2013 Wimbledon championships: Advanced Baseline women's forecast

Susan Mullane-US PRESSWIRE

The Serena train doesn't show any sign of stopping any time soon. Tournament forecasts, draw analysis, and favorite bets in this year's Wimbledon preview. The men's forecast is here.

Serena Williams is breaking tennis.

Williams' first-round loss at the 2012 French Open should have been the beginning of the end, where she had nothing left to prove anyway and we could all start reflecting on her legacy. Instead, she decided to win three Slams, an Olympic gold medal, and eight more tournaments for good measure, all at 31 years old. If there was a sign that the freight train was slowing down, it would've been during the clay season on her worst surface; but nope, she lost all of three sets this year on clay. And now she's headed to Wimbledon, which is played on her best surface.

It's not quite Nadal-on-clay levels of foregone conclusion, but this is the most one-sided a women's draw has been at a major for a while. If Advanced Baseline ever tries to incorporate the effects of age-based decline, she will probably break the curve all by herself.

While the outcome might be all but decided, there are plenty of other interesting players and story lines to watch for besides who gets to be the sacrificial lamb in the finals. If you want a sneak preview for who will carry the American flag when (if???) Serena declines and retires, this is a great time to start: The kids are starting to come into their own right about now.

Year in Review: Tracking the Top Four

Below is a 52-week tracking graph of the grass-adjusted AB ranks of the top four seeds from last year's Wimbledon until now. It's a quick way to see what's changed at the top of the ladder, and how it might cause things to be different this year.

Wimbledon_womens_medium

See that momentary speed bump for Serena back in May? That came from a single close match against Anabel Medina-Garrigues in Madrid. You can only drop that much from a close win when your performance is amazingly high, and anything short of near-perfect is considered a downgrade. And not only did Serena recover just fine, she still managed to kick it into an even higher level. Please don't break my ratings system in its first year, Serena.

The gulf between Serena and Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka is nearly as big as the gap between those two and the next tier (names like Na Li and Ana Ivanovic are right there with Agnieszka Radwanska). I would say there are interesting trends to look at with the rest of the field, but that giant gap at the top makes it hard to notice anything else.

The Forecast and Draw Analysis

Generated from simulating the tournament 100,000 before the tournament began, using win probabilities from AB ratings. Full explanation for calculating luck of the draw can be found here.

Forecast

As mentioned in the French Open preview, it's really hard to be more likely to win seven consecutive games than not. It's even harder in a best-of-three format, where good players have a better chance of getting unlucky in the short term and ending their tournament early. Serena is over the 50 percent threshold, which is pretty absurd. Outside of the main event, Kaia Kanepi, Simona Halep, and Jamie Hampton (WAR DAMN WIMBLEDON, Y'ALL) are the unseeded players best positioned to make a deep run. Hampton has a tough first-round draw in Sloane Stephens, but if she wins the opener, she'll have about a one-in-five chance of a quarterfinals appearance.

Draw Analysis

For the second straight Slam, the top three all benefitted from the draw, with Serena being the biggest winner. That just seems unfair. American mainstay Varvara Lepchenko got something like a 50 percent boost to her output from the draw, and Andrea Petkovic has much more favorable conditions to make her comeback run than she did at the French Open.

Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber are the ones bearing most of the load from the top three's lucky draw. Kerber has an awful 1-2 gauntlet of Google-powered Bethanie Mattek-Sands and AB top 20 player Kaia Kanepi, and Lisicki will probably be an underdog in rounds two through four despite being in the AB top 25. And poor Sloane Stephens got half her expected points taken away by drawing Jamie Hampton in round one.

Full forecast and draw analysis points below:

