Oops, the start of the tournament got away from me before I got this up! Sorry about that, but a little thing called day-to-day life got in the way. Looking at the draw—and what has happened in recent years—I think the cream of the crop is Venus Williams, and I don't think she's ready to give up the crown anytime soon.
None of my intended picks lost on the first day of action at the tournament, so I figured it was safe to share my thoughts with everyone! : ) So here it goes:
Dinara Safina (1) vs. Caroline Wozniacki (9): If you hadn't seen it, check out Naf's QF breakdown at Tennis With Attitude. She's going with Amelie Mauresmo to make the quarters out of Safina's section. I think it's a good call, and one I was real tempted to make myself. Mauresmo's definitely the most accomplished grass-court player in that bracket, but I'm going with intangibles on picking Safina, such as her realizing she has a lot to prove to justify her ranking. I think she can at least get to the quarters. Wozniacki just won a tournament on grass over the weekend and looks to have a pretty good draw. She's definitely capable of beating Svetlana Kuznetsova if they meet in the fourth round. Catch her first-round match with Kimiko Date Krumm for some old-school entertainment.
Venus Williams (3) vs. Agnieska Radwanska (11): If by chance Venus doesn't at least make it this far, you'll have either Sam Stosur or Bethanie Mattek-Sands to blame. See, Venus can come up with unpredictable losses at times. I don't think that will be the case this go-around, but just to hedge my bets... Radwanska's been playing solidly, but she'll have to watch out for Na Li in the third round. Jelena Jankovic is a non-factor, as is Ana Ivanovic up in Williams' bracket, I feel.
Marion Bartoli (12) vs. Elena Dementieva (4): They both won their first-round matches easily, but they've had some spotty results lately. However, they have better Wimbledon results than anyone else in their sections. I think Bartoli's biggest threat will come from countrywoman Virginie Razzano, while Dementieva will have to be wary of Alisa Kleybanova, Maria Sharapova's conqueror last year.
Maria Sharapova (24) vs. Serena Williams (2): On Wimbledon Primetime, Martina Navratilova made a point about Sharapova that I thought was pretty interesting: She said she didn't think Maria, with her shoulder problems, would be able to serve hard enough to win. I think that could be the case, but there's no reason she shouldn't be able to get to the quarters. As for Williams, her early-rounders could give he a little workout, but not too much.
For the semis:
Williams over Wozniacki, Williams over Bartoli.
For the final:
Venus over Serena: This is really Venus' home now and I like her to keep adding to her title haul. Most players barely have the opportunity to win six regular titles, much less Wimbledons. But add to it she shall!