It’s Here: Who Are the Favourites for Wimbledon 2017?
July 01, 2017
Whisper it quietly, but this years’ Wimbledon could be one of the most interesting for years.
This is largely thanks to the relative decline or absence of the sport’s stars at this years’ tournament, with 12-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic woefully short of confidence and world number one (and the defending champion) Andy Murray also out of form. In the women’s game, 23-time Slam winner Serena Williams is absent as she prepares to have her first child, so both titles are set to be exceptionally keenly contested this time around.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the key contenders for the male and female titles at SW19 this year:
The Swiss star has enjoyed an incredible renaissance in 2017, after his career seemed to be all but over last year. A rejuvenated Federer won his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, and while he took a break at Roland Garros he remains the overwhelming bookmakers favourite for Wimbledon 2017. He also warmed up for the tournament by securing his 100th title and ninth at the Halle Open earlier this month, where he proved that he his arguably hitting the ball cleaner than ever before.
On the back of securing La Decima and his 10th Grand Slam triumph at the French Open, Rafa Nadal will be looking to secure a 16th major title at SW19. He has also enjoyed an incredible comeback form injury this year, after narrowly missing out to old rival Federer in Brisbane before dominating the clay court season. The key will lie in Nadal’s ability to make the physical transition from clay to grass and reach the second week of the tournament, as this has caused him significant issues in recent years and could put him at risk.
Obviously, start performers like Djokovic and Murray could still recover their form and compete for the title. When it comes to appraising form and pedigree, however, we think that Marin Cilic could be an outside bet for success at Wimbledon. The Croat has a powerful game and serve that is ideally suited to grass, while he also built some considerable momentum while reaching the final at Queens last week. He also has a Grand Slam title to his name, and he will definitely be one to watch at SW19.
And what about the women’s game? Let’s take a look at the key contenders in the absence of the dominant Serena Williams:
We start with the 15/1 shot Venus Williams, who will be looking to capitalise on the absence of her sister by winning her eighth Grand Slam and sixth at Wimbledon. The world number 11 has endured a difficult time in recent years, but has enjoyed an excellent 2017 that has seen her reach the Australian Open final in January. She certainly has the game and the pedigree to win on grass, so the key will lie with her fitness and ability to optimise her level over the course of the two-week tournament.
Next up is the current favourite and two-time Wimbledon Championship Petra Kvitova, who last lifted the title at SW19 in 2014. Interestingly, the world number 12 has won both of her Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, highlighting the fact that her powerful and crisp hitting is tailor-made for the grass court season. With Serena Williams missing and current world number one Angelique Kerber remaining unconvincing on grass, Kvitova will fancy of chances of completing an SW19 hat-trick this year.
We finish with the British number one and world number seven Johanna Konta, who remains on the cusp of a major triumph at a Grand Slam. She also performs at her best on grass and hard courts, while she performed superbly in reaching the semi-finals at Eastbourne last week (even beating Kerber in a dramatic quarter-final). The fact that she has withdrawn from this event after injuring her back in a fall against Kerber, she is expected to regain her fitness in time for the coveted Wimbledon showpiece, and has an outside chance of going all the way at SW19!