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Wimbledon - Tennis: Women's Preview

The third Grand Slam of the season shoots into action at Wimbledon on Monday and Polish world number one Iga Swiatek is the firm favourite in the women’s draw.

Swiatek is 11/8 to follow up her victory at the recent French Open with a title triumph at the All England Club and she is sure to have her followers on the back of her record-equalling 35-game winning streak.

However, it is far from a one-horse race at SW19 and there is plenty of young talent also hoping to make their Grand Slam breakthrough.

What:

2022 Wimbledon Women

Where:

All England Club, Wimbledon, London

When:

Monday 27th June to Sunday 10th July 2022

How to watch:

BBC or bet365's Sports Live Streaming

Odds:

Iga Swiatek 11/8, Ons Jabeur 15/2, Cori Gauff 14/1, Simona Halep 20/1, Serena Williams 22/1

Eyes fixed firmly on super Swiatek

Swiatek is certainly the woman to beat at Wimbledon this year and the Pole's confidence levels should be sky-high thanks to a stellar start to the season.

The 21-year-old has won her last 35 matches, with her last six tournament appearances in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome and the French Open all resulting in victory.

However, both of Swiatek's Grand Slam successes have come on the clay in the French capital and she has yet to secure silverware on the grass, making quotes of 11/8 overestimate her chances.

By her own admission, "grass is always tricky" and the transition is never easy so it would be hasty to expect this tournament to be another forgone conclusion.

The Warsaw girl has played at Wimbledon just twice and was a fourth-round victim to Ons Jabeur last year, with her having been soundly beaten 5-7 6-1 6-1.

Of course, the Polish star has subsequently taken her game to a new level and her challenge is made easier by the shock retirement of last year's champion Ashleigh Barty.

Swiatek should have few concerns in the early stages of the tournament but there are plenty of dangers later on in her half of the draw, with the likes of Cori Gauff, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova, Bianca Andreescu, Amanda Anisimova and Garbine Mugurza all queuing up to challenge.

Halep and Gauff may prosper if Pole fails to fire

The top half of the draw is brimming with quality and if Swiatek fails to deliver then Halep and Gauff look the two names most likely to prosper.

Halep was crowned Wimbledon champion in 2019 and is much better than her 16th seeding suggests, with injuries having curtailed her last few campaigns.

However, recent signs from the Romanian have been far more encouraging and her semi-final appearance at the Birmingham Classic was followed up with another run to the last four on the grass of Bad Homburg.

Halep withdrew before her semi-final showdown with Bianca Andreescu due to a stiff neck but that appears to be more of a precaution as she prepares for a title tilt at Wimbledon.

The 30-year-old, who eased past Anisimova in her latest quarter-final, looks to have landed in a soft section of the draw as her toughest test, Petra Kvitova, may have exerted a lot of energy in her fight to the final at Eastbourne.

Halep may be worth considering at 20/1, as is rising American star Gauff at 14/1.

The 18-year-old was a gallant runner-up to Swiatek at the French Open earlier this month but more can be expected on grass, which looks even more suited to her aggressive style.

The athletic American has made the fourth round in her two previous visits to Wimbledon and with a Grand Slam title surely within reach in the near future, this summer could be where everything falls together.

Gauff is housed in a tricky section but recent evidence suggests she can overcome Anisimova, seven-time Wimbledon winner Williams and last year's runner-up Pliskova.

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Draw may have been kind to rapid improver Jabeur

Jabeur got the better of Swiatek in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year and the talented Tunisian will have high hopes she can steal the Pole's limelight once again.

The 27-year-old went on to lose in the quarter-finals to the hard-hitting Aryna Sabalenka, but the Belarusian is high-profile absentee this year.

Even so, Jabeur has taken her game to a new level this season and she became the first African player to win a WTA Masters 1000 event when beating Jessica Pegula to the Madrid title in May.

Jabeur went on to finish runner-up to Swiatek in Rome and was an excellent winner on the grass of Berlin earlier this month, having overcome Gauff and Belina Bencic en route.

The right-hander appears a natural on this surface and this year's draw looks like it may have been kind to her.

The third seed, who is 15/2 for a first Major success, opens up against Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund and her toughest challenge before the quarter-final could be a fourth-round clash with world number 18 Angelique Kerber.

The German was champion in 2018 and a semi-finalist last year, although her defeat to Alize Cornet in the last eight in Bad Homburg earlier this week suggests the 34-year-old is operating a bit below that form.

It would not be the biggest surprise if Kerber took a step forward from that effort, however, and the experienced veteran is 25/1 to record a fourth Grand Slam success.

Raducanu vulnerable as she carries British hopes

The British challenge is spearheaded by last season's US Open heroine Emma Raducanu, but the home hopes may be short-lived.

Since that breakthrough success in the States, Raducanu has yet to trouble the judge and has won only ten of her 24 matches, failing to go beyond the quarter-final in 13 events.

The 19-year-old remains a star of the future and should at some point confirm that promise.

However, a retirement in the opening round at Nottingham earlier this month raises fitness concerns and she looks tough to support at 500/1.

With the tenth seed vulnerable in the top quarter of the bottom-half and faced with a tricky opener against Alison Van Uytvanck, there may be room for a shock.

Madison Keys, who made the fourth round last year and was a quarter-finalist in 2015, looks best placed in that section for a deep run.

After a quiet spell, the American has been rejuvenated this season with a semi-final appearance at the Australian Open and a fourth-round run in France. She tends to save her best from Grand Slam competition and is 40/1 to be crowned champion.

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