Sloane Stephens and other seeds will start Wimbledon against difficult young challengers. (AP)

The field of women's-tennis players has been famously deep in recent years, and one of the effects of that is that no seed is safe in the early rounds.

Even Top 10 stars have to worry about the drawing unseeded names with enough firepower to put the rest of their tournament in jeopardy. Here are three first-round ladies' matches to watch out for at Wimbledon: 


Sloane Stephens vs. Donna Vekic

It feels strange to think of Stephens as an established top player, but she's earned her spot at No. 4 in the world in the past year by winning the US Open and Miami Open, and by making the final at Roland Garros. 

As strong of a player as she's been, Stephens can't be happy having to open her campaign against Vekic. While Vekic is currently outside the Top 50, she's proven very dangerous on grass. The Croat won the title in Nottingham in 2017, beating Johanna Konta in the final, and this year she made the semis there. 

At 22 years old, Vekic hasn't had a deep run at Wimbledon yet, but, this early in her career, it's still very much in the cards. 


Happy to be back on the ???? _ #wimbledon #nikecourt #wta #grasscourt

A post shared by Sloane Stephens (@sloanestephens) on


Caroline Garcia vs. Belinda Bencic 

The No. 6 seed, Garcia has the misfortune of starting off facing Bencic, a former Wimbledon girls' champion who also owns a WTA title on grass and has already been to the women's tournament's fourth round.

And Bencic gained experience playing spoiler at a Slam earlier this year when, at the Australian Open, she knocked out Venus Williams in Round 1. While Garcia has found her stride much better than Bencic has in 2018 (partially because the Swiss incurred a foot injury in the spring), this match has danger written all over it for her. 


Mihaela Buzarnescu vs. Aryna Sabalenka  

Though Buzarnescu is technically the seed here—and in pretty good form, for that matter—it's probably Sabalenka who's the favorite. The 20-year-old Belarusian reached the final in Eastbourne this week, beating three solid seeds before losing a tight final to Caroline Wozniacki. 


So happy to reached my first premier final ????????????????

A post shared by Aryna Sabalenka (@sabalenka_aryna) on

A seed at Wimbledon can be a great privilege to have, but, in this iteration of the WTA, it's nowhere near enough to guarantee a win.