Kvitova To Petra-fy Opposition In Women’s Singles
Wimbledon Women's Singles
Serena Williams heads the betting for the women’s singles at Wimbledon but can she claim a sixth title at SW19?
The third Grand Slam event of the year, but the one that everyone wants to win, Wimbledon is the culmination of the very short WTA grass court season. Martina Navratilova holds the record of nine women’s singles titles, including an incredible six in a row between 1982 and 1987. The 2012 champion Serena Williams is the closest current player to Navratilova’s record, with six titles.
The Green, Green Grass of SW19
Grass is the fastest of the surfaces used in professional tennis and that speed, combined with the low bounce, has traditionally favoured serve-volleyers and disadvantaged those who like to trade blows from back of the court. But changes to the grass and soil used at Wimbledon in 2001 resulted in a slower surface, with a higher bounce and the dominance of the serve-volley style has now passed.
Who To Avoid
On the face of it, Serena Williams has enjoyed another dominant season, claiming both the Australian Open and the French Open, and is on the verge of repeating her 2002-03 feat of holding all four Grand Slam titles.
But her dominance hasn’t been as absolute as it appears. Six times in Grand Slam matches this year she has had to fight back from a set down. It’s also worth noting that she hasn’t won a grass court title since 2012.
I’m not sure she’s as far ahead of her rivals as odds of 7/4 suggest and at those odds she’s worth opposing.
Last time Petra Kvitova defended her Wimbledon title, she crashed out in the quarter-finals to Serena Williams. That won’t happen this year as they can’t meet until the final, and Kvitova offers more value than the tournament favourite.
She is at her best on grass and in addition to winning Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, she has reached at least the quarter-final stage in each of her last five visits. Back her at 7/2.
Sabine Lisicki has had a mixed year, but tuned up nicely for Wimbledon by reaching the semi-finals of the Aegon Classic, blasting a record 27 aces in her second round match. She has reached at least the quarter-finals in each of her last five appearances at Wimbledon, where her big serve is a potent weapon. Back her at 25/1.
Angelique Kerber ended Lisicki’s run at the Aegon Classic en route to winning the title and she is worth adding to your shortlist. After a slow start to the year in which she dropped out of the top ten, she fought back to pick up her fourth WTA title at the Family Circle Cup and ran up an eleven match winning streak in clay court tournaments. Her subsequent win in Birmingham was the first time she had claimed two titles in the same season and on her current form she is worth backing at 28/1.
*Prices correct at time of publication.