Tim Henman names his Wimbledon favourite and a ‘dangerous floater’ – ‘She’s going to be tough to beat’

Shahida Jacobs
Top 3 Wimbledon seeds Iga Swiatek Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka
Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka headline Wimbledon draw

Tim Henman doesn’t believe Iga Swiatek or Coco Gauff are the women to beat at Wimbledon this year as he feels one player is clear of the pack due to her aggressive ball striking and confidence.

Swiatek heads into the grass-court Grand Slam as the world No 1 and on the back of yet another successful campaign at Roland Garros as she won her fourth title in Paris to move to five majors. Gauff, meanwhile, is sitting at a career-high No 2 in the WTA Rankings.

Former British No 1 Henman, though, is putting his money on world No 3 Aryna Sabalenka to win this year’s Venus Rosewater Dish as she has taken her game to a new level.

Sabalenka is the reigning Australian Open champion as she successfully defended her title at the start of the year and she also has the best record among the top three at Wimbledon as she has reached the semi-finals twice.

Swiatek’s best run at Wimbledon is a quarter-final appearance last year while Gauff is yet to make it past the fourth round.

Four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Henman told iNews: “I’ve got a funny feeling about Aryna Sabalenka.

“I think she’s such a big ball striker and she’s so aggressive. I think she’s playing with so much confidence in the big events now that she’s got a Slam under her belt. I think she’s going to be tough to beat.”

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But the Wimbledon women’s draw has in recent history thrown up several surprise winners as there have been seven different winners at SW19 the past seven years.

Last year Marketa Vondrousova became the first unseeded player to win Wimbledon while Elena Rybakina was ranked No 17 when she won the title in 2022.

It would certainly be another upset for the books if Naomi Osaka wins this year’s title as she ranked at No 113, but she has impressed since returning from maternity leave.

She came close to upsetting Swiatek at the French Open as she had a match point against the world No 1 in their second-round clash while she has is also a lot more comfortable on grass these days.

The four-time Grand Slam winner will make her first appearance at Wimbledon since 2019 and she has never made it past the third round.

Henman added: “It will be interesting to see how Osaka plays because I thought her performance in Paris on perhaps her least favourite surface was incredibly good against Swiatek, getting to match point.

“On grass, when you hit the ball that aggressively … she’s going to be a dangerous floater.”