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.
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.
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.
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 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.
I want to tip Sharapova for the title but she's been so erratic lately I'm not sure, particularly as she's withdrawn from the AEGON championships, traditionally the warm-up for Wimbledon.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.