Wimbledon Women’s Championship preview

Wimbledon Women’s Championship

Wimbledon 2018 begins on Monday July 2 and the Ladies singles championship looks wide open, in terms of predicting a winner.

Garbine Muguruza is the defending champion but the Spanish star faces a real challenge if she is to retain the title at SW19.

Garbine Muguruza @ 8.00

The world number three dropped just one set on her way to claiming a second Grand Slam crown at the All England Club last year.

The 24-year-old enjoyed an impressive French Open campaign, falling to Simona Halep in the semi-finals, but she has struggled for form in the build-up to Wimbledon, having been beaten by Barbora Strycova in Birmingham.

Muguruza has been the defending champion at a Grand Slam event once before, after winning the French Open in 2016.  On that occasion she fell at the fourth round in her defence and it remains to be seen if she can handle the additional pressure of being the holder.

Serena Williams @ 7.00

Serena Williams missed last year’s edition of Wimbledon, where she would have been the two-time defending champion, due to pregnancy.  The American star is still working her way back to top form and full fitness after her spell away from the game and had to withdraw from the French Open because of an injury.

There is no denying she is one of the true greats but her fitness is a concern and at a short price she may be best avoided this year, although admittedly it is hard to write her off completely.

Petra Kvitova @ 5.50

Petra Kvitova is a two-time Wimbledon winner and grass-court specialist and is always a contender whenever SW19 comes around.

The Czech star has the ability but has fallen at the second round in each of the last two years. After winning the Birmingham Classic though, she should be in confident mood ahead of her bid for a third title in London.

Simona Halep @ 13.00

Simona Halep lost her first three Grand Slam finals before ending her wait for a major at this year’s French Open. The world number one has reached the semi-finals once and has managed quarter-final appearances in each of the last two years at Wimbledon, so she will have her sights on back-to-back Grand Slam crowns.

However, the Romanian hasn’t played since her triumph in Paris and it remains to be seen how quickly she can make that transition from clay to grass. If she wins her first few matches Halep has a chance, but with a lack of practice on the surface she is also a contender to be on the wrong end of an early upset.

CoCo Vandeweghe @ 29.00

Looking a little further down the field, American CoCo Vandeweghe could be a decent outside shot. The 26-year-old is an excellent player on grass and has managed two quarter-final appearances at Wimbledon.

Her record in majors has been a concern in the past, but Vandeweghe reached the semi-finals in both Australia and the US last year and will be a match for anyone if she can find some consistency at Wimbledon.