Breaking down the women's draw

Updated: June 19, 2005, 8:50 PM ET
By Miki Singh | Special to ESPN.com

Davenport Quarter (top quarter)

Notable players: Linsday Davenport, Dinara Safina, Ai Sugiyama, Kim Clijsters, Patty Schnyder, Nicole Vaidisova, Svetlana Kuznetsova

Analysis: Top-seeded Lindsay Davenport returns to Wimbledon for a 12th and perhaps final time. The 29-year-old Davenport won this title in 1999, and last year led eventual champion Maria Sharapova by a set in the semifinals. Davenport enters this year a bit off the radar as Sharapova, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Serena Williams have grabbed the headlines. But Davenport remains dangerous at any event and on any surface. A potential showdown looms with her nemesis Kim Clijsters in the fourth round in what would be a rematch of their French Open encounter. Davenport's victory over Clijsters in three sets there ended a six-match slide against the Belgian. The winner of that match will be favored to reach the semifinals against likely quarterfinal opponent Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Mauresmo Quarter (second quarter)

Notable players: Amelie Mauresmo, Karolina Sprem, Elena Likhovtseva, Anastasia Myskina, Jelena Jankovic, Elena Dementieva.

Analysis: Amelie Mauresmo looks to be in good shape to reach her third straight Wimbledon semifinal. The Frenchwoman is the pick in this section which features out-of-form Russians Anastasia Myskina and Elena Dementieva. Myskina's play has slipped this year as a result of personal problems at home and injuries, while Dementieva enters Wimbledon with a bad right shoulder she injured in a grass tune up at 's-Hertogenbosch earlier this week. That said, Mauresmo may get her biggest challenge from a pair of rising stars in Jelena Jankovic, who has enjoyed a good pre-Wimbledon run, and Karolina Sprem, the victor here last year over Venus Williams in the controversial "Ted Watts" match. Surprise French Open semifinalist Elena Likhovtseva also lurks as the lucky No. 13 seed.

Henin-Williams Sisters Quarter (third quarter)

Notable players: Justine Henin-Hardenne, Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova, Venus Williams, Serena Williams.

Analysis: The toughest quadrant of the draw features four former Grand Slam champions in Justine-Henin Hardenne, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Mary Pierce. Henin-Hardenne returns to Wimbledon as the player to beat. A finalist here to Venus in 2001, Henin-Hardenne only needs to add Wimbledon to achieve the Career Slam, and her form coming in puts that possibility in good standing. The Belgian raised her win streak to 24 matches following her French Open title earlier this month. Her biggest obstacle will likely be either Serena or Venus in the quarterfinals. But the Williams sisters have been suffering of late. Serena has been hampered by an ankle injury and lack of play, while Venus has had trouble going deep in tournaments. The sisters, though, have enjoyed quite the history here at Wimbledon with each winning two titles. But their work will be cut out for them if they are to extend the streak of a Williams in the Wimbledon final for a sixth straight year.

Sharapova Quarter (bottom quarter)

Notable players: Nadia Petrova, Vera Zvonareva, Nathalie Dechy, Tatiana Golovin, Sesil Karatancheva, Maria Sharapova.

Analysis: Maria Sharapova returns to the lawns that made her famous. It was just a year ago when the Russian teen became the new queen of tennis by stunning Serena Williams to win Wimbledon. Sharapova has since become the highest-paid female athlete in the world and with it raised expectations. Her first Slam title defense will be tricky from the outset. In the second round, Sharapova could meet fellow teen phenom Sesil Karatancheva. The 15-year-old Karatancheva just reached the semifinals at the French Open, and the outspoken Bulgarian simply loves the big matches and the spotlight. In the quarterfinals, fellow Russians Nadia Petrova or Vera Zvonareva will likely await, with a possible super showdown with Justine Henin-Hardenne in the semifinals.

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