Leading ladies at Wimbledon…..

  1. Maria Sharapova – The Russian is looking to become the first player in ten years to claim the French Open andWimbledoncrown in the same year. Having seen a raft of ladies struggle to contend following Grand Slam victories there is little chance of Sharapova joining the likes of Francesca Schiavone, Li Na and Sam Stosur and being unable to maintain her momentum.
  2. Victoria Azarenka – Since winning in Australia Azarenka has struggled for consistency and only reached the fourth round inParis, where she lost in straight sets to Dominika Cibulkova. Azarenka has the game to contend at Wimbledone, a powerful first serve and a flat forehand, and she should not be discounted as a potential winner.
  3. Agnieszka Radwanska – Having struggled inParisthis is a crucial tournament for Radwanska. She was in terrific form until the French Open but having lost in the first round inEastbourne. She doesn’t have the power of a Sharapova or Kvitova but Radwanska is one of the smartest players in the draw and works around her deficencies exceptionally well with accurate ground strokes from both sides.
  4. Petra Kvitova – The defending champion is a de-facto contender atWimbledonbecause of her strength and size, six foot, make her an imposing force on the grass. She struggled at the US Open following her victory last year but she has made the semi finals in both Slams thus far in 2012.
  5. Sam Stosur – The Australian is generally considered as a contender on grass because of a big serve and strong forehand….the only issue is that it doesn’t transcend to grass. Her big serve is a kick serve and on grass it is ineffective. She hits a huge top-spin forehand but on grass it doesn’t reach the optimum height for her to strike the ball effectively. She might make week two but I’d be surprised if she makes it through the weekend.
  6. Serena Williams – Having lost in the first round at the French Open Williams will be exceptionally motivated to win atWimbledon. If history has thought us anything it’s that a wounded and motivated Williams is impossible to underestimate.
  7. Caroline Wozniacki – Having fallen from her world number one ranking the hope was that Wozniacki would relax once again and return to form. Instead she has struggled with inconsistencies and she is now changing her serve and coaches. With her confidence clearly low it would be little surprise to see the Dane as an early casualty.
  8. Angelique Kerber – The 24 year old German has hit a rich vain of form of late but it would be a major shock if she could match her US Open semi final spot from last year.
  9. Marion Bartoli – The Frenchwoman, a former Wimbledon finalist, had a poor home Grand Slam but her past form at Wimbledon makes it difficult to rule out a strong tournament. The double fisted forehand and backhand has always made her unusual to watch but if she finds form she can’t be discounted.
  10. Sara Errani –  The French Open runner-up will be playing with high confidence at Wimbledon but herParissuccess has all the hall marks of being a once in a lifetime Grand Slam performance.
  11. Li Na – Almost unrecognisable from the player she was 18 months ago, when she was Australian runner-up and French Open winner, the first Chinese Grand Slam winner is arguably the most inconsistent player in the draw. Equally capable of winning a Slam or losing in the early rounds.
  12. Vera Zvonareva – A former serial Grand Slam finalist that never quite managed to claim an illusive title. A talented player who overcome the deficiencies in her serve to be a world class player but in the past two years has been of little consequence at the Slams.
  13. Dominika Cibuklova – Defeated Azarenka inFrancebut without the weaponry need she won’t be a contender at the Grand Slam level. Making it to the second week of the tournament would be a success.
  14. Ana Ivanovic – The former French Open champion has shown a return to form over the last year but the days of her offering a challenge in a Grand Slam are over. A solid player with the potential to reach the quarter-finals but progress beyond that is now all but impossible for the Serb.
  15. Sabine Lisicki – A former semi-finalist with a big serve has been in terrible form this year and there shows little signs of the German recovering.
  16. Favia Pennetta – Been exposed on the grass in the past but pushed Bartoli all the way last year in the fourth round. Her form has been patchy this year and a strong run in the doubles is more likely than in singles.

Unseeded – Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters. The duo are unseeded but no-one will look to face either player. Williams has struggled with illness and barely looks like the player she used to be. Even so the grass atWimbledonhas always inspired her and a strong showing is not beyond the realms of possibility.

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