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Romania’s Simona Halep celebrates after beating Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka in a Women’s singles match during day five of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Romania’s Simona Halep celebrates after beating Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka in a Women’s singles match during day five of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)|Associated Press
Tennis

Wimbledon Manic Monday: Abrams picks the women’s Round of 16 with Barty, Serena, Kvitova, Konta, Pliskova, Halep, Coco Gauff and more

Matches start at 6 am EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Wimbledon
Round of 16
Women’s Picks

Barty over Riske
Riske, evidently, is the real deal, after topping Belinda Bencic 6-4 in the third. But Barty’s game is taylor-made for the grass here, and the Aussie should move on.

S. Williams over Suarez Navarro
It continues to blow me away how Williams keeps getting the best draws at all the tournaments. If she could match her play with her draws, she’d finally win her 24th Grand Slam tournament, and maybe we could be done with her. But no. She’s not the player she was, but she’s still good enough to beat Suarez Navarro and move into the quarters. By the way, instead of ranting about my issues with her easy draw, do you know who Giulia Gatto-Monticone or Kaja Juvan are? Me neither. That’s who Williams beat to get here. Now stop complaining about me complaining about her easy draw.

Strycova over Mertens
Barbora Strycova has beaten Leisa Tsurenka, Laura Siegemund and Kiki Bertens to get to the Round of 16. That’s pretty impressive in a draw that has at least fifty players you’ve never heard of. I think she’ll take the scalp of her third seed here when she takes out Elizabeth Mertens.

Kvitova over Konta
This should be either the most or the second most competitive of the women’s matches to be played today. I think Konta is playing some of her best ball, but I also think that Kvitova is the better player. In three close sets, I like the Czech over the Brit.

Svitolina over Martic
Elina Svitolina is a terrific athlete—maybe the best athlete on the women’s side, and she’s played her way into the last match she’ll be favored in. She should have no trouble taking out the entertaining Petra Martic, and moving into the quarters.

Ka. Pliskova over Muchova
As I said last round, the best thing to have happened to Karolina Pliskova over the past couple of weeks was when she lost to her twin sister. She’s been impeccable since, and I expect more of the same today.

Halep over Gauff
Maybe 15-year-old Coco Gauff is the future of women’s tennis (I, personally, don’t think so), but she is a threat today. Just not much of one. Gauff has won her matches by simply hitting one more ball over the net and between the lines than her opponents have, but she won’t be able to do that against Halep. For Gauff to win, she’ll have to develop some winning shots to go along with her excellent defense, but she won’t develop them before this match ends.

Yastremska over Zhang
Who would have thought that Dayana Yastremska would have emerged from the very bottom of the draw to play for a spot in the quarters? Not me. But I wouldn’t have picked Zhang either. Zhang got through by beating Wozniacki, who still has not gotten past the third round at Wimbledon. Yastremska took out American Sofia Kenin and Viktorija Golubic, which should be enough to demonstrate that she can beat Shuai Zhang. But if Zhang attacks and takes the net away, this match could go her way.