Wimbledon, England (SportsNetwork.com) – Former champions Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova could meet in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in two weeks after the draw was revealed on Friday.
If the top-seeded five-time Wimbledon champion Serena wants to regain her title at the All England Club, she’s going to have to work for it.
Serena, who last won here two years ago, has a number of quality women in her path, including a potential quarterfinal showdown with Sharapova, who stunned the American in the Wimbledon final 10 long years ago.
The 32-year-old American great will open against 114th-ranked Anna Tatishvili, of Georgia, and has a potential third-round match with gritty Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, who defeated Serena earlier this year in Dubai. Serena then has a possible fourth-round matchup with French Open semifinalists Andrea Petkovic or Eugenie Bouchard, the 20-year-old Canadian who is the only woman to reach a pair of Grand Slam semis so far this year.
Sharapova will open against British wild card Samantha Murray next week and the Russian could face compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round. The former No. 1 Sharapova is then slated to meet either ninth-seeded Angelique Kerber or 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens in the fourth round before a match with Serena.
Along with Serena and Sharapova in the top half of the draw is Roland Garros runner-up Simona Halep, who could face former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals. Halep will open against 91st-ranked Brazilian Teliana Pereira next week.
Former top-ranked star Victoria Azarenka, 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Aussie Open winner Li Na are situated in the bottom half of the draw, with Azarenka and Radwanska possibly squaring off in the quarters and Kvitova meeting Li at that stage.
Li will open up against qualifier Paula Kania next week.
Kvitova could meet five-time champion Venus Williams in the third round and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki could battle Li in the fourth round. The aging Venus missed Wimbledon last year for the first time in her career.
In the bottom section in the top half of the draw, former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic will meet fellow former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in the first round
Marion Bartoli captured last year’s Wimbledon title, only to retire from tennis a few weeks later, by beating Sabine Lisicki in the final. Lisicki could face Ivanovic in the third round.
The eighth-seeded Azarenka is a two-time Wimbledon semifinalist, but heads to this year’s fortnight having played only one match in the last three months because of a foot injury. She’ll open up against Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Should Azarenka make it through her first two matches, she could face French Open upstart Garbine Muguruza, the Spaniard who shocked Serena en route to the quarterfinals in Paris, in the third round. Czech Lucie Safarova and Aussie Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova loom as fourth-round opponents for the Belarusian star.