Wimbledon 2018: Top 11 contenders to win the women's title
Wimbledon, the most prestigious tennis tournament and oldest Grand Slam, starts in less than a week on July 2, 2018.
For the past several years, Serena Williams has been the dominant player here. However, after she won the 2017 Australian Open and went on maternity leave, there has not been a single player who has been able to take up the mantle from her.
The past five Grand Slams have seen five different Grand Slam champions, with four first-time winners. The number 1 ranking has changed hands eight times. And just as with the previous five Grand Slams, there is no clear favorite at this year's Wimbledon; all the top 15 players seem to have an equal chance.
Let us take a look at some of the top contenders for the 2018 title:
The Queen returned to tennis in February to play doubles in the Fed Cup. She had planned to play at the Australian Open but had to withdraw as she did not feel she was at a stage where she could give 100 per cent.
Serena then suffered early exits at Indian Wells and Miami, and made her Grand Slam return at the French Open where she played well and reached the fourth round. Unfortunately for her though, she had to withdraw from her much-anticipated clash against Maria Sharapova due to a pectoral muscle injury.
It remains to be seen if the 7-time champion and 2-time runner-up will be fighting fit for Wimbledon. But she remains a contender whenever and wherever she plays, and it would not be wise to count her out should she participate.
The ageless Venus Williams is a 5-time champion and 4-time runner-up. Wimbledon seems to bring out the best in her, but at 38 years of age can she realistically go all the way?
In 2017, she reached the final and gave a good fight in the first set before going down tamely in the second (most likely due to fatigue and illness). She can go deep again, provided her health permits, as was evident last year when she reached two Slam finals and a semi-final.
The champion that Venus is, she has never used her illness as an excuse. She is a solid dark horse for this year's Championships.