Wimbledon Women’s Preview: A Conference of Anti-Experts.
With the men’s draw out of the way, PJ, LJ et moi got together for a chat about the ladies’ draw. Pictures from the pre-Wimbledon party.
Doots: Alrighty. Let’s get started. First thoughts on women’s draw? I feel like every year for the past few years, Wimbledon has always been about what the Willians Sisters will or won’t do, and this year, it’s been the least about them in a long while.
PJ: I have to admit I am in camp “wanting a Williams to win”. Especially Venus where Wimbledon is concerned.
Doots: I think it might be too much of a long shot for Venus.
PJ: Hey, I live in Delusion Land, no?
LJ: I think she’ll be dangerous in the early rounds, but I’m not too positive on current form.
Doots: What do we think about Kvitova? I thought she was royally screwed for Roland Garros given her form going into it, but she actually acquitted herself respectably.
LJ: Her game is just so funky, I don’t know what to think. I feel like she has the potential to really beat anyone, but … but …
Doots: Funky’s one way to describe her game: when she’s on, she is shotmaking genius, when she’s off, she is an unthinking idiot. Her game doesn’t leave much room for grey.
PJ: the Female Dolgopolov, but maybe a lot less crazy.
LJ: Yes, I definitely agree with the Female Dolgo characterization, but she managed to hold it together for a slam.
PJ: Speaking of danger in early rounds, Pironkova to meet Shrieky in the second round. Now that I have mixed thoughts about: [Pironkova is a] two-time semifinalist, [but] she has the equal potential to beat herself into submission. It’s like she does nothing for the whole season and is just waiting for WImbledon to attack or something.
LJ: I thought Shreiky had an okay draw until I realised she has both Pironkova AND Lisicki in the 4th round.
Doots: Well why don’t we get onto Shrieky’s draw then. She has the Aussie ARod for her first round; most likely – Pironkova second round.
LJ: Pironkava 2nd round, Lisicki 4th, Kimmy lurking for the quarters (but Kimmy may not get there. It’ll be great if she does though), certainly no cupcake for Shreiky.
PJ: That’s a popcorn second round match. You can’t even judge Pironkova by form because she has no form UNTIL Wimbledon. Been so for the last two years.
Doots: Angelic Carebear is seeded to meet her for quarters.
LJ: Kerber hasn’t made it past the 3rd round at Wimby.
Doots: Kerber hasn’t made it into the Top 8 until this year either.
PJ: Speaking of Kimmy, Kimmy v JJ first round – LOLS.
LJ: well, Jankovic exited 1st round last year.
PJ: Kim is still carrying some ab injury, so … JJ may glitter her way through.
Doots: No, I don’t fancy JJ’s chances on grass normally, but she did make the finals in Birmingham. Lost to Oudin. That was the week of tennis trollage that started with Halle and Queens. I remember literally barfing a little at the finals line up in Birmingham.
PJ: I am of opinion that if Shrieky fights it past the first four rounds, she’ll be good. The only danger zones for her is Pironkova and Liscki. And Liscki’s form is sus.
Doots: The thing with Sharapova that every time she’s won a slam, she’s gone on a winning streak and bagged a few titles after. She’s a player who really knows how to take the momentum and confidence, keep calm and shriek on.
LJ: Yeah, I think it’s a tough draw, but there’s no reason why she can’t get through on her current form. She’s got a chance with her new found confidence from clay. Tennis is all about confidence, colm and riddum no? When you start trusting your game and body, shit comes together. And look she has the experience at Wimby, I think she desperately wants to avenge for last year.
Doots: Alright, onto Aga’s quarter then – and HOLY SHIT: Aga v Venus second round. And the brilliant thing is that both of them know how to play on grass.
PJ: Yeah I was thinking CUPCAKE until I saw Venus second round.
Doots: I dunno about it being a cupcake for anyone: you’ve got Petrova (recent grass titlist), Oudin (winner in Birmingham), Hantuchova (always a decent bet for the third and fourth rounds). And then on the other side, Stosur might be the seed least likely to go far, on this surface.
LJ: you think Oudin is going to make good on her birmingham form or fizzle her schnizzle?
PJ: Fizzle her schnizzle.
LJ: This is my crapshoot quarter. None of the seeds are guaranteed to make it, Stosur hasn’t made past 3rd round ever, Radwanska lost in 2nd round last year. Everyone else has been pretty much capped at 4th round.
PJ: I’m not picking Sammy for the quarters, sad to say.
Doots: I think Li Na will compensate amply for that.
LJ: Li Na will bring the headcasey LOLS.
PJ: Yeap, as far as the top-ish seeds go, I think Li Na and Sammy will topple first. Which kinda kills me. I like them both.
Doots: I’m putting Li Na in for quarters. She’s done well on grass before, particularly in Birmingham. And if she kept it together last year for Roland Garros, she is capable of keeping it together again.
LJ: I think without the RG winners curse hanging over her, Li Na has a better chance than last year. I’m picking Li Na and Stosur for the 4th round matchup. I think it’s high time Stosur did better at Wimby.
PJ: I really am not sure who will make it out of this quarter. Lots of possibilities. But I think I may go with Aga-Li Na. Or Aga-someone completely random. Or even someone completely random-someone completely random.
Doots: Kvitova’s quarter then. As LJ mentioned before, she drew Serena. But other than that, this is a relatively “empty” quarter. A lot of unknowns on grass sandwiched by the seeded blockbuster.
LJ: Nothing should stop Serena vs Petra quarter.
