Wimbledon first round preview: Angelique Kerber vs Laura Robson

Following a disastrous clay court campaign, Angelique Kerber returns to Wimbledon for the first time as a Grand Slam champion and she is looking to get her season firmly back on track.

Kerber shocked the tennis world when she beat the world number one and defending Australian Open champion Serena Williams to claim her first Grand Slam singles title.

The German had one foot on the plane as she was match point down and potentially could have been eliminated in the first round for the second consecutive year.

Laura Robson has had a wrist injury which ruled her out for two years, the Australian-born Brit reached the fourth round of Wimbledon back in 2013 and has made the fourth round of the US Open in the past.

Kerber's possible route to the final

Kerber on the practice courts ahead of her first round match with Laura Robson (Photo by Julian Finney / Source : Getty Images)
Kerber on the practice courts ahead of her first round match with Laura Robson (Photo by Julian Finney / Source : Getty Images)

Kerber is seeded fourth at these Championships and placed in the bottom half of the draw. The bottom half of the draw is stacked with former Grand Slam champions, former world number ones and players who have gone deep in slams before.

The German opens up her campaign on No.1 court against Laura Robson, Kerber will be hoping that she doesn't suffer a first round exit to Robson like she did in 2011.

Should Kerber get through Robson, her second round meeting with Varvara Lepchenko or clay courter Teliana Pereira shouldn't pose too many difficulties for her.

25th seed Irina-Camelia Begu who is more of a clay court specialist but reached the third round of Wimbledon last year is Kerber's projected third round opponent.

Karolina Pliskova seeded 15th, had a grass court season as she won the title at the Aegon Open in Nottingham and reached the final at the Aegon International in Eastbourne or former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, could await for Kerber in the fourth round.

Aegon Classic champion Madison Keys, former Wimbledon semifinalist Simona Halep are Kerber's projected quarterfinal opponents which could be tricky.

A semifinal meeting with five-time champion Venus Williams or French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza, Lucie Safarova or Sabine Lisicki is on the cards.

Should Kerber reach the final she could meet Serena Williams, two-time champion Petra Kvitova or Agnieszka Radwanska.

Robson's season so far

Robson in first round action at Wimbledon last year (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Source : Getty Images)
Robson in first round action at Wimbledon last year (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Source : Getty Images)

Laura Robson had wrist surgery again on the wrist that was bothering her towards the end of 2015 WTA campaign. The Brit missed the Australian Open this year and opted to play at some ITF events in the United States to get some matches under her belt.

On her return to the WTA tour, Robson used her protected ranking at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and she unfortunately lost her qualifying matches in Miami and Charleston but lost.

The Brit won her first tour level match since 2013 by beaing Klara Koukalova in the qualifying event in Stuttgart.

Robson suffered losses to former world number one Victoria Azarenka in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open, followed by a defeat to Christina McHale at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

Robson's clay court season culminated at the French Open with a defeat to 2014 semifinalist, Andrea Petkovic in straight sets.

Head-to-head

Kerber and Robson have played each other three times, and the German leads their head-to-head 2-1.

Their meetings have come on hard courts twice and on grass once. The fourth seed would their first meeting back in 2008 at 50k event in Barnstaple which Kerber won in three sets.

Robson beat Kerber in the first round of Wimbledon back in 2011 in  three sets, and the German edged their head-to-head by winning their last encounter in Beijing back in 2013.

Match analysis

Since Kerber won the Australian Open back in January, her results have been inconsistent as she failed to deal with the pressures of more media attention since she got up to number two in the world and the first German to win a slam since Steffi Graf.

Robson's return from injury has been slow but with the match being on No.1 court, she will have the crowd firmly behind her and she could use the crowd to her advantage against Kerber.

The German is a former semifinalist at Wimbledon back in 2012 and she reached the quarterfinals in 2014, her lefty serve works well on the grass and Kerber is a tremendous defender.

The Brit is unlikely to beat Kerber as her serve breaks down and serves a ton of double faults, and the serve of Robson has definitely gone weaker as she had wrist surgery.

There is a lot here at stake for Kerber as this is the final match scheduled on No.1 court which could take place around 6pm local time.

Prediction: Kerber to win in straight sets

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