petrova:
Potentially tough test for the Russian.
Anna Smashnova vs. Martina Muller:
Likely the final match of Smashnova's career.
Nathalie Dechy vs. Elena Dementieva:
A guaranteed three-setter.
Dinara Safina vs. Kateryna Bondarenko:
Two players with top-10 talent.
Blue Plate First Round Upset Special
Pavlyuchenkova to beat Hantuchova
Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur
Serena Williams vs. Jankovic
Mauresmo vs. Sharapova
Williams vs. Sharapova