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WTA tour: Grasscourt power rankings

ANALYST
Feature
244   //    17 Jun 2019, 00:22 IST

With the first WTA Premier tournament on grass looming large, here is a list of top performers on the surface. The list is based on the players' (isolated) performances on grasscourt tournaments in the past three years.

8. Venus Williams

Venus Williams
Venus Williams

You can never discount Venus Williams, and opponents have learnt that the hard way. She found herself in two Major finals (Wimbledon included) in her 2017 revival season, and while her form has dwindled since, she has shown promise in the few matches she has played in 2019.

Grass is where Williams comes into her own, and this could very well be her time.

7. Ashleigh Barty

Ashleigh Barty
Ashleigh Barty

Ashleigh Barty has a few quarterfinals under her belt on grass. She is also in the midst of a breakout season, if ever there was one.

The Australian's odds have improved in the eyes of the commentators since Roland Garros. And her slice-heavy game backs those predictions, especially on grass.

She will be playing in some practice tournaments in the run-up to Wimbledon, and we will get a better idea of her form on the surface then.

6. Karolina Pliskova

Kristina Pliskova
Kristina Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova has the game for grass, one that is heavily dependent on her serve. She will be a prime contender for the big grasscourt titles if she manages to play herself into form early and build up confidence from there on.

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5. Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta has a lot of things going for her at this point. She is playing some of her best tennis in over two years. Add to that her affinity for grass (she has a Wimbledon semifinal and two Nottingham finals under her belt), and Konta is looking good for the breakthrough moment she has been seeking in front of her home crowd for a long time now.

4. Garbine Muguruza

Garbine Muguruza
Garbine Muguruza

Unlike the players below her on the list, Garbine Muguruza has little going for her this season. Her sole claim to this spot is historical numbers; that is only thing going for her at this juncture.

However, a champion of Muguruza's calibre can never be discounted based off of relatively poor form. She definitely has what it takes to turn over a new leaf on any given day.

3. Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova

Trust Petra Kvitova to deliver big on grass. Even when she is going through a poor patch of form, she manages to play her best tennis on the surface.

Kvitova will have little practice this year before The Championships owing to her arm injury, but that should not trouble the Czech too much. She has struck a love affair with the English grass, one that seems to transcend time.

Kvitova has won back-to-back titles here in the past two years (not to mention her Wimbledon triumphs), and has become quite a force to reckon with. She will be one of the players to beat here.

2. Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber

The Wimbledon Champion from 2018 has a lot riding on the grasscourt season this year. She has not had the season she might have been hoping for in 2019, and would be looking to turn things around after the half-way point.

Grass seems to agree with Kerber, and it would be a testament of her champion status if she manages to win big in the face of adversity.

1. Serena Williams

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

This should not come as surprise; Serena is the undisputed queen of grass. She tops the list riding on her historical dominance and (more recently) her finals showing at The Championships last year.

Serena will come into the grasscourt season hungrier than ever, having had a modest (injury-ridden) season up to this point. That will make her even more formidable.

Dangerous oddballs

Kiki Bertens, Julia Georges, Belinda Bencic, Naomi Osaka and Hsieh Su-wei are all capable of springing big surprises on grass on their given day.

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