Wimbledon women's seed report

Friday June 21st, 2013

Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion, is coming off a run to the French Open final.
David M. Benett/Getty Images

SI.com's Jon Wertheim breaks down the women's seeds at Wimbledon. Read on for the dark horses, top first-round matchups and predictions. Click here for the men's report.

Top 16 Seeds

1. Serena Williams:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Legit Wimbledon contender besides Serena.
Legit Wimbledon contender besides Serena, who?

2. Victoria Azarenka: She's reached the semifinals the last two years, but there's the small issue of getting past the top seed. If Serena is on her best game, she cannot be beat.

3. Maria Sharapova: See Azarenka. Sharapova has lost 13 of 14 meetings to Serena since beating her in the 2004 Wimbledon final. Sharapova faces a potentially tough first-round match against Kristina Mladenovic.

4. Agnieszka Radwanska: One of my readers described Radwanska as "the most entertainment involving a Pole that doesn't require a cover charge." She was a finalist last year, but she comes in with little momentum.

5. Sara Errani: Credit her for reaching this point, but Errani simply lacks the power to be a true Grand Slam contender.

6. Li Na: Who knows? But watching her will be fun.

7. Angelique Kerber: You can't count out Kerber on the grass -- remember, she reached the semifinals last year.

8. Petra Kvitova: The powerful left-hander is becoming further removed from her 2011 Wimbledon title. She hasn't done much to build on that success.

9. Caroline Wozniacki: The world's No. 1 player 18 months ago now struggles to win matches, sadly. If she lasts through the first week, it will be an achievement.

10. Maria Kirilenko: She's an all-court player with deceptive power and a growing ability to win close matches. Keep an eye on her.

11. Roberta Vinci: An attacking player with lovely net play has a chance to outplay her seeding.

12. Ana Ivanovic: Still hits a big ball, but her confidence is the key.

13. Nadia Petrova: After losing in the first round at the French Open, she's due for a better performance.

14. Samantha Stosur: Despite her athleticism and all-court skills, the grass seldom treats her kindly. The Aussie needs too much time to set up her groundstrokes.

15. Marion Bartoli: She's beaten Serena at Wimbledon before, and she reached the final in 2007 and the quarterfinals in 2011.

16. Jelena Jankovic: Nice to see Jank (and soon, Yank, as she's moving to San Diego) playing well again.

Seeds 17-32

17. Sloane Stephens: She tends to play her best ball at the biggest events, but she'll take on fellow American Jamie Hampton in the first round.

20. Kirsten Flipkens: The Flipper can continue her ascent with a strong showing.

21. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: The Russian has been typically inconsistent this year.

28. Tamira Paszek: The streaky Austrian has reached back-to-back quarterfinals.

30. Mona Barthel: We like the Germans on the grass.

Dark Horse Stable

Bethanie Mattek-Sands: The 28-year-old American drew a tough first-round match against Kerber, but she's coming off a career-best fourth-round appearance at the French Open.

Laura Robson: She comes in with little momentum and an uncertain coaching situation, but playing at home can be a tonic. However, she faces a tough opening match against Kirilenko.

Heather Watson: Great Britain's No. 2 got to the third round last year.

Kaia Kanepi: Brings her best stuff to the majors.

Yaroslava Shvedova: Anyone who turns in a golden set at Wimbledon -- as she did last year -- gets a mention.

Andrea Petkovic: The injury-plagued German is getting her game back. And karma owes her.

Tsvetana Pironkova: A journeywoman who morphs into world beater at Wimbledon, where she advanced to the quarterfinals last year and the semifinals in 2011.

Annika Beck: The 19-year-old German has climbed to a career-high No. 55 after finishing 78th last year.

First-Round Matches to Watch

Sabine Lisicki vs Francesca Schiavone: Their vast contrast in playing styles should make for a strong match.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. Angelique Kerber: Rough first-rounder for both players.

Maria Kirilenko vs. Laura Robson: First career matchup.

Petra Kvitova vs. Coco Vandeweghe: Two of the bigger servers.

Jamie Hampton vs. Sloane Stephens: The battle of two Americans.

Doubles winner

Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina: The Russians, seeded fourth, did it on clay at the French Open. Why not follow up on grass?

Singles Picks

Semifinals: Serena Williams vs. Total Sleeper (Annika Beck?); Maria Sharapova vs. Victoria Azarenka

Final: Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka

Winner: Serena Williams

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