Grand Slams: Caroline Wozniacki and the Top 10 Women's Favourites at Wimbledon

Carrie DunnAnalyst IIJune 5, 2011

Grand Slams: Caroline Wozniacki and the Top 10 Women's Favourites at Wimbledon

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    PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 27:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark hits a backhand during the women's singles round three match between Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia on day six of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 27, 2011 in
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    The French Open was an intriguing tournament for the women, with the rankings (which are laughable) shown to be the mockery they are.

    Caroline Wozniacki looked like nothing special as Li Na proved herself to be a force to be reckoned with on clay—but how will the ladies fare on grass in a few weeks' time at Wimbledon? Let's look at the field.

Caroline Wozniacki

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    PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 27:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark hits a forehand during the women's singles round three match between Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia on day six of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 27, 2011 in
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    First things first, then, Caroline Wozniacki. She must be as bored as we are with talking about her continuing failure to win a major tournament. She stays at world No. 1 because she plays all the tour matches, but without a grand slam win, she's never going to be taken seriously. Sad but true. I don't see her doing any better at Wimbledon than she did at Roland Garros.

The Williams Sisters May Return at Wimbledon

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    WASHINGTON, DC - April 28: Serena and Venus Williams speak to the media before the Tennis Ball II youth tennis clinic at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center on April 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
    Larry French/Getty Images

    If either Venus or Serena Williams—or both—actually do make it to SW19, don't rule either of them out. Their respective records are stunning at Wimbledon, and that kind of experience counts for a lot, regardless of their fitness levels (although the quality on the women's tour is significantly better now than in the days when a Williams girl could rock up slightly out-of-shape and still destroy them).

    Williams Junior's preparation work seems to be going well, and she will be fired up and ready to defend her title.

Li Na

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    PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 04:  Women's singles champion Na Li of China poses with the trophy by the banks of the River Seine on day fourteen of the French Open on June 4, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    This girl is good. She was fantastic at Roland Garros, she impressed in Melbourne and, assuming she comes to Wimbledon, then I expect her to prove her quality on grass as well. She's done well in tour matches on grass in the UK—now time for the big stage.

Kim Clijsters

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    PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 26:  Kim Clijsters of Belgium serves during the women's singles round two match between Arantxa Rus of Netherlands and Kim Clijsters of Belgium on day five of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 26, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo b
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Kim Clijsters has never been all that comfortable at Wimbledon, regardless of how much the crowd loves her. Still, she'll want to acquit herself well, particularly if the rumours are true that this may be her last full calendar year on the tour, with next year focusing on the Olympics.

Maria Sharapova

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    PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 02:  Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a backhand during the women's singles semi final match between Na Li of China and Maria Sharapova of Russia on day twelve of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 2, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Phot
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    I want to tip Sharapova for the title but she's been so erratic lately I'm not sure, particularly as she's withdrawn from the AEGON championships, traditionally the warm-up for Wimbledon. Still, her ranking is rising, so it'll be interesting to see how the draw pans out.

Petra Kvitova

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    PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 30:  Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic hits a forehandduring the women's singles round four match between Na Li of China and Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic on day nine of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 30, 2011 in Paris, France
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Last year's semifinalist, Petra Kvitova has had a great 12 months, moving up to No. 6 in the world after the French Open. Grass isn't her favourite surface, but she'll remember how well she played at Wimbledon last year, and with the erratic form of the rest of the ranked players, she has a chance.

Vera Zvonareva

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    PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 29:  Vera Zvonareva of Russia serves during the women's singles round four match between Vera Zvonareva of Russia and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia on day eight of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 29, 2011 in Paris, France.
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Always overshadowed by the more extroverted women on the tour, the thoughtful Zvonareva has made the world No. 3 spot her own. Having finished as runner-up in singles and doubles at Wimbledon last year, she knows what it takes to succeed there.

Victoria Azarenka

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    PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 01:  Victoria Azarenka of Belarus serves during the women's singles quarterfinal match between Na Li of China and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on day eleven of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Another inconsistent performer, and another one without a grand slam win to her credit, Azarenka's best Wimbledon show was in 2009 when she reached the quarterfinals. It's not good enough for the world No. 5. She needs to prove herself, but I don't fancy this to be her year.

Yanina Wickmayer

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    PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 28:  Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium hits a backhand during the women's singles round three match between Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on day seven of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 28, 2011 in Par
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Fancy an outside bet? I'd watch out for Yanina Wickmayer, whose form has been good recently, leading to a rise up the rankings, and more importantly has gained some decent grand slam experience. She's happier on clay or hard courts, but there's no reason that she shouldn't do equally well on grass—her best-ever French Open showing is just as good as her best-ever Wimbledon showing to date.

Final Thoughts

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    PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 27:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark wipes her face with a towel as she shows her dejection during the women's singles round three match between Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia on day six of the French Op
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    So there are my assessments—with my neck on the line, I'd pick out Li Na as a potential champion at SW19. I still don't think Caroline Wozniacki will break that embarrassing duck. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.