Quiet Please - Women's Wimbledon Singles Preview
With both of this year's Grand Slams already in her possession Serena Williams (7/4) heads to Wimbledon chasing all 4 slams in a calendar year, something she has never achieved in her illustrious career. Her warm up has consisted of her usual preparation of not playing after Roland Garros so we shouldn't read anything into her inactivity here. In the last 2 years she has been a much warmer favourite than in 2015, but early defeats against Sabine Lisicki in 2013 , and Alice Cornet in 2014 has meant it's been 3 years since Serena last tasted glory at Wimbledon, but again her form this year has risen back towards her lifetime best and she is no doubt a worthy favourite. The draw looks to have extremely kind with no of the dangerous ‘floaters' in her quarter, and her first real test should come against her sister Venus Williams (40/1) in the last 16.
Number 2 seed is the reigning champion Petra Kvitova (7/2), if ever there was a player who blows hot and cold it's the Czech. Taking time off from the tour earlier in the year due to exhaustion she hasn't been seen since her last 16 defeat at Roland Garros, withdrawing from her intended warm up at Eastbourne with a virus before even hitting a ball in anger. Having said all that it's a remarkably similar story to 2014 where she had a seemingly far from ideal preparation before cruising through the draw here to pick up her second Wimbledon title. Her early round matches will probably see her facing some very good players in Jelena Jankovic (100/1) and Agnieska Radwanska (25/1), so it's no easy passage to the later stages.
Third seed Simona Halep (16/1) has been in poor form in the last couple of months, and apart from her semi-final performance here last year she has a string of early exits over the years at Wimbledon. She has some players who have been in good form in her sector of the draw in Svetlana Kuznetsova (200/1), Caroline Wozniacki (33/1), Sabine Lisicki (16/1), and the ever dangerous German player Angelique Kerber (25/1) who will certainly make it different for her to progress in 2015.
The final quarter of the draw is headed up by Maria Sharapova (8/1) who always looks like the grass will suit her, but apart from her final appearance in 2011 (lost to Kvitova 6-3 6-4) you have to go back to 2006 for her last appearance on the final Saturday. Her opening match could give her more trouble than she would have expected most years as she faces the bang in form British player in Johanna Konta, and if she isn't on the ball very early this could be the big shock of the opening couple of days. Should she see her way through this through you would expect to see her at least into the second week.