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The Championships, Wimbledon 2015 Ladies Preview and Winner

Event Name:   The Championships, Wimbledon 2015
Where: London, England
Dates: June 29- July 12
Surface: Grass
Tour: WTA & ATP
Defending Champ: Petra Kvitova
Runner-up:      Eugenie Bouchard

When I think of Wimbledon every year I think of strawberries and cream. It looks so good. I’ll have to try it whenever I go to London. However, that has nothing to do with The Championships this year.

Once again the favorite is Serena Williams. The only person that can possibly beat her is Serena Williams. Every opponent she may have in the tournament will have to play their A+++++ game and have Serena commit a lot of unforced errors. Williams is 69-8 against the current top 10 players in the world. Is that a form of intimidation or a lack of motivation for the other ladies? With a Wimbledon win Serena will:

  1. Complete her second Serena Slam (win all four majors consecutively, but not in the same year.
  2. Be one major shy of completing the season grand slam. This feat has been done three times (Maureen Connolly Brinker in 1953, Margaret Court in 1970, & Steffi Graf in 1988) Graf actually completed the Golden Slam that season. She won an Olympic Gold medal that season as well.
  3. Will only be one major behind Graf for the most all-time in the Open era.
  4. Pick up her 6th win at the All- England Club. She would then be three back of Martina Navratilova.

You can see the gentlemen’s preview here.

The matches are played on the court and not on paper and that’s why these people may have an outside chance of winning if Serena is unable to get the job done:

  • Petra Kvitova is the defending champion and has won two of these titles in the past four years. She will need to play strong in the early rounds to gain momentum. She does have tendencies to get upset early in majors.
  • Maria Sharapova would love more than to be the person to stop Serena as she has already accomplished this feat in 2004 to claim her first major. Sharapova also has the ability to get upset. She is my favorite is Serena goes out.
  • Caroline Wozniacki has been playing great since breaking up with Rory McIlroy last season. However, she still has yet to win a major. She has the ability to fly under the radar to win the title.
  • Venus Williams has won this championship on five separate occasions and may still have some magic left in the bottle. Sloane Stevens knocked her out in the first round of the French Open. Venus didn’t play bad in the match. Stephens outplayed the veteran.
  • Madison Keys is my dark horse pick. She has the power and pace needed to contend on this surface. Keys proved earlier this season at the Australian that she belongs in the conversation of players for the future.
  • Finally, there is a young woman named Vika. Victoria Azarenka is much better than her ranking. Reminder, it is because of her injuries last season. She has played great since coming and I expect that to resume.

Notable ladies in the field:

Seed Players
1 Serena Williams
2 Petra Kvitova
3 Simona Halep
4 Maria Sharapova
5 Caroline Wozniacki
6 Lucie Safarova
7 Ana Ivanovic
8 Ekaterina Makarova
9 Carla Suarez-Navarro
10 Angelique Kerber
11 Karolina Pliskova
12 Eugenie Bouchard
13 Aga Radwanska
14 Andrea Petkovic
15 Timea Bacsinszky
16 Venus Williams
17 Elina Svitolina
18 Sabine Lisicki
19 Sara Errani
20 Garbine Muguruza
21 Madison Keys
22 Sam Stosur
23 Victoria Azarenka
24 Flavia Pennetta
25 Alize Cornet
26 Svetlana Kuznetsova
27 Barbora Strycova
28 Jelena Jankovic
29 Irina-Camelia Begu
30 Belinda Bencic
31 Camila Giorgi
32 Caroline Garcia

After all of that it is time for my pick. Drum roll please…

Of course I’m going with Serena. She is playing out of her mind. As tennis players mature in age they are supposed to regress in skills (i.e. Roger Federer) but Williams has gotten stronger. She knows what a win this year means in respect to history and I do not expect any person to be able to prevent her from winning Wimbledon.

Who do you have winning The Championships?

Other bloggers talking about Wimbledon:

Iain’s Football and Tennis Blog

Tennis Kibitzer

Tennis Abides 

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AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

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French Open Preview

Event Name:   French Open
Where: Roland Garros; Paris, France
Dates: 5/24/15 – 6/7/15
Surface: Clay
Tour: WTA & ATP
Defending Champs: Rafael Nadal & Maria Sharapova
Runner-up:      Novak Djokovic & Simona Halep

The 2015 is loaded with questions and will surely be two weeks of action that we fans will not want miss. Is it time for a “changing of the guard” on the women’s side? If it is who will be there to take over? Underdogs like Carla Suarez Navarro can make a huge push. What? Navarro is ranked 8th and you are calling her an underdog? Yes, she has improved her game that much. She has somehow run into a monster named Serena every time, but she has played great against everyone else. it is hard for me to pick Ivanovic, Bouchard, and Wozniacki just because you never know which one of those ladies will show up. The only person outside of the top 10 that I believe has a chance to win is Vika. You’ll find the reason later on.

