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2023 Wimbledon Women’s Singles Roundtable Predictions

Elena Rybakina won the 2022 Wimbledon title.

Ahead of the third Grand Slam of 2023, five Last Word on Tennis writers–-Vithun Illankovan (@VitIllankovan), Damian Kust (@damiankust), Jakub Bobro (@bobrojakub), Jack Edward and Andreas Pelekis (@atp3417) – make their Wimbledon predictions for the women’s singles.


The player we think will win the women’s singles tournament

Vithun: (7) Coco Gauff [USA]

The draw is so wide open that it almost feels strange that someone has to win the tournament. I have doubts over many of the favourites. Grass is top seed Iga Swiatek’s weakest surface and as she has just come off a triumph at Roland Garros, a win at Wimbledon too seems unlikely (as winning consecutive Grand Slams within the same calendar has not been achieved in the WTA since Serena Williams in 2015). Defending champion and third seed Elena Rybakina has yet to successfully defend a title on tour so whilst she could win again, it is unlikely that her first successful title defence would occur at a Grand Slam. 

Australian Open champion and second seed Aryna Sabalenka is due an early exit after reaching the quarterfinals (or better) at the last two Grand Slams, as she has never made three consecutive major quarterfinals in his career. In addition, she probably has not mentally recovered from her semifinal loss to Karolina Muchova at Roland Garros where she had a match point up 5-2 in the final set before an atrocious collapse to lose 5-7. Meanwhile, two-time Wimbledon champion and ninth seed Petra Kvitova is seen as a contender for the title especially after her title on the grass of Berlin, but the longest gap ever between Grand Slam victories is five years and her last Wimbledon title was nine years ago, suggesting that the Grand Slam window has closed for her. 

Therefore, I am picking Coco Gauff to win the title. The American is on the weaker half of the draw and is one of WTA’s top vultures, meaning she can capitalise on draws opening up or her opponents underperforming. Despite her 2023 being underwhelming, she reached the semifinals in Eastbourne in a run that included a win over world #4 Jessica Pegula – her first win over a Top-10 player since August 2022. This makes me believe Gauff may have turned a corner and ironically, the fact she lost her next match makes me more hopeful as she does not enter Wimbledon with the pressure of maintaining a win-streak. So despite it being without much confidence, I predict Gauff to win her first ever Grand Slam title at Wimbledon this year.

Damian: (1) Iga Swiatek [POL]

Not gonna lie, a part of me is screaming “what the hell are you doing Damian, picking Świątek on grass”. But, please hear me out. Rybakina and Sabalenka are both in the bottom half, along with so many slightly less obvious threats – Alexandrova, Kvitova, Ostapenko, Muchova. We didn’t see that much of her in Bad Homburg, but she looked ready to beat anyone who’s not a flat-hitting monster off both wings and players like that aren’t really popping up in her section that much. High seeds next to her? Gauff (7-0 h2h), Kasatkina (5-1).

Jakub: (2) Aryna Sabalenka [BLR]

 The two biggest favourites entering Wimbledon, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina, have not only landed in the same half but both are facing very tough roads to get through the first week while Iga Swiatek will get to play herself into form. Ultimately, I have chosen Sabalenka despite Camila Giorgi looming in the second round and one of Karolina Muchova, Jule Niemeier, or Ekaterina Alexandrova in the fourth round. I believe the second seed will exorcise her Roland Garros demons on grass and blast her way to the title.

Jack: (2) Aryna Sabalenka [BLR]

With question marks over Elena Rybakina’s health, Aryna Sabalenka seems like the safest bet this fortnight. The women’s Wimbledon singles should be won by a power player, particularly one with an extremely effective serve. All those improvements Sabalenka made to win the Australian Open should make her game very reliable on another fast court. Even if she comes up against Swiatek in the final, I think Sabalenka would have the game to rush the world #1.

Andreas: (1) Iga Swiatek [POL]

Iga Swiatek may appear to be the favourite to win Wimbledon, yet ultimately 128 players all have solid chances of achieving a miracle this tournament. In what has already been a season abound with upsets, the short grass court season renders many top WTA players even more vulnerable to shocking losses. However, Swiatek’s strategic showing in Bad Homburg was certainly a positive; she tried new strategies including variety and unique serve placement, and got better as the week went on. Going into Wimbledon, Swiatek also fortunately fell into a less chaotic section of the draw, avoiding giant-killers and upset-prone players. This could help Swiatek ease into the tournament, as she may save her tyrannising tennis for last at the All-England Club.  

Dark Horse

Which (other) player outside the Top 8 seeds will go furthest in the women’s singles?

Vithun: (20) Donna Vekic [CRO]

The Croatian has had a tremendous rise up the rankings in 2023 as she is seeded 20th at the Championships, despite ending the 2022 season ranked world #69. She is in the weaker half of the draw and in a particularly weak quarter and comes into the tournament with a run to the final in Berlin (which included a victory over the defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina). Having reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this year, I believe with this draw she can go one round better at Wimbledon.

