Projected Round of 16: Serena vs. Svitolina, Kvitova vs. Vinci, Muguruza vs. Pavlyuchenkova, Bacsinszky vs. Venus, Keys vs. Suárez Navarro, Radwanska vs. Strycova, Kuznetsova vs. Konta, Kerber vs. Stosur.
Draw Winners: Radwanska, Bacsinszky, Konta, and Kuznetsova.
Of the top four seeds, Radwanska has the smoothest road to the medal rounds. She's drawn into the bottom half of the draw away from Serena and opens against Zheng Saisai. The highest ranked player she could face in the first three rounds is World No.21 Barbora Strycova, and she could face either Madison Keys or Carla Suárez Navarro in the quarterfinals.
The top half of the draw is loaded throughout, but if there's anyone who lucked out on a soft section, it's Bacsinszky. This is her first hardcourt tournament since the Miami Open, but she's been given a draw that should allow her to play herself into form. Drawn into the second quarter anchored by Muguruza and Venus, she opens against Zhang Shuai and would play the winner of Laura Siegemund or Tsvetana Pironkova. Win those two and she could face Venus in the third round, a winnable match for the Swiss star.
Both Konta and Kuznetsova landed in a soft section of the bottom half of the draw and are projected to face off in the Round of 16. The winner of that match could face No.2 seed Kerber, but that assumes the German can navigate a potentially tricky second round match against either Eugenie Bouchard or Sloane Stephens. If the draw breaks open, look for Konta or Kuznetsova to put themselves into medal contention.
Draw Losers: Venus, Serena, Kerber, and Muguruza.
To win defend her London gold and win her second singles gold medal, World No.1 Serena will have to be sharp from the first ball. She opens against the always-dangerous Daria Gavrilova, then could play the woman who beat her three times on one season, Alizé Cornet. In the third round she could play Elina Svitolina, Andrea Petkovic, or Heather Watson, and the quarterfinals could see Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova or Roberta Vinci. All that and she could get a French Open rematch against Muguruza, her sister Venus, or Bacsinszky in the semifinals. That's a significantly tougher road than any other Top 4 seed.
Kerber's draw is not as consistently difficult as Serena's, but she'll be on upset alert in the second round. After opening against Mariana Duque-Mariño, Kerber will face either Bouchard or Stephens. She has lost to both of them this season, though the losses came on clay and one was a retirement (to Stephens).
No.3 Muguruza opens against Jelena Jankovic, who is coming off injury, and then could play Irina-Camelia Begu, who beat her at the Mutua Madrid Open. Looming in the third round will be Wimbledon quarterfinalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, before a possible showdown against Venus or Bacsinszky. For a player who has not played a match since her second round loss at Wimbledon, that's not a very forgiving draw in the early rounds.
Finally, Venus could have a tricky opener against the slicing and dicing Kirsten Flipkens, but it's her potential second round match against Lucie Safarova that could end her tournament early. There are also questions surrounding the health of Venus' shoulder, as she struggled to serve over 100mph during the Rogers Cup.
Best first round matches: Serena Williams vs. Daria Gavrilova, Eugenie Bouchard vs. Sloane Stephens, Garbiñe Muguruza vs. Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic vs. Carla Suárez Navarro, Andrea Petkovic vs. Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova vs. Timea Babos, Venus Williams vs. Kirsten Flipkens, Samantha Stosur vs. Jelena Ostapenko.
Potential second round matches: Angelique Kerber vs. Sloane Stephens or Eugenie Bouchard, Petra Kvitova vs. Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Daria Kasatkina, Serena Williams vs. Alizé Cornet, Venus Williams vs. Lucie Safarova, Madison Keys vs. Kristina Mladenovic.