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Stuart Dalgleish 21st Jun 2011 - 15:56

Victoria Aza great chance

Ladies' Wimbledon preview - live on BBC One and Two

Six of the WTA top ten are yet to win a Grand Slam, and their task is about to get a whole lot harder with the return of the Williams sisters.

Serena (3/1) and Venus (8/1) have absolutely dominated Wimbledon over the past decade having won nine out of the 11 tournaments between them, indeed Serena has been the dominant force in the game for pretty much the same period too with 13 Slams to her name.

The Americans have turned up at SW19 before with little or no practice to speak of and won the tournament with their eyes closed; but this year is different.

Venus has only played three times since January, while Serena has just two games under her belt since lifting this trophy last year.

Motivation plays a big part in both of the sisters' games and if they are in the mood they are difficult to stop, I just think that they are a little too undercooked this time around though to get by on just will power alone.

That is why this year I'm prepared to do the unthinkable, and back against the Williams.

Straight away when I looked at the draw one name stood out - and that was Victoria Azarenka (16/1).

The Belarusian arrives at Wimbledon with two titles to her name this year, a good run in both Slams so far (coincidentally ended by Na Li (8/1) both times), and some good prep on grass having had a couple of solid performances at Eastbourne.

Her tournament on the south coast was curtailed by injury, but if she is at full fitness she will certainly be a threat.

She looks to have a decent draw having been kept away from Maria Sharapova (9/2), Serena and Caroline Wozniacki (10/1).

For my money she should have a straightforward passage to the quarters at the very least, and with Venus likely to meet Vera Zvonareva (16/1) in the fourth round, another potential challenger will fall before the last eight.

Being seeded so high has certainly helped Vika out, she just needs to use this to her advantage.

Azarenka would certainly be my tip in the bottom half of the draw, the top half is going to be much tougher to call.

Understandably, as world number one, Wozniacki is the top seed at Wimbledon, but the question is always asked to the Dane "can you win a Grand Slam?"

I don't think there can be much doubting that Wozniacki is a deserved number one, she gets to the latter stages of tournaments with ease most weeks, she's racked up 17 titles at the age of 20 and she's just generally an extremely tough player to beat.

Unfortunately for Caro, she'll have to beat one of the most improved players on tour in the quarter-finals - Sharapova.

That clash, should it come to fruition, should be a belter for more reasons than just the tennis on show!

The Russian looked back to her best at the French before losing to eventual winner Li and went deep at three of her previous four tournaments, winning Rome.

She has the experience of winning the big tournaments and she is playing with real confidence at the minute; it's just tough to have a real strong fancy for somebody who will likely have to beat the best player in the world then one of the best of all time just to get in the final let alone win it.

It's going to be two fascinating weeks that is for sure, and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to see an all Williams final (7/1), I just think purely because of the value, Azarenka will be where my money is going.



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