Simon Reed

Serena show supplies much-needed drama

Simon Reed

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Serena Williams

It think it is fair to say that the first week of Wimbledon has been all about the men's draw, but Serena Williams finally gave fans of women's tennis some value for money against Zheng Jie.

After dropping the first set, many people felt she was in danger of suffering a similar meltdown to the one she experienced at Roland Garros - but she gritted her teeth and managed to polish off the victory against a dangerous opponent.

I picked Serena at the start of the tournament to win the event and this victory gives me hope that she can push on now and rediscover her best form.

She has an ability to rise to the occasion and in many ways she puts more pressure on herself in these early matches than she does when reaches the semi-finals or final.

Next up for her will be Yaroslava Shvedova who astonishingly managed to win every single point against Sara Errani  in the opening set of her 6-0 6-4 victory.

Shevdova is a big hitter but I think she lacks the consistency to really challenge Serena, and I expect Williams to move safely into the quarter-finals.

However, then things get really tough for Serena, who may have to beat Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova back-to-back-to-back to win the title.

I felt Sharapova was the big danger to Serena at the start of the tournament as she really is the in-form player in the draw, but Kvitova and Azarenka are giving signs that they could challenge too.

I haven't been impressed with Kvitova at all this season, but she is playing her way back into form and looked good on Saturday in beating Varvara Lepchenko with the loss of just a game.

I also fancy Azarenka to move through into the quarter-finals despite a tricky-looking fourth-round match against Ana Ivanovic.

Ivanovic has shown flashes of her best form this season, but she always seems liable to have lapses in concentration during her matches, and while she got away with that against Julia Goerges on Saturday, I can't see her being so lucky against Azarenka.

Finally, the big pleasant surprise for me in the women's draw has been Tamira Paszek.

She showed tremendous courage to come from a set down to beat Yanina Wickmayer on Saturday, just like she did in the previous round when she upset Caroline Wozniacki.

You have to give her a big chance of making the quarter-finals now; I feel she can beat Roberta Vinci next and even though I would not back her to then beat Azarenka, she can be immensely happy with her tournament if she makes it into the last eight.

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