PJ: Except Petra. HAHAHA. On a good day – Kvitova can beat anyone. Serena included. If she gets her head screwed on right like she did last year … I mean, she blasted Shrieky off court.
Doots: Of those, the only one I expect to be decent on this surface would be Zheng Jie, who is neither powerful nor healthy enough to do much giant killing.
PJ: Remember the year Zheng Jie made it to the semis of Wimbly? Out of the seeds, I thought Cibulkova may be able to spring a surprise…but her grass game is not that awesome, is it?
Doots: I think we can safely say that Cibulkova is unproven on grass.
LJ: Cibulkova and Franny as lurkers but i think they’re set to meet 3rd round, so they’ll take each other out. I really want Laura Robson to do well, but drawing Schiavone first is not easy.
PJ: Err I’m not warm to Robson. I hope Franny wins.
Doots: If Laura Robson can get past Franny, her path looks relatively sunny for the next two rounds. And Ingerland might go nuts at the prospect and try to marry her off to Prince Harry.
Doots: No one has mentioned the 10th seed – Sara Errani, yet. What do we think? The Roland Garros finalist curse or not?
LJ: Checked her stats, not great on grass
PJ: Her record is not stellar in Wimbly, 3rd round best. She’ll get past the first two rounds. Sarafova at third – could go either way, and then Serena 4th round.
LJ: but look, she’s been having a CRACKER year, which has totally overshadowed her past under-achievements, so anything can happen really.
PJ: Errani avenges defeat by beating Shrieky at Wimbledon. TROLLAGE.
Doots: I totally wouldn’t mind. Italia has had a 100% record of producing female players I love. The only other thing I’d mention is that Serena is coming up against Zahalova Strycova first round. Which is hardly an easy match. I’ve lost a lot of confidence in Serena after she destroyed something that I thought was inevitable in life in Paris: Serena Williams being in the second round of a grand slam.
PJ: Hmm…I don’t forsee Serena having problems. May be tricky, but yeah. Close two sets or something along those lines.
PJ: Someone once said that “records are meant to be broken”. I’m still sad about Serena at RG though. Seagull’s quarter?
Doots: BEST. NICKNAME. EVER.
PJ: Thank you, I #trymybest, no?
Doots: She has Wozniacki as the highest seed in her quarter. Ivanovic fourth round. Kuznetsova is also lurking near the top of the quarter to trouble Wozniacki (or more likely, her self)
LJ: Woz up against Queens winner Paszek 1st round. That’s my upset pick of the tourney.
PJ: She’s trying so hard to stay relevant … and I totally can see the Paszek upset. Woz has been so off lately. The only thing I remember her doing this year was beating Serena. Other than that, I don’t expect her to go much too far.
Doots: Did you not hear Wozniacki last week: she thinks she can win Wimbledon!
PJ: But Rafa says it is arrogant to think you can win Wimbledon.
PJ: Thoughts on Hamster? She’s been off form for the season so far, but she does well on grass.
Doots: I think Bartoli is more likely to come through the top section of the draw for a place in the quarters too. This is grass after all – her breakthrough surface.
LJ: I’m picking Hamster vs Seagull quarters, and depending oh how Seagull fares on the day, Bartoli has a good chance.
Doots: And what do we think about Ivanovic? She has a few fun early rounds coming up – MJMS first round. And Date Krumm possibly second. Both with somewhat “alternative” S&V games.
LJ: Nah, not a grass player.
PJ: It’s so hard for me to remain objective about Fistpumpy. I would cheer for Kimiko over her. BUT objectively speaking, (or I try to be) Fistpumpy should make that meeting with Goerges. And I think Goerges will win.
LJ: if Goerges isn’t all headcasey by the 3rd round that is, which she usually is.
PJ: On Seagull though – I think she’ll be pretty determined to make amends for Roland Garros and better her result compared to last year.
Doots: She’s starting to me wonder whether her form in the earlier part of the year was simply the momentum and confidence from the Australian Open, or has she actually reached a more mature, refined stage of her career.
PJ: I’m inclined to say the latter of your statement but we shall see, no? But I think Wimbledon will be telling on how Seagull will fare for the rest of the year and for her career.
Doots: Fearless (or otherwise) picks?
LJ: Shreiky vs Li Na, Kvitova vs Bartoli – Li Na vs Bartoli. Winner: Bartoli … HAR HAR HAR.
Okay logically, Shreiky vs Li Na, Kvitova vs Azarenka, Shrieky vs Azarenka, Shrieky wins.
PJ: Shrieky/Li Na, Serena/Azarenka. Shrieky/Azarenka. Shrieky avenges Aus Open defeat and completes the Roland Garros-Wimbly double. Yeeha!
More realistically – Shrieky/Petrova, Kvits/Azarenka. Shrieky v Kvits. Shrieky. I picked Shrieky twice. FEARLESS not.
Doots: Mine are Shrieky v Li Na, Serena v Bartoli. Shrieky. v Serena. Winner: Serena. (Fearless? Me?)
LJ: my RG picks were spot on, but I don’t think I’m going to be as good for Wimby. Grass has a knack for trolling worse than clay
PJ: … gee LJ. You picked Wogie. He’s screwed.
PJ: WAIT we didn’t do last Aussie standing!!
LJ: uh … shit … Ebden?
PJ: yeah why not. I’ll go with Ebden. And Stosur. C’MON MATTY EBDEN. #delusionland
LJ: yeah Stosur. But I won’t be surprised if it’s Dellacqua.
Doots: Last Aussies standing: Tomic and Stosur. Which ain’t saying much. Neither gets past Round 3 in my crystal ball.