On the guy’s only seven of the top eight players have a chance of winning to be frank. David Ferrer is the Aga Radwanska of men’s tennis. Both players receive high rankings, but they can not beat better players. Like ever! Last season Kei Nishikori thrusted himself into the conversation of being the best men’s player, but I do not believe he is ready to win. John Isner continues to play well in none major events, and I expect that trend to press on. More on the chances of Amercians and the French later on.

Women’s Side:

  • All eyes are on Serena as it is her tournament to lose. She seeks to claim major win number twenty and her third straight major victory overall. Will her elbow injury prevent her from a victory?
  • Can Sharapova go into a major tourney without losing in an upset early? She should be able to come out of her quarter easily.
  • Simona Halep is a finalist from last year, will she be able to break through to get her first major win.
  • Victoria Azarenka seems to be getting back to her old self, as she is now healthy. She had Serena down for a couple of match points down in Madrid before choking. Vika is ranked 27th, but is clearly not an underdog. She will most likely face Serena in the 3rd round.
  • 1st round match I am most looking forward to seeing: Venus Williams versus Sloane Stephens. People wrote the 34-year-old Williams off a few years ago, by she has fought off disease and non-believers to get back to being a major championship threat. In 2013, Stephens was pronounced the American heir to Serena’s crown, but she followed up with an awful 2014. Sloane has been up and down all season, as her record is 11-9, but I expect her to put up a battle against Venus.

Men’s side:

  • So this guy named Rafael Nadal has won this event in the past five years. Actually, he has won nine of the past ten French Opens. He will come into the tourney ranked sixth, but I must say that I do not expect him to win this year. For his standards he has been awful on clay. Typically, he wins every match on the red stuff, but he has only won one clay tournament he entered this year. It will be tough; if anyone can defy the odds it’s him.
  • Can Novak finally win the French? No other questions needed.
  • 33-year-old, Roger Federer will pursue his second major at Roland Garros. He has played great in 2015, but can he defeat Novak and Rafa. They seem to be his kryptonite.
  • Will an American break through to win the title? No.
  • Will a Frenchman break through to win the title? No, but they have better chances than the Americans.

Top 32 Seeds:

Seed Men Women
1 Novak Djokovic Serena Wiliams
2 Roger Federer Maria Sharapova
3 Andy Murray Simona Halep
4 Tomas Berdych Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori Caroline Wozniacki
6 Rafael Nadal Eugenie Bouchard
7 David Ferrer Ana Ivanovic
8 Stan Wawrinka Carla Suárez Navarro
9 Martin Cilic Ekaterina Makarova
10 Grigor Dimitrov Andrea Petkovic
11 Feliciano Lopez Angelique Kerber
12 Gilles Simon Karolina Pliskova
13 Gael Monfils Lucie Safarova
14 Jo-Wilfred Tsonga Aga Radwanska
15 Kevin Anderson Venus Williams
16 John Isner Madison Keys
17 David Goffin Sara Errani
18 Tommy Robredo Svetlana Kuznetsova
19 Roberto Bautista Agut Elina Svitolina
20 Richard Gasquet Sabine Lisicki
21 Pablo Cuevas Garbiñe Muguruza
22 Philipp Kohlschreiber Barbora Strycova
23 Leonardo Mayer Timea Bacsinszky
24 Ernests Gulbis Peng Shuai
25 Ivo Karlovic Jelena Jankovic
26 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez Sam Stosur
27 Bernard Tomic Vika Azarenka
28 Fabio Fognini Flavia Pennetta
29 Nick Kyrgios Alizė Cornet
30 Adrian Mannarino Irina-Camelia Begu
31 Viktor Troicki Caroline Garcia
32 Fernando Verdasco Zarina Diyas

My Predictions: Serena Williams & Novak Djokovic

Other Bloggers say:

Iain’s Tennis & Football Blog

Adjusting The Net

The ATP World Tour Tennis Blog

Ming Yu Musing

Tennis Thoughts

Tennis Translations

Photo: (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

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BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games returns (Preview)

Event Name:  BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games
Where: Antwerp, Belgium
Dates: 2/7-2/15
Surface: Hard
Tour: WTA
Defending Champ: Justine Henin (2008)
Runner-up:  Karin Knapp

The BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games returns next week for the first time in seven seasons. Tennis legend and four-time major champion, Kim Clijsters is the tournament director. The last time this tournament was played Justine Henin won the final 6-3 6-3.

