View Full Version : Women draw tougher road to Wimbledon Final

Jun 22nd, 2007, 10:55 PM
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -The route to the women's final at Wimbledon is filled with all sorts of obstacles.

Top-seeded Justine Henin, seeking her first Wimbledon title to complete a career Grand Slam, could face two-time champion Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.

Three-time winner Venus Williams could face 2004 champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round and defending champion Amelie Mauresmo in the semifinals.

There's also the chance of another all-Williams final, with the sisters winding up in different halves of the draw.

But with Venus Williams seeded No. 23 and Serena Williams No. 7, it will be difficult to set up a repeat of the 2002 and 2003 finals.

``I'm feeling a great deal more belief in myself on grass,'' said Henin, coming off her third straight French Open title on clay. ``I must still learn to trust myself more on this surface.''

Mauresmo beat Henin in last year's final, and the two meet again Saturday in the final of the Wimbledon warmup at Eastbourne.

Henin, who lost to Venus Williams in the 2001 final, was drawn against Argentine qualifier Jorgelina Cravero in the first round.

Also in the top half of the women's draw with Henin and Serena Williams are 1997 champion Martina Hingis, Jelena Jankovic and Anna Chakvetadze.

Serena Williams won Wimbledon in 2002 and '03 and reached the final in '04. She spent much of 2006 injured and fell to No. 81 in the rankings, but routed Sharapova in the Australian Open final in January for her eighth Grand Slam title.

``Serena is on a great comeback and I don't think you can underestimate any player in the top 10,'' Sharapova said.

Serena Williams will open against Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain.

Second-seeded Sharapova and Venus Williams are lined up for a fourth-round meeting. Sharapova leads 3-1 in career play, but Venus Williams beat her in the 2005 semifinals on her way to her third and last Wimbledon title.

Sharapova faces Chan Yung-jan of Taiwan in the first round, while Venus Williams opens against Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva.

Mauresmo, who is seeded No. 4, opens her title defense against Jamea Jackson of the United States and could face French Open runner-up Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals.

Simply Stunning, Simply Serena
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