Wimbledon 2015: With five of last six titles, Kvitova and Williams top seeds

Serena Williams is the top seed at Wimbledon 2015 ahead of Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep

Petra Kvitova may be the defending champion at Wimbledon, the Grand Slam that brings out the very best in the tall left-handed Czech, but she takes the No2 seeding behind the woman who has shared the honours at the All England Club in five of the last six years, Serena Williams.

But as luck would have it, Kvitova is the only woman to have beaten Williams this year, in the semi-finals of Madrid.

Neither woman has played a grass event ahead of Wimbledon—Williams opting to rest and recuperate after a gruelling title run at Roland Garros that was hampered by flu, and Kvitova pulling out of Eastbourne this week with illness of her own.

The other two women seeded to reach the semis are No3 Simona Halep, who made her best run on London’s grass to the semis last year, and the 2004 champion Maria Sharapova. The Russian reached the semis in the following two years, lost to Kvitova in the 2011 final, but has not advanced beyond the fourth round in her other seven visits to SW19.

While Sharapova has been practising at Wimbledon, Halep is the only one of the top four to get any tournament preparation, a quarter-final run in Birmingham. However the four they are scheduled to meet in the Wimbledon quarters have all stretched their legs in warm-up tournaments. What’s more, the in-form No6 Lucie Safarova was a semi-finalist in London last year, with No8 Ekaterina Makarova reaching the quarters.

The pick of the next eight, ones who could cause quarter-final upsets, are last week’s Birmingham winner Angelique Kerber, and the woman she beat there, Karolina Pliskova, along with five-time former champion Venus Williams just making the No16 cut. Meanwhile two unknown quantities are former Wimbledon finalists Eugenie Bouchard at No12 and Agnieszka Radwanska at No13, neither of whom has enjoyed good form this season.

Notable among the remaining seeds are Victoria Azarenka at No23, still working her way up the rankings after missing much of last year with injury, and a dangerous early opponent for one of the top seeds.

Unseeded dangers include No49 Dominka Cibulkova, returning from injury, the powerful Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at No39 and Kaia Kanepi at No50, Julia Goerges at No56 and former Wimbledon semi-finalist, the resurgent Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, at No54.

Caroline Garcia nabbed the No32 seeding courtesy of the absence of No26-ranked Shuai Peng.

Women’s seeds

1 Serena Williams
2 Petra Kvitova
3 Simona Halep
4 Maria Sharapova
5 Caroline Wozniacki
6 Lucie Safarova
7 Ana Ivanovic
8 Ekaterina Makarova

9 Carla Suarez Navarro
10 Angelique Kerber
11 Karolina Pliskova
12 Eugenie Bouchard
13 Agnieszka Radwanska
14 Andrea Petkovic
15 Timea Bacsinzky
16 Venus Williams

17 Elina Svitolina, 18) Sabine Lisicki, 19) Sara Errani, 20) Garbiñe Muguruza, 21) Madison Keys, 22) Samantha Stosur, 23) Victoria Azarenka, 24) Flavia Pennetta, 25) Alize Cornet, 26) Svetlana Kuznetsova, 27) Barbora Strycova, 28) Jelena Jankovic, 29) Irina-Camelia Begu, 30) Belinda Bencic, 31) Camila Giorgi, 32) Caroline Garcia (FRA #33)

Notable doubles seeds: 1 Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza, 12 Serena and Venus Williams

MORE: Djokovic and Federer top seedings, Nadal No10

Paul Merson
Paul Merson predicts the scoreline of Brentford v Chelsea FC
Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screen grab / BT Sport)
Brentford boss: ‘Enormously intelligent’ Chelsea FC star one of the best in the world
Mikel Arteta
‘At all costs’: Paul Merson predicts Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Screen grab)
Nigel Winterburn predicts where Man United will finish this season
Paul Merson
Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Watford v Liverpool FC
Paul Merson
Paul Merson predicts the scoreline of Brentford v Chelsea FC
Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screen grab / BT Sport)
Brentford boss: ‘Enormously intelligent’ Chelsea FC star one of the best in the world
Mikel Arteta
‘At all costs’: Paul Merson predicts Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Screen grab)
Nigel Winterburn predicts where Man United will finish this season
Paul Merson
Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Watford v Liverpool FC
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature