Venus Williams vs. Elina Svitolina
This is about as intriguing a first-round match as there is in the women’s draw. At age 43, Venus Williams is way past her prime but still looking to compete and make history and deserves so much admiration. Elina Svitolina, coming back from maternity leave, is a lot more match tough than Williams, at least as far as recent results goes, having won the WTA title leading into the French Open, where she went on to reach the quarterfinals. She is also playing more for herself, but also for her native Ukraine. Venus will play inspired and the match will go to three sets with Svitolina winning in what could be the career finale for Williams, ending her fabulous career on Centre Court at Wimbledon. You never want to count out a Williams sister on anything but this is what we believe will happen.
Stan Wawrinka vs. Emil Ruusuvuori
Stan Wawrinka has a 15.66 UTR and Emil Ruusuvuori has a 15.91, so the advantage goes to the man from Finland there. Ruusuvuori won their only previous showing last summer in Canada. This will probably go five sets and we are going with the higher UTR and the younger legs here.
Alycia Parks is a American player on the rise, although most of her biggest wins of come in lower profile events. That will change at Wimbledon in 2023. It will start with a win over Anna-Lena Friedsam. The German has a higher UTR (12.14 vs. 11.87) but Parks has beaten her all three times they have played. We think Parks, and her big serve, will continue to make her rise at Wimbledon this year.