Day 1 schedule:
Virginie Razzano vs. Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic comes into Wimbledon without a win on grass. As a consolation, she did lose to the eventual champion, Vesnina, in Eastbourne. Razzano is a capable grass court player, having reached the finals of Eastbourne a few years ago. Will she have what it takes to beat Ana? Interestingly, Ivanovic took out Virginie in Paris 2 weeks ago. It seems that history will repeat itself here in London as well. The scoreline will be closer, but the result will not be different.
Pick: Ivanovic in 2 tight sets
Petra Kvitova vs. Coco Vandeweghe
One of the biggest scandals to hit WTA, Petra Kvitova supposedly wrecked the marriage of former player, Nicole Vaidisova and Radek Stepanek. This will definitely be a distraction for the Czech and her recent dip in form is already an indication. It's a sad case of talent gone to waste with Petra, as she got distracted, lazy, and de-motivated by off court events. Coco isn't a great grass court player but with her serve, she is a threat. Let's see if she can take out the trouble Czech star.
Pick: Kvitova in 3 sets
Elena Baltacha vs. Flavia Pennetta
Elena Baltacha will be playing in front of her home crowd and high on confidence after winning a grass challenger event. Pennetta, sadly, is in the twilight years of her career. It seems like she cannot sustain the high level needed to win a match. There will always be flashes of brilliance, followed by ugly shot selection and errors. I would love to see Flavia give one final push but Elena should be able to win this.
Pick: Baltacha in 2 tight sets
Sara Errani vs. Monica Puig
Sara Errani's grass game isn't fantastic and out of the top 10, she is the most vulnerable to an early exit. Will Monica Puig take advantage and achieve her first top 10 win? I have never seen Monica play on grass before but she did lose tamely to Melanie Oudin in qualifying round last week. It doesn't bode well for the young Puerto Rican. Maybe she doesn't have it now for the upset, but I guess with experience, she can translate her game well onto this surface.
Pick: Errani in 2 sets
Sloane Stephens vs. Jamie Hampton
Coming off a final appearance in Eastbourne, Jamie draws her compatriot and rival, Sloane Stephens. Sloane has been hogging the headlines for being the next American hope but I do think Jamie deserves a mention as well. If not for her unfortunate back injury, she could have taken out Azarenka. Still, I believe her run in Eastbourne took a toll on her and she will be tired from all the tennis. Sloane will be fresher and emerge the winner here.
Pick: Stephens in 2 sets
Sure win bets: Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Ekaterina Makarova, Lesia Tsurenko, Yaroslava Shvedova
Upset alert: Bojana Jovanovski, Camila Giorgi, Pauline Parmentier, Hsieh Su-Wei, Galina Voskoboeva