Damian: (12) Veronika Kudermetova [RUS]

I’m looking at the Pegula/Garcia quarter here as this is where the lower seeds (or not even that much lower in the case of my pick) could have a lot of fun. Kudermetova has become a real force on grass in the past few years and should turn it into a Wimbledon run at some point. She’s already beaten Sabalenka in the warm-ups and only lost to Alexandrova in an absolute thriller. The big question for me here is the third round where she can play Vekic (who honestly could have been my dark horse pick too). If she beats her, a quarterfinal or a semifinal becomes really doable.

Jakub: (20) Donna Vekic [CRO]

The second quarter of the women’s draw anchored by Jessica Pegula and Caroline Garcia looks the most wide open and thus has the biggest potential for a dark horse to come through into the semifinals. From that section, I have chosen Donna Vekic to come through, although Zheng Qinwen and Marie Bouzkova also came under consideration. The Croat has just one run to the second week at Wimbledon despite being a brilliant grass player, largely due to tough draws. Vekic had a breakout run on grass when she was just 16 years old, making the final of Birmingham in 2013. Now 27, the Croat made the final of Berlin this year, beating defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. If her game is on, Vekic is certainly a player who can take the advantage here.

Jack: (9) Petra Kvitova [CZE]

There are few players that inspire me with as much confidence as Petra Kvitova in full flow on a grass court. The ninth seed just makes the cut for our dark horse criterion but she might go under the radar as too inconsistent a player for some to pick her. Don’t be fooled—if Kvitova gets on a roll, it will take some performance to stop her lefty serve and flat forehand combination on this slick surface. Look out for the two-time champion this fortnight.

Andreas: (25) Madison Keys [USA]

After a solid, yet overall stagnant start to 2023, Madison Keys has taken off on the grass courts. The American claimed her seventh career title in Eastbourne, coming into Wimbledon with a ton of confidence. Her draw also opens up some real possibilities, with Sakkari and Krejcikova both in mediocre form. Grand Slams also bring out the best in the American, with Keys reaching eight quarterfinals across the course of her career. If she can control the aggression she’s displayed all grass court season, she could be an extremely dangerous opponent for all this fortnight

Early Exit

Which Top 8 seed will be eliminated earliest in the women’s singles?

Vithun: (8) Maria Sakkari [GRE]

I am going with Maria Sakkari to be my early exit pick. Sakkari is arguably the most mentally fragile Top 10 player in tennis history. In addition, Wimbledon is her weakest Grand Slam with a win percentage of just 57% and no runs past the third round. I expect that to continue this year as her projected third round opponent is 25th seed Madison Keys who just won a grass-court title in Eastbourne. I do not see the Greek beating her if they meet.

Damian: (8) Maria Sakkari [GRE]

 This isn’t a simple pick as the top eight seeds on the women’s side are actually all looking strong or have good draws in the early rounds. Why Sakkari if she just had a very nice showing in Berlin? Her path is full of tricky players. Starting from Kostyuk, who’s always just that one big result away from a breakthrough, then we get to Badosa or Riske in the second round, both really dangerous if they can get themselves back in shape. I’m thinking between them and Keys at the last 32 stage, someone probably takes Sakkari out.

Jakub: (8) Maria Sakkari [GRE]

 This pick will likely shock absolutely nobody. The Greek showed some decent play, making the semifinals in Berlin, but the fact of the matter is that she has never made it past the third round at Wimbledon in six previous appearances. Kostyuk will not be easy to open against and Paula Badosa, who has made the second week twice in a row here, could also be tough despite not playing any warm-up events. Add to that a third round against Madison Keys or Viktorija Golubic and the path for Sakkari to break out of the first week looks unlikely.

Jack: (6) Ons Jabeur [TUN]

 This ties slightly into my dark horse pick but I could easily see Ons Jabeur getting overpowered by Kvitova in the fourth round. Even then, the Tunisian’s form has been very sporadic so there’s no guarantee she makes it that far. For all Jabeur’s slicing and dicing genius, the power that Kvitova brings to the court should be enough to dictate proceedings.

Andreas: (5) Caroline Garcia [FRA]

Despite having the powerhouse game to play well on grass, Garcia’s Wimbledon record is only 10-9. On top of this, pressure has seemingly built up on the Frenchwoman, as she’ll have to defend a plethora of ranking points over the next few months. Grand Slams also have failed to bring out Garcia’s best, with the world #5 only reaching two Grand Slam quarterfinals. Within her section of the draw, Leylah Fernandez could prove to be a stern test in the second round, with Marie Bouzkova an even greater challenge one round later. Bouzkova reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2022 in a run that included a straight sets win over Garcia.

Main photo credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports


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