Arguably the most anticipated and prestigious tennis event on the calendar- Wimbledon, is almost at our doorstep and tennis fans all over the world will be counting down for the tournament to commence this week.
The women’s singles tournament is especially a cause for excitement amongst fans, as this year’s women’s draw is perhaps the most open one in years- gone are the seasons when there was a Serene Williams or her sister Venus, or further back, a Steffi Graff or Martina Navratilova primed to dominate the women’s game and leave the competition behind- rather, we enter this season with no clear favourite standing out from amongst the current crop of players, which shall make for a very exciting and competitive tournament!
Also read: WIMBLEDON 2022: No Russians, no rankings, but Serena’s back
Here are the Top 16 seeds for the Wimbledon Women’s singles:
Iga Świątek, Anett Kontaveit, Ons Jabeur, Paula Badosa, Maria Sakkari, Karolina Pliskova, Danielle Collins, Jessica Pegula, Garbine Muguruza, Emma Raducanu, Coco Gauff, Jelena Ostapenko, Barbora Krejcikova, Belinda Bencic, Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep.
Also read: Wimbledon: Top 5 contenders for the 2022 Men’s Singles crown
Let’s now look at the top 5 favourites for the Women’s Singles title-
Iga Świątek (POL)
Ranked first in the ATP rankings and top seed in this year’s draw. Iga has been in red hot form since inheriting the 1st rank following Ashleigh Barty’s shock early retirement from professional tennis. Indeed the Pole has won every match she has played, including winning the Italian Open and the French Open as well as titles in Qatar, Rome, Stuttgart, Indian Wells, and Miami.
This automatically makes Świątek a firm favourite to many. However, she is a bit of an unknown quantity on grass, since she hasn’t yet won any titles on the surface, or gone deep in any grass tournaments in the past either- she has just played 8 senior matches on grass and has a record of 4-4 in them. This thus makes her 2022 Wimbledon challenge quite intriguing. While the clay courts beautifully complemented her innate attributes and style of play, there’s an element of uncertainty over whether she’ll be able to play her game as freely on the grass of Wimbledon, and so this tournament is set up beautifully for her to demonstrate her potential qualities and longevity in the sport.
Emma Raducanu (ENG)
Fellow teenager Emma Raducanu also thrust herself into the global limelight during last year’s Wimbledon tournament when she, playing as a wildcard, became the youngest ever British woman to enter the 3rd, and then the 4th round of a grand slam in the Open era.
She further raised the stakes when she won her maiden grand slam- the US Open, which she entered as a qualifier, without dropping a single set. So it is safe to see why she is so highly regarded and considered one of the top contenders this year.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for her, however. Injuries have curtailed her development and she has had to fire her coach as well in what has been a bumpy last few months for the 19-year-old.
However, playing on grass- her preferred surface, and with the home crowd and even many neutrals firmly behind her, she shall have the wind in her sails and is more than capable of repeating her recent grand slam heroics. Definitely one to watch!
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Coco Gauff (USA)
This 18-year-old rising star enters Wimbledon on the back of a terrific French Open where she painfully but gallantly fell short at the final hurdle against world no. 1 Iga Świątek.
The world no. 13 first burst into the limelight during last year’s Wimbledon tournament, and she will be hoping to resume where she left off this year- armed with the invaluable experience of fighting all the way to a Grand Slam final already.
What makes her a particularly interesting contender is her prowess on all surfaces- she has demonstrated her craft at a high level on clay, grass as well as hard courts. She has also enjoyed a strong warm-up to this year’s tournament and she appears poised to make her mark this month.
Simona Halep (ROM)
The 30-year-old is now a veteran surrounded by a vast field of young talent that is taking over the women’s game. But perhaps this is exactly what might stand the Romanian in good stead in such a potentially open tournament. She knows how to win a grand slam, having tasted success twice- including her 2018 Wimbledon when she beat Serena Williams in straight sets.
Moreover, Halep has always felt at home on the grass of Wimbledon making the quarter-finals on 4 occasions, and her experience and pedigree playing in grand slams is unquestionable with 14 QF appearances in total. While her form has blown hot and cold this season, she ran the world no. 1 Iga Świątek really close at the Indian Wells tournament, and on grass this time, she’ll feel that she has a lot more to offer this time around, were she to encounter Świątek again.
Also read: Volley of pain: Players injured and (perhaps) out of Wimbledon 2022
Ons Jabeur (TUN)
Ranked 4th in the ATP Women’s rankings, the Tunisian is a healthy outside bet to fight her way to this year’s Wimbledon. Her recently elevated rank is thanks to her outstanding showings in the Madrid Open and the Rome Open.
While Jabeur claimed the Madrid Title defeating Simona Halep and Jessica Pegula along the way, her valiant efforts in Rome were curtailed only by top-ranked Iga Świątek in the final.
Her past track record in Wimbledon will give her plenty of reason to be upbeat though- as she got the better of Świątek last season on her run to the quarterfinals, and she will have to believe she can repeat her heroics if she were to come up against her again.