As Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam tennis event of the year starts tomorrow, Kim Clijsters has withdrawn from the tournament due to injury and the famous Williams sisters are set to make a return, having dominated the tournament since Venus Williams’ victory back in 2000.
Since the win 11 years ago, there have only been two years in which a Williams sister hasn’t been crowned Wimbledon champion – in 2004 when Maria Sharapova secured the title and in 2006 when Amelie Mauresmo was an unexpected winner - and all eyes will be on them. Here are some of the favourites to win the trophy in the women category:
Venus has been injured almost throughout the year and there were calls for her to retire from the game but the 31-year-old is still hanging on. A five- time winner of Wimbledon, Venus is considered one of the greatest female tennis stars of all time, as well as an all-time great on grass. She will be hoping to win her sixth Wimbledon crown like Federer did at the French Open and one can only expect her to spring some surprises.
Serena has been out for the past one year, due to one reason or the other. She is the defending champion, having won the Wimbledon trophy four times, just one title behind elder sister Venus. She is known for her power and that has been one of the reasons she has been very successful on grass. She may be rusty going into this tournament, but experience is on her side and she knows how to perform on grass.
The current world number one is yet to win a Grand Slam and has always under-achieved.Despite being the top seed at the French Open, she crashed out of the third round, but last week, in the build-up to Wimbledon she clinched the Copenhagen Open and will be hoping to progress past the last 16, as she has never progressed beyond the last 16 in Wimbledon. She has been No.1 for 32 weeks and will be hoping to justify her ranking by winning her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon.
Li Na became the first Chinese woman to win a Grand Slam when she clinched the French Open by beating defeating champion Francesc Shiavone in the finals.She is also the first Asian woman to appear in a Grand Slam with her performance in the 2011 Australian Open final.
The fourth-seeded Li Na is known for her power serve and her confidence is presently bolstered by her first high-grade trophy.She will be hoping to become the first woman after Serena in 2002 to win the French Open and Wimbledon within the same year. Expect her to challenge for the title in the coming days.
After a string of injuries Maria Sharapova is now rediscovering the form which made her win three Grand Slam titles; she won her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008.The world No.6 is desperate to add to her trphy shelf, having crashed out of the French Open in the semi-final, to eventual winner Li Na.
The 2010 French open champion is definitely a contender, though she failed to defend her title when she lost to Li Na in the final. After winning the French open in 2010 ane becoming the first Italian woman to do that, she crashed out of the first round of the Wimbledon Open. This year, however, she will be hoping to go all the way.
Meanwhile, the likes of Vera Zvonareva are next in line while Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic cannot be ruled out.