By Ros Satar

  • Garbiñe Muguruza will try and defend a Slam title once more, returning as the defending champion
  • Top Seeds: Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbiñe Muguruza, Sloane Stephens
  • British Interest: Johanna Konta [22], Heather Watson, Katie Boulter [WC] Naomi Broady [WC], Harriet Dart [WC], Katy Dunne [WC], Katie Swan [WC], Gabriella Taylor [WC]
LONDON, UK – Garbiñe Muguruza is the defending champion of a slam for a second year in a row – can she make this one stick or will the return of a seeded Serena Williams shake up the draw?

 

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[1] Simona Halep

Since winning her maiden Slam, Helep has struggled with injury, having to pull out of Eastbourne, and seen tentatively warming up so far at Wimbledon. She can play on the grass having reached the semi-final once (2014) and the quarter-final in the last two years.

 

Halep’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: Kurumi Nara | Halep leads H2H 1-0
  • R2: Wang Qiang | Halep leads H2H 1-0
  • R3: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova [30] | Halep leads H2H 7-0
  • R4: Elise Mertens [15] | Halep leads H2H 2-0
  • QF: Petra Kvitova [8] | Halep leads H2H 3-1
  • SF: Garbiñe Muguruza [3] | Muguruza leads H2H 3-2
  • F: Caroline Wozniacki [2] | Wozniacki leads H2H 5-2

 

It is not the easiest of draws for the World No. 1 who will now have inevitable eyes on her as she comes in as the most recent Slam winner on the block. On paper she ought to make the quarter-finals for sure once more, but would you count on her to halt two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in her tracks?

 

[2] Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki in the second round of the Nature Valley International, WTA Eastbourne 2018

Caroline Wozniacki in the second round of the Nature Valley International, WTA Eastbourne 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

While Wozniacki is currently enjoying a familiar run of form at Eastbourne, it is still surprising that she has never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon.

 

Wozniacki’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: Varvara Lepchenko | Wozniacki leads H2H 6-1
  • R2: Ekaterina Makarova | Wozniacki leads H2H 7-1
  • R3: Agnieszka Radwanska [32] | Wozniacki leads H2H 11-6
  • R4: Coco Vandeweghe [16] | Wozniacki leads H2H 2-1
  • QF: Elina Svitolina [5] | Svitolina leads H2H 3-1
  • SF: Sloane Stephens [4] | Wozniacki leads H2H 6-1
  • F: Simona Halep [1] | Wozniacki leads H2H 5-2

 

In a fairly one-sided potential path to the final the only wrinkle appears to be Elina Svitolina who managed to reach the quarter-final in Birmingham but has never really got the hang of the grass at Wimbledon, also never having been past the fourth round of Wimbledon so if they do meet in the quarter-final it would count as a significant achievement for both of them.

 

[3] Garbiñe Muguruza

Garbine Muguruza in the first round of the Nature Valley Classic, WTA Birmingham 2018

Garbine Muguruza in the first round of the Nature Valley Classic, WTA Birmingham 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

As Muguruza has notched up her Grand Slam experiences, she has managed to move from one to the other in a better frame of mind, We had the tears surrounding her failed Roland Garros defence, but as she bowed out to Halep in the semi-finals, she was composed and ready to focus on the next defence.

It was not the best lead up in the grass with just one win but she is the big occasion player.

 

Muguruza’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: Naomi Broady [WC] | Muguruza leads H2H 1-0 (ITF)
  • R2: Alison Van Uytvanck | Muguruza leads H2H 1-0
  • R3: Anett Kontaveit [28] | Muguruza leads H2H 2-1
  • R4: Daria Kasatkina [14] | H2H tied at 2-2
  • QF: Caroline Garcia [6] | Muguruza leads H2H 3-0
  • SF: Simona Halep [1] | Muguruza leads H2H 3-2
  • F: Caroline Wozniacki [2] | H2H tied at 3-3

 

[4] Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens in the final of the Miami Open, WTA Miami 2018

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Lynne Sladky/AP/REX/Shutterstock | Sloane Stephens in the final of the Miami Open, WTA Miami 2018

Having reached the Roland Garros final, Stephens declared that she was heading home with the possibility of gracing the turf at Eastbourne, but the American was missing from the draw line-up and will start at Wimbledon with no warm-up under her feet.

 

Stephens’ Path to the final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: Donna Vekic | Stephens leads H2H 1-0
  • R2: Rebecca Peterson | First Meeting
  • R3: Zhang Shuai [31] | H2H tied at 2-2
  • R4: Julia Goerges [13] | Stephens leads H2H 5-1
  • QF: Karolina Pliskova [7] | Stephens leads H2H 2-1
  • SF: Caroline Wozniacki [2] | Wozniacki leads H2H 6-1
  • F: Simona Halep [1] | Halep leads H2H 6-2

 

It is actually quite a tricky start for Stephens – Donna Vekic on grass is never an easy prospect but her head to heads give her a decent advantage for later down the line until the real business end. Of course we could be destined for a Roland Garros match but suspect that better grass-courters will make the grade, come second Saturday.

Wimbledon takes place between 2-15 July.

 

POLL: Who will win the Wimbledon 2018 Ladies’ Singles Title?

 

 

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