She needs no introduction. When there is women’s tennis being discussed, her name is an automatic mention. Serena Williams – the 35-year-old tennis player has dominated the sport for more than a decade now. With her presence in a Grand Slam, there is no other player considered as a possible favourite to win the title. She has won five Grand Slams singles titles in the last three years. Her winning the season opener, Australian Open 2017 was no surprise but the fact that she was eight-weeks pregnant when winning the trophy was nothing but mind-boggling.
She broke her pregnancy news in April and also said that she would miss the remainder of the season. With defending champion, Serena out, the women’s draw is wide open at Wimbledon 2017. Apart from her, the other WTA’s star Maria Sharapova will also miss the prestigious tournament. Sharapova, who is coming from a 15-month suspension for taking the banned drug meldonium, suffered a knee injury during the Italian Open in Rome last month.
With these two out, there are only two women in the draw who are former champions – Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams. However, two-time champion Kvitova, who has made one of the greatest comebacks in the sport after the knife incident, is already out of the tournament after her loss to Madison Brengle in the second round. That leaves Williams Senior and a few others who can be considered as the title contenders.
Let’s look at five women players who could win the Wimbledon 2017 singles draw:
The tennis player, who hails from the Czech Republic, ended the 2016 season on a high when she had reached her maiden Grand Slam final. Although she ended up as runners’ up in the US Open 2016 after her loss to No. 1 Angelique Kerber, she managed to enter the top 5 of the WTA rankings. She began 2017 by reaching a second straight quarter-final of a Grand Slam, where she was defeated by unseeded Mirjana Lu?i?-Baroni in three sets. Her ranking increased to a career-high of No. 3 in the world.
The highly aggressive player then reached the semi-final of the French Open, where she lost to Simona Halep in three straight sets. She holds an extremely accurate serve and has a decent control on her mid-shots. Although her flat hitting game seems well suitable to Wimbledon, her results on grass courts are yet to reflect that. If she sticks to her strengthens, there can be no way why she cannot follow her countrywoman, Kvitova’s steps to clinch the Wimbledon’s trophy.
She comfortably won the opening round and now will lock horns against Magdaléna Rybáriková in the second round.
The World No. 1 player, also from the Czech Republic was in a vicious form in 2016, despite having Serena around in the circuit. She had reached three out of the four Grand Slam finals and out of which she took home two trophies – Australian Open and US Open. She was thrashed by Serena in straight sets in the Wimbledon final.
However, her struggles began earlier this year. She entered the Australian Open as the defending champion but crashed out after a loss in the fourth round. Kerber lost to Coco Vandeweghe in the fourth round winning only five games and ending her title defence. Things got worse for her when she suffered a humiliating first-round exit from the Rolland Garros, becoming the first-ever No. 1 WTA player to crash out in the first round of the French Open.
Considering she still remains No. 1 and first seeded at the Wimbledon 2017, her performance seems to be unpredictable right now.
Her next appearance will be in the second round and her match is against Kirsten Flipkens.
The World No. 2 is coming off a shocking defeat in the final of French Open 2017 to a first-timer finalist Je?ena Ostapenko. Despite being a set and 3-0 up, the Romania-born star succumbed to the pressure and ended up losing the Championship to a 20-year-old. Simona has made it to just two Grand Slam finals so far and both have been on the Clay Court.
However, her current form puts her as one of the contenders. She is amongst the most powerful hitters in the WTA draw and the quietest one, surely. She uses the entire court, keeps her game simple and has an edge over her opponents for her knack of smashing winners from defensive positions. The only worry for her can be her left knee that has been troubling her for some time now.
Simona has progressed to the third round and now will face Peng Shuai.
The last time she won a Grand Slam singles title was back in 2008 and it was in the Centre Court in London. Although her career has always been in the shadow of her younger sister, Serena, Venus has no less record to herself. Her game is best suited to grass and her five Wimbledon trophies testify that. With Serena not around in this year’s tournament, it is a golden opportunity for Venus to add yet another trophy to her decorated cabinet.
After fighting life-threatening illness, she managed to comeback and played her first Grand Slam final in the singles draw after nine years. Unfortunately, she had Serena on the other side of the net, who eventually sealed the Australian Open 2017 in straight sets.
Venus’ next game in the ongoing Wimbledon is against Naomi Osaka. (Round 3)
The 20-year-old shocked the tennis fraternity when she defeated World No. 2 Simona Halep in the final of Rolland Garros earlier this year. She became the first player from Latvia to win a Grand Slam tournament, and the first unseeded player to win the French Open since 1933. The win in the French Open earned her a special record – she became the first player since Gustavo Kuerten to win their first career title at a Grand Slam; Kuerten won his first title at the 1997 French Open on the day Ostapenko was born.
Jelena, right now, is boosting high with confidence. She faces, Camila Giorgi, in the third round at the Wimbledon 2017.