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As we near the last week of June, we know that Wimbledon is here. Most years, at The Championships, there is always a clear favorite. That however, is not the case this time be it the Mens' singles or the Womens' singles. The ladies event is especially open this year following the loss in form of Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova's triumph at Roland Garros.
Serena Williams is the automatic favorite coming into most Grand Slams, but having seen her lose the opening round fixture in such dramatic fashion makes one wonder, whether her time is up. It is due to this reason that this year’s champion seems to be the hardest to predict.
Defending champion Petra Kvitova has had a poor year so far and is yet to win a title. She started the year in Sydney making it to the semifinal. She did well again at the Australian Open and once again ended up a losing semifinalist to Maria Sharapova. In February Kvitova was injured and never took part in a tournament. Still recovering from the injury, the Czech failed to make an impact at the Indian Wells and Miami.
As we began the clay court season, it seemed as if the Wimbledon Champion will fall further, knowing her obvious discomfort on clay. To the surprise of most, the World No.4 did rather well making it to the semifinals of both Stuttgart and then Roland Garros.
As we move to her favorite surface, Kvitova will be one of the favorites. Her win-loss record of 22-8 is not the greatest, and she would be looking to build on it.
It all looked so fantastic for the Belarusian at the start of the year, she looked unstoppable and really seemed to be holding all the aces especially when it came to her rival Maria Sharapova. A marginal dip in form when she lost to French Marion Bartoli in Miami was the start of an unlikely downward spiral in the year for the then World No.1.
In April then she lost to Sharapova in the final at Stuttgart. It was another shock defeat, as experts once again predicted a win for the Belarusian. May brought more disappointment as she lost to Serena in the final and then had to withdraw from the Rome Open.
At the year’s second Grand Slam she played erratically and was game away from losing in the first round but came back to win. She was eventually defeated in the pre-quarter stage by Dominika Cibulkova. That clubbed with Sharapova’s triumph meant that, Azarenka had lost her No.1 ranking to Sharapova. Her win-loss record stands at an amazing 38-4 this year, and she is definitely one of the favorites for the crown.
Williams has become used to the favorite tag and almost any Grand Slam she decides to enter she is the favorite to win it. She once again comes into Wimbledon a favorite, but not the favorite. Following her defeat in the opening round at Roland Garros, experts seem to have written the American off, and believe that it marked the end of an era, an era that was dominated by the Williams sisters. Serena however, is known to be a fighter and one who can power through her opponents on days that she is focused.
Her win-loss record stands at 28-3 and she has won two titles this year one in Charleston and the other in Madrid.
Maria Sharapova is truly the darling of the tennis world. She had to endure a couple of years on the sidelines due to injury, and it all seemed lost at one point. Just when even she herself started to think that it’s not going to happen again for her, the Russian has fought back and fought back in a way only Maria can.
She started the year on a high and reached the final of the Australian Open. She was however, brushed aside in it following an onslaught from Victoria Azarenka in the final. She once again did well and reached the finals of Indian Wells and then in Miami too. All that the Russian missed was that title, and it seemed as if the Russian was missing the final piece of the jigsaw.
In April, Sharapova finally won her first title, and it all changed for her. She won yet another one in Rome after losing the first and being a break down in the second versus Li Na. At the French Open then, Sharapova reached the finals for the first time and won it to complete her career slam.
She comes in as the favorite and World No.1 at Wimbledon having a win-loss record of 36-5 this year.
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