1/2 for Wimbledon victory even before draw for the 2013 ladies’ tournament, Serena Williams (now 4/9) has seen her chances of victory enhanced further after the fixture brackets deposited her on the opposite side of the draw from likely closest challengers Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova.
However the number one seed potentially faces some rigorous examinations on the way to a date with one of the aforementioned pair in the final.
If the matches all pan out according to the seedings then the likely quarter final line-up would see Williams play Angelique Kerber, Agnieszka Radwanska meet Na Li, Sara Errani face Sharapova and Petra Kvitova play Azarenka.
Sharapova (6/1) has been dealt arguably the easiest of the last-eight clashes, with her likely foe never at her best on grass.
Clay court specialist Errani (200/1) has never gone beyond the third round at the All England club and there’s every likelihood that she may even have packed her bags long before the first can of fresh balls are popped for the quarters.
Williams’ route to the semis is likely blocked by one of her more dicey foes in Kerber (50/1), who had a breakout season on the green stuff when surging to the semis in SW19 last term.
The German world number seven has a 2012 straight sets win over the near omnipotent American to her name and seems sure to demand a real performance from her opponent, having rolled over tamely in just one of the six sets they’ve contested on tour.
Radwanska (33/1) – who took Williams to three sets in last year’s final – could face her in this year’s semi-final, with potential last-eight foe Na Li (33/1) in an injury-induced trough of form.
Finally, Azarenka (7/1) is expected to keep a date with Sharapova for the second slam running after her defeat to the Russian on the Paris clay, despite the fact that with 2011 Wimbledon championita Kvitova (16/1) on the menu at the last-eight stage a tricky examination could forecast.
The Czech leads the pair’s career ledger 4-2, but the last of her victories against the world number two came in 2011 when she was at the top of her game. A defeat against Yanina Wickmayer at Eastbourne in her Wimbledon warm-up suggests she’s some way from that form at present.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.