Notable players in the field:

Eugenie Bouchard Angelique Kerber
Dominika Cibulkova Andrea Petkovic
Lucie Safarova Carla Suarez Navarro
Alize Cornet Karolina Pliskova

Photo: Larry Marano

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Australian Open Preview

Event Name:   Australian Open
Where: Melbourne, Australia
Dates: 1/19-2/1
Surface: Hard Court
Tour: Both
Defending Champ: Stan Wawrinka & Li Na
Runner-up:      Rafael Nadal & Dominika Cibulkova

It feels as if the 2015 tennis season just started and players are already down under for the first major of the year. Many different storylines at play for this year’s tournament.

Women’s Side:

  • Is Serena poised for #19. Last season, in the first three major championships she did not make it into the quarterfinals. She is seeking her fifth championship.
  • If Maria Sharapova does go against Serena in the finals, can she figure out a way to beat her?
  • Can someone break through to get their first major title? Players like Simona Halep, Aga Radwanska, Eugenie Bouchard and Caroline Wozniacki.

Men’s Side:

  • Will Stan Wawrinka prove that last year was no fluke?
  • Does Roger have one more push left in him?
  • Can an American make it to the Round of 16? At this point they all seem hopeless.

Juan Martin del Potro has withdrawn from the tournament. Click here for the story.


Seeded Players:

Seed Male Female
1 Novak Djokovic Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray Aga Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic Caroline Wozniacki
9 David Ferrer Angelique Kerber
10 Grigor Dimitrov Ekaterina Makarova
11 Ernests Gulbis Dominika Cibulkova
12 Feliciano Lopez Flavia Pennetta
13 Roberto Bautista Agut Andrea Petkovic
14 Kevin Anderson Sara Errani
15 Tommy Robredo Jelena Jankovic
16 Fabio Fognini Lucie Safarova
17 Gael Monfils Carla Suarez Navarro
18 Giles Simon Venus Williams
19 John Isner Alize Cornet
20 David Goffin Sam Stosur
21 Alexandr Dolgopolov Shuai Peng
22 Philipp Kohlschreiber Karolina Pliskova
23 Ivo Karlovic Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
24 Richard Gasquet Garbine Muguruza
25 Julien Benneteau Barbora Zahiaviva Strycova
26 Leonardo Mayer Elina Svitolina
27 Pablo Cuevas Svetlana Kuznetsova
28 Lukas Rosoi Sabine Lisicki
29 Jeremy Chardy Casey Deliacqua
30 Santiago Giraido Varvara Lepchenko
31 Fernando Verdasco Zarina Diyas
32 Martin Klizan Belinda Bencic

For personal reasons, I want to see Serena and Federer win the titles. Who do you want to see take the title home? Comment below.


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2015 Brisbane International Preview

Event Name:   Brisbane International Presented by Suncorp
Where: Brisbane, Australia
Dates: January 4-11, 2015
Surface: Hard
Defending Champ: Lleyton Hewitt & Serena Williams
Runner-up:      Roger Federer & Victoria Azarenka

The 2015 tennis season begins next week at the Brisbane International. There are a couple of stout fields ready to show off their new talents before the Australian Open begins in a couple of weeks.

Lleyton Hewitt is ready to defend his title. He beat Roger Federer 61 46 63. It was one of his two titles that he picked up on the year. For Federer, however, it was actually the beginning to a great year. People had written off the seventeen-time grand slam winner, but he proved that he was still a threat to everyone on the ATP Tour.

On the ladies side, Serena Williams will not be in the field this year to defend title. It appears as if she will make her debut at the Aussie Open. Maria Sharapova headlines the field that is mixed with veterans and young hopefuls. Vika Azarenka will try to get over the hurdle this year. Last season, was basically a wash for her, but now seems to be healthy and ready to perform.

Notable women’s singles in the field:

  • Maria Sharapova
  • Victoria Azarenka
  • Ana Ivanovic
  • Angelique Kerber
  • Dominika Cibulkova
  • Andrea Petkovic
  • Jelena Jankovic
  • Carla Suárez Navarro
  • Gabine Muguruza
  • Sam Stosur
  • Sabine Lisicki

Notable men’s singles in the field:

  • Lleyton Hewitt
  • Roger Federer
  • Kei Nishikori
  • Milos Raonic
  • Grigor Dimitrov
  • Kevin Anderson
  • Gilles Simon
  • Sam Querrey
  • Bernard Tomic

Men’s singles that have withdrawn:

  • Marin Cilic
  • Juan Martin del Potro

You may like the preview of the ASB Classic.

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