Wimbledon 2017: No Serena opens draw for Pliskova, Kvitova – assessing the women's seeds

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Karolina Pliskova shapes as being hard to beat at Wimbledon as Petra Kvitova targets a dream title.

Pliskova and Kvitova are both suited to grass and should be in contention at the All England Club.

We take a look at how the top 10 seeds, and a few others, are placed.

 

1. Angelique Kerber (GER)

After a dream 2016 that saw her triumph at the Australian Open, US Open and reach the final at the All England Club, the world number one is enduring a nightmare 2017 and tumbled out of the French Open with a dismal first-round exit. But, having reached at least the last eight in three of her last five Wimbledon appearances, the German has reason for hope of a revival on grass.

2. Simona Halep (ROU)

Halep will have to respond from the immense disappointment of surrendering a lead in the decisive set in the French Open final against Jelena Ostapenko and the Romanian can have cause for optimism having reached the semis in 2014 and the quarters in 2016. History is not entirely on her side, though, as Halep never progressed beyond the second round in her four other appearances.

3. Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

Four second-round matches represent Pliskova's best performances at Wimbledon, but the Czech has broken through in the last 12 months, reaching the US Open final and progressing to the quarters and semis in Melbourne and Paris. A winner in Nottingham and a finalist in Eastbourne last year, Pliskova's game clearly suits the grass and she is a smart bet to go deep into the second week.

4. Elina Svitolina (UKR)

Svitolina enjoyed an excellent clay-court season that featured wins in Istanbul and Rome and a run to the last eight at Roland Garros, but her hopes of a strong Wimbledon showing will depend on whether she can shake off a foot injury that contributed to her loss to Camila Giorgi in Birmingham last week.

5. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

The former world number one has never quite lived up to her doubtless potential, but a career revival that came after last year's first-round Wimbledon loss means Wozniacki cannot be discounted. She has reached finals in Doha, Dubai and Miami this year, but has not progressed to the showpiece of a grass-court event since winning Eastbourne in 2009.

6. Johanna Konta (GBR)

Britain now finally has a hope outside of men's world number one Andy Murray, but Konta's startling rise to prominence has yet to see her impress at Wimbledon. Reaching the second round last year marked her best display, and that saw her well beaten by Eugenie Bouchard. Optimism, however, comes in the form of last week's showing in Nottingham, where she reached the final only to lose to Donna Vekic.

7. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)

A three-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist, the 32-year-old two-time grand slam champion remains a tough out for any player on the WTA Tour, but has not reached the last eight since 2007. Kuznetsova has not won a tournament since October last year, though, and her challenge was ended in the last 16 at the French Open, indicating that her days of being a true contender at slams may be over.

8. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)

Cibulkova progressed to the quarter-finals in 2016 but her form on grass this year suggests that kind of run may be beyond her again. Having fallen at the first hurdle in 's-Hertogenbosch and Birmingham, the same fate befell her in Nottingham as Cibulkova was stunned by Heather Watson. With the Slovak failing to go beyond the third round in either of 2017's first two slams, Cibulkova should not be considered among the favourites.

9. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)

Finalist in 2012, Radwanska often finds her best in south London, making the semis in 2013 and 2015, but she has struggled to make much of an impression on tour in 2017 because of persistent foot problems. Radwanska was beaten in the third round in the French Open and, though she clearly has fondness for the grass, it is tough to see her contending if short of fitness.

10. Venus Williams (USA)

After a run to the fourth round at Roland Garros, the elder Williams returns to the scene of five of her seven grand slams free from the significant obstacle of her younger sibling. And, with Serena absent, Venus – having lost to Kerber in the 2016 semi-final and her younger sister in the final in Melbourne – should have plenty of hope of rolling back the years and winning the title at 37.

Best of the rest...

Pliskova goes into the tournament as the favourite, but Petra Kvitova's triumph in Birmingham will fuel talk of her marking her remarkable recovery from injuries sustained in a knife attack with a third Wimbledon title, though she skipped Eastbourne with an abdominal problem. Ostapenko's power and stunning performance at Roland Garros will see the Latvian receive plenty of attention. Victoria Azarenka, twice a semi-finalist, has the pedigree to make a push after returning early following the birth of her son.


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