Wimbledon Odds – Serena Williams favored to win her sixth Wimbledon title
By Ian Palmer
Williams is hot as a pistol and has been since the start of 2012 as she’s lost just 10 competitive matches since then.
However, upon closer look we see she’s dropped six of those in Grand Slam events and was knocked out of the recent French Open in the second round by Garbine Muguruza. Williams left France after winning a career-low four games in a Grand Slam tournament. In addition, she was beaten by Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open.
But when Williams is on her game it’s easy to see why she’s being picked to rack up her sixth Wimbledon crown. If she does, it means that 11 out of the past 15 Wimbledon titles will have been won either by her or her sister Venus. When Williams’ is in top form on the grass it’s almost impossible to return her serve and her ground strokes are quite ferocious. As she showed fans at the 2012 Olympics in London, she’s one of the best female players ever to grace a tennis court.
Since the women’s Wimbledon draw goes by world rankings Williams enters the tournament as the top seed. She’s followed by Li Na, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska and then Maria Sharapova, to round out the top five. Regardless of the rankings, Halep and Sharapova could take over if Williams happens to slip up. They played each other just a couple of weeks ago in France with Sharapova of Russia taking the final in three close sets. Sharapova has also won titles Madrid and Stuttgart in 2014 and has topped all five top-ranked players other than Williams.
The last time Sharapova got the better of Williams was back in 2004 and she’s just two for 18 against her in their career meetings. If Sharapova can somehow manage to avoid Williams she has a good shot at taking the tournament. Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Halep has made a name for herself over the past year and reached the final of the French Open without losing a set along the way. She suffered a slight shoulder injury recently at the Hertogenbosch Open, but it’s believed she’s now recovered from it.
Li Na started the year off in great fashion by winning the Australian Open in January, but she hasn’t won an event since and was beaten by Kristina Mladenovic in the first round of the French Open. However, she’s also struggled against Williams with just one win in a dozen meetings and has never gone further than the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
Agnieszka Radwanska was beaten by Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round of the French Open and doesn’t appear to have enough power in her ground strokes to capture Wimbledon. She also has a hard time when meeting elite players in Grand Slam events, but did reach the Wimbledon final in 2012 where she was beaten in three sets by Williams.
An outsider to keep an eye on is Petra Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011, but has struggled ever since. She was beaten in the third round at the French Open and has missed much of 2014 with injuries. Kvitova has a great serve and plenty of power and could be a force to reckon with if she’s in top form.
Also, Victoria Azarenka returns to the court at Wimbledon after sitting out the French Open with an injured foot. She’s another player to watch out for if she’s healthy and on her game, but she might not be completely healed by the time Wimbledon launches.