Get Inside!

Welcome to Inside the Baseline, your place for all things WTA tennis. Check in for the latest information on your WTA stars, including tournament previews, results and season outlooks. All website content will be subject to the author's views and opinions, but debate and discussion are more than welcome on each post's comment boards. Enjoy.

For more information, be sure to follow us on TWITTER.
While you're at it, follow the blog author, Kedzie Teller as well.

To contact me directly, please feel free to email at
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pre-Wimbledon: Championship Preview

Tomorrow marks the first day of the 2011 Wimbledon Championship, and like always, everyone is giving their predictions on who will be the one to raise the Rosewater Dish. There are sure to be upsets, comebacks and a whole lot of thrilling matches, so here's our look at what might just happen.

First Quarter:
From push tactics to heavy hitters, the top quarter is filled with play styles and big names that will bring a few highlight matches. While Wozniacki, Sharapova and Stosur have the advantage, their paths won't be entirely easy. Wozniacki may face Jamila Gajdosova in the third round and an even tougher Julia Goerges in the fourth, meaning she'll need her A-game to earn a quarterfinal birth. With better movement abilities on grass, I expect to see a little something extra from Wozniacki, and I don't doubt she can pull-off a few impressive wins. Peng Shuai is also in the mix, and now that she is playing the best tennis of her career, she's sure to give any opponent a good battle. Cibulkova will be eager for a deep Wimbledon run after conking out early at Roland Garros, so her likely match against Goerges in the third round will be one to watch. The biggest name to fear in this quarter is surely Maria Sharapova, having surged in the latter half of the clay-court season and now stepping onto her beloved grass surface. Should she find her range quickly, she will be nearly impossible to beat.

Quarterfinalists: Wozniacki v. Sharapova

Possible Bracket Buster: Cibulkova

Second Quarter:
Welcome to the quarter with Serena Williams. Will she be ready? Or will she disappoint? My gut tells me she's got the drive and passion to propel herself to the quarters, and no critic can really say that's a bad prediction. If she loses early (she does have to survive possible matches with Rezai, Jovanovski, Kirilenko and Bartoli) it wouldn't be a total surprise considering the year of injuries she has overcome, but it also wouldn't be surprising to see her win the entire tournament... Marion Bartoli looks impressive of late, having reached the French semifinals and claiming a grass title last week at Eastbourne. You can't overlook Ivanovic or Radwanska either—a pair of top notch athletes bound to meet in the third round. Both women are capable of big wins, but just as capable of being upset. Perhaps the most exciting match, however, could be Li Na against wild card Sabine Lisicki in the second round. Lisicki is riding a giant momentum wave after returning to health, winning the AEGON classic last week and looking strong for Wimbledon. Don't be surprised if we see the Roland Garros champion knocked off her throne.

Quarterfinalists: Lisicki v. S.Williams

Possible Bracket Buster: Jovanovski

Third Quarter:
You never know what to expect from many of the seeds that wound up in this year's third quarter. There's Schiavone, the clay court maestro who looks dazed and confused on grass. There's also Shahar Peer... what has she done lately? Lose in the first round of the French? Bingo. And who can forget to include Azarenka in this conversation of question-marks; will she be fit to play after suffering a groin injury? She has all the skills needed to win a slam, but she won't if her body can't keep up with her. All that considered, ball bashers like Petkovic and Pavlyuchenkova should have a fairly easy time chopping through the draw. Keep an eye out for Hantuchova, though. Her most impressive wins of late have been against Wozniacki in Paris, and Venus Williams at Eastbourne. She too, however, can leave us confused as to how she manages to lose.

Quarterfinalists: Petkovic v. Pavlyuchenkova

Possible Bracket Buster: Petrova

Fourth Quarter:
The final quarter hosts both young-guns and seasoned champions that will most definitely clash in the best possible way.  Petra Kvitova may have lost to Bartoli last week, but I see big things in her Wimbledon aspirations. She is likely to play either Wickmayer or Kuznetsova in the fourth round, and though you might have faith in either of those two players, something about Kvitova is alluring. Besides, while Kuznetsova is a powerful and raw athlete, she occasionally plays more like a novice than a grand slam champion, so overcoming a new hotshot doesn't seem to be in her cards. In the lower section of the quarter there's one match I cannot wait to see: Venus Williams vs. Vera Zvonareva in the fourth round. It's too soon to make much comment considering both women need to earn their first three wins, but the possibility of such a heavy-weight fourth round encounter is thrilling. After Zvonareva kept her mental-game in check against Serena last week, I would put my money on her.

Quarterfinalists: Kvitova v. Zvonareva

Possible Bracket Busters: Date-Krumm (Woo! Why not?)

* * *

Championship Prediction:
While the elite eight I have selected all have their chances at claiming Wimbledon glory, there is one who stands above the rest, and I mean that literally as well. The 6'2" blonde bombshell by the name of Maria Sharapova is no newcomer to the big stage and has every bit of skill needed to earn her fourth major title. I was stunned by her improved game at Roland Garros and now as we move to the grasses of Wimbledon, I'm ecstatic about what Sharapova might be capable of accomplishing. The surface of the All-England Club courts is not only Maria's favorite, but one that showcases her superior striking abilities. She is the face of pure offense, and unless someone plans on pulling the upset of the year (or if Serena Williams is truly the supreme goddess of tennis) I don't think anyone can beat her.

Final: Sharapova def. Zvonareva.

-Kedzie Teller, ITB Senior Editor


Post a Comment