Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit, er, Breakfast at Wimbledon: Ladies preview

Here is the harsh reality as Wimbledon approaches in the wake of a vote in Britain that basically affected the entire world: Reporters will ask tennis players about it and they will try, but fail, to answer intelligently. BREAKING: Most of them do not live in Britain, and even those who do are still just tennis players. Then sound bites will emerge that make them look stupid. This is unfair, and very mean, even too mean for the executive board of directors here at Tennis With Attitude. So let's not.
Instead, let's have a look at this women's draw. It's sort of interesting. (Not as interesting as the men's draw, but we will get to that.)

Despite her recent late-stage stumbles, Serena Williams is still obviously the favorite at Wimbledon. If she's of sound mind and body, there's not much in her half of the draw that could bother her. Maybe Agz Radwanska. Maybe Petra Kvitova, but she's not exactly brimming with confidence lately. The bottom half could get crazy. There's Simona Halep, new Grand Slam champ Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, Venus Williams, and Madison Keys, who is starting to look like the real deal. Annnd Sabine Lisicki, who came to Wimbledon a couple years back and almost won the thing. She hasn't done much since, but still, it's Wimbledon. As my draw indicates, I can definitely see Keys and Muguruza advancing the farthest, and I'd give Muguruza the edge if that did happen.

Some intriguing opening-round matches:
Daniela Hantuchova v. Christina McHale: Because Hantuchova still plays tennis?!!
Caroline Wozniacki v. Svetlana Kuznetsova: This is a first-round matchup that is utterly unfair. This should be a very good match, even though Woz is coming back from injury. I picked Kuznetsova, but this is a toss-up. No idea how this one's gonna go.
Alison Riske v. Roberta Vinci: It'll be fun to watch dueling game styles in this one. Thinkin' Gramma Serena-slayer will just drive Riske crazy with all the slices on grass.
Belinda Bencic v. Tsvetana Pironkova: I spelled that one out myself -- no cut-and-paste here. How ya like me now!?? So basically, Pironkova actually plays tennis all year round, but truly thrives when given the opportunity to torment Venus Williams at Wimbledon. She also did nicely this year at Roland Garros. I bet on Bencic, but this will be tricky match, methinks.
Victoria Duval v. Daria Kasatkina: Because it's just nice to have Duval back after her health issues. She's so cute, like little chipmunk!
Lucie Safarova v. Bethanie Mattek-Sands: Another really unfair draw for the players involved. Since they play doubles together, they probably are a bit familiar with each other's game. Great for fans, not so good for these guys.

The prediction I made that I am most doubtful about:
Monica Niculescu v. Timea Bacsinszky: I still kinda think that Niculescu's slice could give lots of trouble on grass. And Timea's kind of a big girl -- can she handle that reallllly low ball. Oh, the angst!

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