Player 2nd Round 3rd Round 4th Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals Winner Expected Points Change in Expected Points from Draw
Serena Williams 99.1% 96.5% 94.4% 86.3% 80.4% 72.5% 52.6% 1386.5 82.0
Maria Sharapova 95.4% 91.4% 84.0% 75.4% 64.5% 41.3% 18.7% 875.3 40.4
Victoria Azarenka 97.9% 91.9% 87.1% 76.9% 64.7% 39.1% 17.7% 864.6 16.9
Agnieszka Radwanska 88.4% 80.4% 65.0% 47.7% 30.6% 7.2% 2.3% 384.3 7.3
Na Li 90.7% 61.5% 45.8% 32.8% 19.6% 4.4% 1.5% 273.1 1.0
Sara Errani 84.4% 73.9% 59.7% 34.7% 9.9% 3.0% 0.7% 244.7 32.5
Nadezda Petrova 83.1% 67.2% 47.8% 23.1% 11.8% 2.0% 0.5% 209.6 53.9
Roberta Vinci 76.8% 65.6% 44.9% 22.7% 11.2% 1.9% 0.4% 199.8 17.2
Ana Ivanovic 78.7% 61.6% 46.6% 26.3% 7.8% 2.5% 0.4% 198.0 -3.7
Ekaterina Makarova 86.6% 64.0% 37.3% 23.8% 7.2% 2.4% 0.4% 186.1 33.8
Caroline Wozniacki 87.7% 63.4% 37.9% 23.1% 6.9% 2.2% 0.5% 183.9 -20.4
Petra Kvitova 87.7% 61.4% 35.8% 22.0% 6.3% 1.8% 0.4% 174.4 -29.7
Angelique Kerber 74.6% 47.6% 36.5% 26.0% 4.8% 2.7% 0.7% 172.7 -83.5
Marion Bartoli 86.5% 66.0% 50.9% 11.5% 6.2% 2.0% 0.4% 171.3 24.7
Samantha Stosur 88.6% 80.1% 49.4% 7.1% 4.4% 2.1% 0.5% 164.2 -31.8
Maria Kirilenko 68.6% 47.1% 33.1% 18.0% 2.2% 1.1% 0.3% 133.1 -35.5
Dominika Cibulkova 80.5% 57.1% 29.6% 11.3% 4.5% 0.5% 0.1% 130.1 23.8
Kaia Kanepi 90.8% 41.3% 27.7% 16.8% 2.0% 1.0% 0.3% 129.9 23.5
Simona Halep 81.4% 33.6% 22.0% 12.8% 6.4% 0.9% 0.2% 125.1 12.9
Jelena Jankovic 82.1% 52.8% 32.3% 7.0% 3.5% 0.9% 0.1% 121.7 -7.9
Kirsten Flipkens 75.9% 55.4% 31.3% 6.7% 3.0% 0.8% 0.1% 117.0 -4.8
Jamie Hampton 63.1% 40.4% 22.7% 13.8% 3.7% 1.0% 0.2% 115.2 -9.9
Elena Vesnina 82.2% 52.5% 28.2% 3.5% 2.1% 1.0% 0.2% 108.3 -26.5
Daniela Hantuchova 61.3% 47.3% 18.4% 10.1% 4.2% 0.6% 0.1% 106.8 16.6
C. Suarez Navarro 66.8% 47.8% 21.9% 8.8% 1.7% 0.4% 0.0% 98.9 7.1
Andrea Petkovic 85.7% 38.7% 17.6% 9.1% 1.7% 0.4% 0.1% 98.5 12.6
Lucie Safarova 74.0% 56.7% 9.4% 5.3% 2.4% 0.5% 0.1% 90.9 -4.0
Magdalena Rybarikova 65.5% 38.4% 17.8% 6.6% 2.5% 0.3% 0.0% 88.4 19.5
Varvara Lepchenko 77.9% 48.0% 16.1% 4.9% 0.6% 0.2% 0.0% 85.6 29.6
Julia Goerges 71.5% 29.9% 16.8% 6.5% 0.5% 0.2% 0.0% 78.0 12.8
Garbine Muguruza 84.7% 30.1% 11.4% 4.7% 0.9% 0.2% 0.0% 76.1 16.2
Yaroslava Shvedova 68.6% 27.6% 11.5% 5.0% 1.0% 0.3% 0.1% 71.2 1.2
Sabine Lisicki 68.4% 32.5% 15.0% 1.7% 0.8% 0.3% 0.1% 69.7 -49.2
Camila Giorgi 83.9% 37.6% 11.1% 1.1% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 69.1 35.0
Yanina Wickmayer 61.7% 28.7% 14.7% 2.3% 0.9% 0.2% 0.0% 66.5 1.0
Petra Cetkovska 66.2% 25.0% 10.3% 4.7% 0.9% 0.2% 0.1% 66.3 -0.8
Mona Barthel 53.6% 30.4% 9.2% 4.1% 1.5% 0.1% 0.0% 64.5 -12.8
Romina Oprandi 57.3% 31.1% 10.4% 5.0% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 64.5 -8.6
Su-wei Hsieh 76.6% 42.7% 4.0% 1.4% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 63.5 20.7
Urszula Radwanska 59.3% 31.0% 9.6% 4.1% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0% 62.9 4.0
Madison Keys 58.7% 27.9% 8.5% 3.8% 1.2% 0.1% 0.0% 62.2 4.6
Shuai Peng 53.4% 29.2% 12.1% 4.3% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 61.9 -10.8
Marina Erakovic 56.9% 28.5% 11.7% 4.0% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 61.7 8.3
Petra Martic 73.5% 21.2% 8.4% 1.8% 0.5% 0.1% 0.0% 58.2 17.7
Sorana Cirstea 52.6% 32.1% 11.2% 1.4% 0.5% 0.1% 0.0% 57.6 1.6
Christina McHale 62.4% 20.5% 12.0% 1.7% 0.5% 0.1% 0.0% 57.1 9.9
Galina Voskoboeva 62.0% 19.4% 9.5% 3.0% 0.5% 0.1% 0.0% 56.2 7.4
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 51.2% 24.3% 9.6% 2.9% 0.7% 0.1% 0.0% 55.7 -11.1
Klara Zakopalova 38.7% 27.5% 7.9% 3.5% 1.1% 0.1% 0.0% 54.2 -16.3
Lesya Tsurenko 56.4% 27.3% 8.1% 1.8% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 53.2 17.9
Monica Niculescu 46.4% 24.4% 6.7% 2.8% 0.9% 0.1% 0.0% 52.2 -2.7
Annika Beck 72.9% 21.7% 4.2% 1.2% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 51.9 15.4
A. Medina Garrigues 46.6% 23.4% 8.8% 3.0% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 51.3 1.9
Tsvetana Pironkova 48.8% 22.1% 7.8% 2.2% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 50.9 2.2
Tamira Paszek 64.6% 35.0% 1.4% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 50.6 7.3
