Serena Williams is one of the greatest female tennis players of all-time and will be one of the leading candidates heading into this year’s Wimbledon tournament next month. The world number one has been in exceptional form throughout the early part of the 2015 season and is looking to win each of the sport’s four Grand Slam competitions; Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, in the same calendar year.
Tennis supporters have praised Williams for her brilliant performances throughout the season and at 33 years old, she is continuing to dominate the sport. In fact, when this article was produced, betfair were pricing the five-time Wimbledon winner at 2/1 to earn her sixth title and achieve her second Grand Slam success of the year.
However, it won’t be plain sailing for Williams and the world number one has shown cracks of vulnerability in recent weeks – losing to a close rival while also pulling out of the Rome Masters. Although she will be quietly confident of reaching the latter stages of the grass court event, the world number one will have to work hard in order to be crowned champion at the end of the tournament.
The World Number One Is On Fire
Despite a couple of recent setbacks, Williams has been sensational this season – winning 25 of her 26 matches in the first few months of 2015. Prior to her recent loss against Petra Kvitova at the Madrid Open, the American had lost just seven sets throughout her 25 victories – an astonishing feat.
The 33-year-old is eyeing up Margaret Court’s long-standing record of 24 Grand Slam victories and success at Wimbledon would put her within three major titles of the Australian’s record. The American remains passionate about her tennis and is still hungry to continue beating and setting new records.
Her tournament play has been exquisite so far, but she may be worried about the niggling injury problems that she continues to pick up. Williams has already pulled out of three tournaments this year – including the Italian Open due to an elbow injury – and will hope that the extra rest prior to the French Open can help her to prepare for the two upcoming Grand Slam events.
She Has Her Eyes Set On Winning Each Of The Four Majors In The Same Year
Williams, who won the Australian Open earlier in the season, intends on winning all four Grand Slams in 2015. The American has never won the Grand Slam events in the same year, but held all four titles between 2002 and 2003, starting with the French Open and ending with success in the Australian Open at the beginning of the ’03 season. Highlights of her victory over Maria Sharapova can be seen below.
The world number one is 33 years old and may not have a better opportunity to go on and further stake her claim as the greatest female tennis player of all-time – a Grand Slam achievement in the same calendar year would certainly go a long way to ranking her alongside the likes of Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova.
The American has already surpassed the latter’s total of 18 Grand Slams and remains just three shy of Graf’s 22 major titles. If she can equal or better the German’s total, she would surely stand a great chance of going down as the best ladies tennis player in history.
Traditionally, She’s Exceptionally Strong At The Event
Wimbledon has always been one of Williams’ greatest events and, despite failing to lift the ladies singles crown since 2012, she will be fully focussed on aiming to win her sixth title at the famous grass court event. The American has disappointed at Wimbledon in recent years and has failed to get past the fourth round, but has still won the competition three times since 2009.
In fact, throughout her illustrious career, the 33-year-old has won 72 matches while losing just 10 – an astonishing achievement. Moreover, the world number one has won 33% of the Wimbledon tournaments that she has entered in, while finishing as runner up a further two times. If Williams can regain her form on the grass court, then she will stand a great chance of earning her sixth Wimbledon crown and her 20th Grand Slam title and may even end up dancing with joy.
Petra Kvitova, The Reigning Champion, Has Beaten Her Recently
Petra Kvitova will be looking to claim back-to-back Wimbledon titles after beating Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-3 6-0 with an impressive display in last year’s final. The Czech, who will head into this year’s grass court event as the world number four, will be full of confidence after some excellent performances throughout the early part of 2015.
Despite a disappointing defeat to 19-year-old Madison Keys in the Australian Open, the 25-year-old remains one of the best female tennis players in the game at the moment and she is more than capable of winning the title once again.
In fact, Kvitova recently defeated world number one Williams in the semi-finals of the Madrid Open, dealing a huge psychological blow to the American’s hopes of winning all four Grand Slam events this season. The Czech produced an inspiring performance, dominating the world number one from start to finish, and earning a convincing 6-2 6-3 victory over her rival.
In the final, she was equally as impressive when dropping just three sets against Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1 6-2 to claim her 16th career title. If she can maintain her clay form through the summer and into the grass court events, she will be a huge danger to Williams and will be desperate to defend her crown. Here is the moment she earned his maiden Wimbledon title against the Canadian last year.
Maria Sharapova Could Challenge
The Russian has been in excellent form throughout the last 18 months and may stand a chance of reaching the latter stages of the grass court tournament. Sharapova, who won the event as a teenager back in 2004, remains one of the best female tennis players on the planet but has endured a barren spell due to a number of injury problems.
However, the 28-year-old has a horrendous record against Williams – losing 16 consecutive matches against the world number one – and will be hopeful of avoiding her throughout the tournament.
The likelihood is that Sharapova may have to face the American at some stage during the competition, but if she can raise her game and maintain consistently good performances during the tournament then she could feature in the semi-finals or even go one better in an attempt to claim her second Wimbledon crown.
The Russian will look to improve on her disappointing performance against Williams in the Australian Open final and, with a bit of luck, could go on to win her fifth Grand Slam – and 34th major – title.