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QueenO
Jun 19th, 2002, 03:44 PM
Tuesday, June 18
Venus gets early edge over Serena
By Pam Shriver
Special to ESPN.com


It's kind of the usual cast with Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis still missing. Venus and Serena Williams are the two favorites at Wimbledon.

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Shriver
Former WTA Tour pro Pam Shriver is providing ESPN.com with in-depth analysis throughout Wimbledon. Shriver, a tennis analyst for ESPN, was ranked as high as No. 3 in singles play. She won 21 singles and 112 doubles titles, including 22 Grand Slams.


Based on comfort level on grass, you have to go with Venus as the favorite over Serena -- but only by a tad. We'll have to watch what happens as play moves along.

Unless Venus is playing poorly, her first tough match should be against Kim Clijsters in the quarterfinals. I hope Clijsters is playing well here, after struggling at the French Open.

Jennifer Capriati has a pretty good section of the draw. She's seeded third so that puts her in Serena's half, but they wouldn't meet until the semifinals. The person who could cause Capriati problems before then is Alexandra Stevenson -- a semifinalist in 1999. Capriati needs to be rested from Paris and come in recharged and motivated. She needs to come in with a happier aura. She plays her best tennis that way. If she can do that, she's the next pick after the Williams sisters.

Justine Henin, last year's finalist, had a disappointing French Open as she lost in the first round. She should have a pretty good Wimbledon if she doesn't feel the pressure of having reached the finals last year. Clijsters faced that at the French Open, and she never relaxed. So Henin can go two ways here: She can feel confident having reached the final last year or get a little tight not wanting to lose that great result.

Jelena Dokic was a semifinalist in 2000 and won a title on the surface last week. Few players are comfortable on grass, and Dokic is obviously one of the them. In a Serena-Dokic quarterfinal, Serena should win. Dokic's serve is vulnerable as it showed at the French against Capriati.

It would be good for the draw if Monica Seles wins some rounds, but she's not a contender here as much as she would be at one of the other Grand Slams.