She will begin her 2016 campaign against a qualifier, but has some potentially awkward ties looming further down the line in a difficult top half of the draw. There are lots of intriguing first-round ties where there could be a possible upset, and even some of the higher-ranked players could have their work cut out for them.
How the Bookies See it
- Tournament Winner: Serena Williams 6/4, Garbine Muguruza 5/1, Petra Kvitova 6/1, Madison Keys 11/1 - William Hill
How the top seeds start (odds from Paddy Power)
- Serena Williams vs Amra Sadikovic: Williams 1/80, Sadikovic 14/1
- Camila Giorgi v Muguruza: Giorgi 4/1, Muguruza 1/6
- Agnieszka Radwanska v Kateryna Kozlova: Radwanska 1/18, Kozlova 8/1
Matches to watch (odds from Paddy Power)
- Monica Puig v Johanna Konta: Puig Evens, Konta 4/5
- Petra Kvitova v Sorana Cirstea: Kvitova 2/9, Cirstea 3/1
- Tsvetana Pironkova v Belinda Bencic: Pironkova 9/10, Bencic 9/10
Muguruza could just dominate women’s tennis for the next decade. She is up to No.2 in the world, has just won the French Open and made the final of Wimbledon last year, but that does not hide the fact that she has had an inconsistent year and is facing a very good player in the first round. Giorgi can be very erratic, but when it is her day she is a match for anyone and she could stretch Muguruza to three sets.
Among the other top seeds, Roberta Vinci’s game is not suited to grass and she looks vulnerable to an upset against Alison Riske, while former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will have to put some poor form behind her very quickly if she is to get past a resurgent Sorana Cirstea. Seventh seed Belinda Bencic, a dark horse for Wimbledon glory, must first face Tsvetana Pironkova, who got to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2010 and is coming off the back of a run to the last eight of the French Open.
Britain’s Johanna Konta has been seeded 16th and has improved so quickly over the past 12 months that she has a realistic chance of reaching the quarter-finals at least here. However, her Puerto Rican opponent Monica Puig is one of the most talented non-seeded players in the draw and there may not be much to choose between them, so a three-set match may be the best bet here.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Monica Puig v Johanna Konta - over 2.5 sets - 5/4 at Paddy Power
*Please note that odds may fluctuate in the lead-up to matches