Contenders for the Wimbledon women’s title: From Simona Halep to Serena Williams and Coco Gauff

Simona Halep and Coco Gauff Wimbledon contenders

Simona Halep will make a belated defence of her Wimbledon title when the Championships return next week.

After last year’s cancellation, the women’s tournament is likely to be another unpredictable battle for the Venus Rosewater Dish.

Here we pick out five top-10 contenders and five from lower down the rankings.

Ashleigh Barty

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The world No 1 has made no secret of the fact that her favourite surface is grass despite winning her first Grand Slam title at the French Open in 2019. The 25-year-old has been in brilliant form this season but goes into the tournament with doubts over a hip injury that struck at Roland Garros.

Simona Halep

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Another leading player with fitness concerns after tearing a calf muscle in Rome and missing the French Open. Halep won her second slam title in sensational fashion in 2019, beating Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the SW19 final.

Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka in full flight

Aryna Sabalenka is looking to make her Grand Slam breakthrough (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Despite her position in the world’s top four, Belarusian Sabalenka is still under the radar, mostly because of a lack of success at the Slams so far. The 23-year-old has yet to progress past the second round at Wimbledon but her big-hitting game should make her a dangerous proposition on grass.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams congratulates SImona Halep at Wimbledon

Williams’ quest for a 24th Slam singles title goes on, and Wimbledon is widely perceived to be the 39-year-old’s best chance. She reached the final in both 2018 and 2019 but was well beaten by Angelique Kerber and Halep, respectively, and has not played a match on grass for two years.

Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek Wimbledon Girls' champion

Iga Swiatek was the Wimbledon junior champion in 2018 (Nigel French/PA)

Swiatek will play in the women’s singles at Wimbledon for just the second time having won the girls’ title in 2018. The 20-year-old Pole showed what a talent she is on clay by winning her first slam title at Roland Garros last year and will look to make an impact on grass.

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova waving

With no grass-court events last year and only two weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon this time, the advantage could be with players who like and are experienced on grass. Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova fits right into that category, although she is battling to recover from an ankle injury.

Garbine Muguruza

Another former champion, Muguruza made a brilliant start to 2021 before a thigh problem affected her during the clay-court campaign. But the Spaniard looked strong on the grass in Berlin last week and is a player who relishes the big stage.

Barbora Krejcikova

Czech Krejcikova joined the growing list of unexpected women’s slam champions by lifting the title at Roland Garros at the end of a brilliant two weeks. The 25-year-old will be making her main-draw debut at the All England Club in singles but is a former winner of the doubles title.

Coco Gauff

Coco Gauff made a sensational Wimbledon debut
Coco Gauff made a sensational Wimbledon debut in 2019 (Steven Paston/PA)

It is two years since Gauff announced her immense talents to the world as a 15-year-old by reaching the fourth round. She returns as a legitimate challenger for the title having broken into the top 25 and reached her first Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros.

Jessica Pegula

Jessica Pegula has rocketed up the rankings (David Davies/PA)

It has been a remarkable season for American Pegula, who has surged from outside the top 60 to inside the top 30 in 2021, pulling off big wins on both hard courts and clay. The 27-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, is looking for her first main-draw win at Wimbledon.

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