10 contenders for the Wimbledon women’s singles title
Published by EvansSports
July 1, 2019 7:01 am
The 126th edition of the women’s singles at Wimbledon starts on Monday and it promises to be another highly competitive tournament.
The last 10 grand slams have seen nine different winners, proving that the sport is more open than ever before.
Here, PA picks out 10 title contenders and ones to watch.
The Australian’s ascent to the top of the game culminated in her winning the French Open earlier this month and her results this year on all surfaces make her the player to beat. She is a former Wimbledon junior champion and has won other titles on grass, including at Birmingham last week, so will be a real threat as she looks to post back-to-back grand-slam titles.
The Japanese player is the only woman to have won more than one grand slam in the last 10, having been triumphant at the 2018 US Open and Australian Open this year. She is one of the hottest properties in the game and aged 21, with a big selection of weapons at her disposal, has many more years of success ahead of her.
After being the most consistent player on tour for a good 18 months, Halep’s form has dipped since she finally ended her wait for a grand slam at the French Open last year. She has failed to get past the quarter-finals of her last four major tournaments, but she will still be a contender at Wimbledon, where she can boast two quarter-final and one semi-final appearance.
Kerber, a losing finalist in 2016, went one better last year by lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish with a demolition of Serena Williams in the final. Results since then have been patchy, but she has a special relationship with the All England Club and because of her tenacity and superb defensive skills, she will be in the mix for a second title.
It would simply not be possible to compile a list of contenders and exclude arguably the greatest player of all time. The 23-time grand-slam winner has won seven of those at Wimbledon and was a beaten finalist in 2018 in her second major tournament back after giving birth. She may be 37 and struggling with knee problems, but she will still be a major force.
Would there be a more popular champion than Kvitova? The Czech was already loved at Wimbledon after winning the title in 2011 and 2014 and has battled back from a horrific stabbing at her home in December 2016 to return to the top of the game. She is carrying a wrist injury that kept her out of the French Open, but she is fit and will be keen to avenge a surprise first-round loss last year.
The wait for the big-hitting Czech to take the next step in her career and become a grand-slam champion seems to have been going on for an age. She has been at the top end of the rankings for the last few years and on her day few can match her sheer power from the baseline. She has never gone past the fourth round at Wimbledon, but has performed well elsewhere on grass, winning in Eastbourne this week.
The American’s record at Wimbledon might be enough to keep her off the list, but following her return to the game from a foot injury in 2017 she has been performing at a different level. The 26-year-old is a US Open winner and a French Open runner-up and her athleticism and power mean she is among the best in the game. A 2013 quarter-final appearance is her best effort at SW19, but few would be surprised if she bettered that.
It is little surprise that the young American is getting compared to Anna Kournikova, but the 17-year-old is destined to achieve far more than the Russian did in the game. Her run to the semi-final of the French Open, defeating defending champion Halep on the way, shows she knows her way around the court and already has a WTA Tour title to her name.
Another player to have a breakout run at the French Open, Vondrousova became the first female teenage finalist at Roland Garros since 2007. She eventually lost to Barty, but showed that she has the game to compete at the top level.