Ajla Tomljanovic 58.5% 21.3% 8.0% 1.0% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 50.5 4.9
Stefanie Voegele 47.5% 28.3% 9.1% 1.0% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 50.2 11.2
Sloane Stephens 36.9% 19.3% 8.2% 3.9% 0.8% 0.1% 0.0% 49.6 -46.8
Alize Cornet 56.4% 30.1% 2.8% 0.9% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 48.5 0.1
Irina-Camelia Begu 51.8% 18.4% 6.2% 1.4% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 46.1 6.5
K. Date-Krumm 56.1% 30.9% 1.1% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 45.3 10.1
Laura Robson 31.4% 16.6% 8.9% 3.4% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 44.4 -12.0
Alison Riske 42.7% 20.2% 5.6% 2.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% 43.6 -3.5
Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 48.2% 17.4% 5.6% 1.4% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 43.2 4.7
Ayumi Morita 43.1% 18.9% 6.5% 1.9% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 43.1 0.3
Sofia Arvidsson 49.5% 17.2% 4.5% 1.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 41.4 7.4
M. Lucic-Baroni 50.5% 16.8% 4.2% 1.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 41.4 6.8
Heather Watson 41.3% 17.3% 4.3% 1.6% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 40.8 -4.1
Mallory Burdette 40.7% 17.8% 4.5% 1.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 39.9 -3.3
Kristyna Pliskova 55.7% 11.5% 3.8% 0.6% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 39.7 9.4
L. Arruabarrena-Vecino 43.6% 17.9% 4.1% 0.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 38.7 9.1
Lucie Hradecka 53.5% 16.3% 1.0% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 38.0 6.8
Flavia Pennetta 57.8% 4.9% 2.7% 1.1% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 37.9 -11.5
L. Dominguez-Lino 33.3% 18.2% 5.5% 1.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 37.6 -1.4
Mathilde Johansson 57.0% 7.9% 2.5% 0.6% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 37.4 6.4
Vania King 43.6% 20.8% 1.6% 0.5% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 37.1 3.4
Vesna Dolonts 38.3% 13.5% 5.3% 0.7% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 36.7 -8.0
B. Zahlavova Strycova 34.5% 15.2% 5.1% 1.2% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 36.5 -3.2
Misaki Doi 50.6% 8.8% 3.6% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 36.0 8.8
Jie Zheng 63.7% 2.2% 1.4% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 35.9 -8.5
Carina Witthoeft 43.9% 20.2% 0.7% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 35.4 6.3
Olga Puchkova 57.9% 8.5% 1.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 35.3 9.5
S. Soler-Espinosa 49.4% 8.4% 3.3% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 35.1 8.3
B. Mattek-Sands 25.4% 10.3% 5.5% 2.5% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 34.5 -25.7
Bojana Jovanovski 41.5% 11.9% 3.6% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 34.4 -0.6
Chanelle Scheepers 23.2% 14.8% 6.2% 1.4% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 34.0 -7.6
Karin Knapp 46.5% 13.1% 0.9% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 33.7 5.1
Melanie Oudin 53.1% 3.5% 1.5% 0.6% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 33.0 -2.8
Jana Cepelova 44.3% 8.1% 2.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 31.7 5.9
Eugenie Bouchard 38.1% 8.6% 3.2% 0.7% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 31.4 -2.7
Alexa Glatch 37.6% 8.8% 3.8% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 31.2 -0.5
M. Larcher De Brito 46.9% 2.7% 1.1% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 29.7 -3.6
Timea Babos 43.0% 5.1% 1.4% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 29.5 3.4
Donna Vekic 33.8% 8.2% 2.4% 0.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 29.4 -8.5
Alexandra Cadantu 35.4% 14.0% 0.5% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 29.3 4.7
Virginie Razzano 21.3% 10.4% 4.6% 1.3% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 29.3 -12.6
Elena Baltacha 42.2% 2.8% 1.4% 0.5% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 29.0 -10.1
Francesca Schiavone 31.6% 9.9% 3.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 29.0 -17.3
