Wimbledon women's seed report
It looks like only injury, sickness or sister Venus can stop Serena Williams
Winning Wimbledon was allegedly a factor in Justine Henin's comeback decision
Serena's first foe, Michelle Larcher De Brito, is tennis' answer to vuvuzelas
SI.com's Jon Wertheim breaks down the men's and women's seeds at Wimbledon. Read on for the top first-round matchups, dark horses to watch and his predicted winners.
1. Serena Williams: The defending champion and favorite until proven otherwise. Her sister might catch her on an off-day. Serena may, unfortunately, develop a minor sickness or injury, but otherwise it's hard to envision her not winning.
2. Venus Williams: Simply a different, and better, player on grass than on other surfaces. She also benefits from being on the opposite side of the draw as her sister.
3. Caroline Wozniacki: A good, if not a great, Dane. It's hard to imagine her living up to her seeding, though, especially if her ankle injury lingers. There are also a lot of dangerous players in her quadrant.
4. Jelena Jankovic: Yammerin' Jank is always intriguing and amusing; but has trouble keeping it together for the duration of a Grand Slam event. She lost at Wimbledon last year to Melanie Oudin and is coming off a deflating loss in the French semis. While she's unlikely to lose, Jankovic will have to deal with distractions in her first round match against Laura Robson.
5. Francesca Schiavone: Still adjusting to seeing her name as a fifth seed. Obviously riding a wave of confidence after Paris. But one imagines she's playing on fumes at this point.
6. Sam Stosur: One the more compelling storylines: how will Stosur fare after such a bittersweet French Open? Her game would seem to go well with grass and she's beaten the sport's best lately. But is she still, to use the voguish tennis term, "gutted" from failing to take the trophy in Paris? Sure can't complain about her draw.
7. Agnieszka Radwanska: A-Rad is to be praised for her consistency and cunning play, but it's not a recipe for winning a fast-court major. She might reach her seeding and the quarters but that's about it.
8. Kim Clijsters: After missing the French (and bombing in Australia), KC is suddenly at a mini-crossroads. Possible fourth-rounder against Justine Henin could highlight the second Monday.
9. Li Na: An up-and-down player, she's blessed with a kind draw. Plus she won a tune-up event. Easy to see her making some noise as she did in Australia, but she is, alas, in Serena's quadrant.
10. Flavia Pennetta: Our second donna in the top 10. Not a great track record on grass, but she can't complain about her draw.
11. Marion Bartoli: Former finalist is always an intriguing player, capable of pushing the best players and losing to inferiors ones. Hard to see Bartoli beating Venus. Easy to see her in the second week, though.
12. Nadia Petrova: One keeps waiting for her results to catch up to her power and athleticism. She has a hard time stringing together good wins. Plus she's in the Henin-Clijsters section.
13. Shahar Peer: The good news: she's found her game again. The bad news: she'll need to go through three former No.1s, including Venus, just to get to the second week.
14. Victoria Azarenka: After a dismal stretch this spring, the media darling has shown signs of life on grass. I'm intrigued by her first match against Mirjana Lucic.
15. Yanina Wickmayer: Athletic Belgian gets a rematch against Pittsburgh's Alison Riske in round one.
16. Maria Sharapova: Former winner (2004) is a shard of her former self. But you can count on her to fight like hell and she'll be a most unpleasant match-up for a higher seed, including Serena, who she might play in a tantalizing fourth rounder.
17. Justine Henin: Allegedly, the chance to finally win Wimbledon was a major factor in her comeback decision. Well, it's show time.
18. Aravane Rezai: Hard-hitting Frenchwoman can cement a fine spring with a strong result on grass.
19. Svetlana Kuznetsova: An erratic Russian whose game is currently in the loo, but she still has the potential to be dangerous.
20. Dinara Safina: Another erratic Russian whose game is currently in the loo, but she, too, has the potential to be dangerous. (UPDATE: Safina on Saturday withdrew from the tournament with a back injury.)
23. Zheng Jie: Not a lot of momentum here, but she's made a habit of lasting late in majors.
26. Alisa Kleybanova: When her fitness catches up to her ball-striking she's a top 10 player.
30. Yaroslava Shvedova: No real track record on grass, but dangerous on athleticism alone.
Kimiko Date Krumm: The ultimate unretirer. Any player older than we are gets automatic mention. Alas, she starts against seeded Alex Dulgheru (31).
Alison Riske. I'm intrigued by the little-known American wild card.
Andrea Petkovic: Not shy about admitting that grass is not her best surface, but she could be dangerous with her big serve.
Tamarine Tanasugarn: She not only has the most experience on grass (her first round match will be her 100th main draw on the surface, with Venus second at 75), but also has more main draw wins on it than any active player. Plus, she has done well at Wimbledon (QF in 2008; fourth round six times) and is 27-13 there as opposed to 30-39 at the other slams.
Eleni Daniilidou: Anyone who wins their last round of qualifying 6-0, 6-0 gets mention. Plus, we love the hair.
Shahar Peer v. Ana Ivanovic: Not often that a player who was No.1 two years ago starts a 128-draw tournament as an underdog.
Serena v. Michelle Larcher De Brito: The defending champ versus the closest thing tennis has to vuvuzelas.
Azarenka v. Lucic: Lucic reached the late rounds in 1999 ... when Azarenka was nine.
Yanina Wickmayer v. Alison Riske: Can the American beat the same top 15 player twice in two weeks? (The winner likely gets Melanie Oudin.)
Laura Robson v. Jelena Jankovic: Lots of drama.
Blue-plate upset special: Tatjana Malek over Petrova.
Venus Williams-Serena Williams
Henin vs. Venus Williams
Serena Williams vs. Stosur
Serena vs. Venus
Jon Wertheim's book Strokes of Genius: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and the 2008 Wimbledon final, is now out in paperback. To order, click here.
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