Kiki Bertens 31.4% 7.8% 2.2% 0.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 28.4 -9.5
Yulia Putintseva 24.1% 11.4% 3.4% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 27.8 -8.8
Lauren Davis 26.0% 14.0% 1.2% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 27.6 -5.8
Arantxa Rus 42.1% 5.1% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 27.5 5.2
M. Duque-Marino 28.5% 6.5% 2.2% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 26.0 -6.0
Monica Puig 15.6% 8.9% 4.2% 0.9% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 25.3 -7.6
Caroline Garcia 36.3% 1.0% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 23.6 -6.3
Karolina Pliskova 16.9% 7.9% 2.8% 0.5% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 23.3 -7.7
Maria-Elena Camerin 19.5% 7.1% 1.6% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 22.0 -5.1
Eva Birnerova 22.1% 6.8% 0.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 21.9 1.0
Anna Tatishvili 26.5% 3.7% 0.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 21.8 0.2
Tatjana Maria 23.4% 6.5% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 21.7 1.4
Nina Bratchikova 27.1% 3.5% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 21.4 0.8
Yvonne Meusburger 11.6% 6.7% 2.4% 0.7% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 21.1 -14.5
Johanna Konta 17.9% 5.1% 1.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 20.0 -9.1
Andrea Hlavackova 17.8% 5.1% 1.4% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 19.9 -14.7
Olga Govortsova 18.6% 3.0% 0.9% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 19.2 -13.1
Elina Svitolina 13.5% 4.7% 1.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 18.6 -7.4
Johanna Larsson 13.4% 4.4% 0.9% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 17.9 -10.6
K. Anna Schmiedlova 11.4% 6.3% 1.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 17.9 -9.6
E. Cabeza-Candela 12.3% 3.4% 0.6% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.8 -10.0
Samantha Murray 16.1% 2.1% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.7 1.7
Coco Vandeweghe 12.3% 3.2% 0.7% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.6 -9.6
Anne Keothavong 15.3% 1.5% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.3 -2.6
Pauline Parmentier 14.3% 1.6% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.1 -5.8
Michaella Krajicek 9.3% 1.9% 0.6% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 14.9 -12.2
Kristina Mladenovic 4.6% 2.5% 1.0% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 14.4 -23.1
Tara Moore 9.2% 0.9% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 13.8 -6.1
M. Joao Koehler 2.1% 0.5% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 11.2 -9.8
Mandy Minella 1.0% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 10.5 -10.4

Favorite Bets

First-round matchups:

Angelique Kerber (-225) vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Stefanie Voegele (+150) vs. Sorana Cirstea
Vania King (+225) vs. Alize Cornet

Futures bets:

Maria Sharapova (6-1) to win outright
Victoria Azarenka (7-1) to win outright

Final Thoughts

The outlook for this year's Wimbledon makes me wonder how we would've viewed Serena if grass was as common a surface in tennis as clay. Nadal's eight French Opens are an amazing feat in itself, and I've always wondered how much of his clay dominance has been due to natural ability versus accumulated clay experience in the regular season.

If Serena grew up playing a lot of grass matches, could she have had a Nadal-like reign at Wimbledon? (Then again, who's to say that Venus wouldn't have gotten in her way. In this hypothetical, I'm sure she'd be playing right alongside Serena this entire time.) It's one of the quirks of having a Grand Slam that's played on a surface that's rare on the regular circuit, and it leaves plenty of room for a lot of what-ifs.

Back in reality, though, Serena is still an amazing 50+% to win Wimbledon this year. I'd love to be the one coming in with a contrarian pick, but nothing she's done in the past year remotely supports that proposition.

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