WIMBLEDON 2021: Serena Williams takes another shot at No. 24


Serena Williams (AP photo)

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Women to watch at Wimbledon, which starts Monday at the All England Club:


Ashleigh Barty (AP photo)


Seeded: 1

Country: Australia

Age: 25

2021 Match Record: 28-6

2021 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 11

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — French Open (2019)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-Lost in 4th Round, 2018-3rd, 2017-1st, 2016-Did Not Play, 2015-Did Not Play

Aces: Stopped playing during her second-round match at the French Open because of an injured left hip. Dealt with a right arm issue last month at the Italian Open. … Has made progress in past trips to the All England Club, but will she be healthy enough to make a Week 2 run this time?

Matchup to Watch For: Faces Carla Suárez Navarro, a 32-year-old Spaniard who recently returned to competition after being treated for cancer, in the first round.

Words: “I’ve had my fair share of tears this week.” — Barty, after pulling out of Roland Garros.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 15-2


Aryna Sabalenka (AP photo)


Seeded: 2

Country: Belarus

Age: 23

2021 Match Record: 29-10

2021 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 10

Grand Slam Singles Titles: Zero — Best: 4th Round (2018 U.S. Open, 2021 Australian Open)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-1st, 2018-1st, 2017-2nd, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP

Aces: Tied for tour lead in match wins this season. … Ranks 6th in aces on tour in 2021 but also fourth in double-faults. … Her powerful game — via serve and groundstrokes — should make her a contender at the All England Club, but she has yet to put everything together for a full two weeks at any Grand Slam tournament. Her career mark at Wimbledon is 1-3.

Matchup to Watch For: Possibly might play a qualifier in each of the first three rounds; could face French Open semifinalist Maria Sakkari in the fourth.

Words: “No. 4; this is not No. 1. There is still lot of things to work on and to improve.” — Sabalenka, on reaching a career-high ranking in May.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 14-1



Seeded: 6

Country: United States

Age: 39

2021 Match Record: 12-4

2021 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 73

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 23 — Wimbledon (7: 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016), Australian Open (7: 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017), French Open (3: 2002, 2013, 2015), U.S. Open (6: 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-Runner-Up, 2018-RU, 2017-DNP, 2016-Won Championship, 2015-W

ces: Holds record for most Grand Slam singles titles in the professional era; one more would put her even with Margaret Court for the most in tennis history. … As usual, did not play at any grass-court tuneup tournament between the French Open — where she lost in the fourth round — and Wimbledon. … Has reached Week 2 in 11 of her last 12 appearances at the All England Club (third-round loss in 2014). … 77-1 career record in first-round matches at major tournaments.

Matchup to Watch For: Could face No. 25 Angelique Kerber in the third round; that would be a rematch of the 2018 Wimbledon final won by Kerber 6-3, 6-3.

Words: “I’m kind of excited to switch surfaces.” — Williams, looking ahead to the grass after her exit on clay in Paris.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 15-2


Petra Kvitova (AP photo)


Seeded: 10

Country: Czech Republic

Age: 31

2021 Match Record: 19-8 (Playing at Bad Homburg Open in Germany)

2021 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 28

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 — Wimbledon (2011, 2014)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-4th, 2018-1st, 2017-2nd, 2016-2nd, 2015-3rd

Aces: After reaching at least the quarterfinals five times in a row at Wimbledon, including two titles, the left-hander hasn’t been past the fourth round (and only once made it that far) in her last five appearances. … Coming off an odd exit at the French Open, where she pulled out after her first-round victory because she said she fell and hurt her ankle while doing media interviews.

Matchup to Watch For: Faces 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round.

Words: “It’s incredibly bad luck, but I will stay strong and do my best to recover in time for the grass-court season.” — Kvitova, announcing her withdrawal from Roland Garros.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 14-1


Barbora Krejcikova (AP photo)


Seeded: 14

Country: Czech Republic

Age: 25

2021 Match Record: 26-9

2021 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 2

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — French Open (2021)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-DNP, 2018-DNP, 2017-DNP, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP

Aces: Makes her Wimbledon main-draw debut fresh off winning singles and doubles titles at the French Open two weeks ago. … Had never won a tour-level tournament of any sort in singles until last month at Strasbourg, France, then topped that at Roland Garros in just the fifth singles appearance at a major of her career.

Matchup to Watch For: Meets 18-year-old Clara Tauson in the first round; could face Barty in the fourth.

Words: “I hope I’m going to have some chances on the grass, but I don’t really know because I’m not that experienced on it. We will see.” — Krejcikova.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 25-1


Cori “Coco” Gauff (AP photo)


Seeded: 20

Country: United States

Age: 17

2021 Match Record: 27-11

2021 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 2

Grand Slam Singles Titles: Zero — Best: Quarterfinals (2021 French Open)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-4th, 2018-DNP, 2017-DNP, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP

Aces: At a career-high 23rd in the WTA rankings and coming off deepest run at a Grand Slam tournament, losing to eventual champion Krejcikova in the quarterfinals in Paris. … Returns to the site of her breakthrough performance: Two years ago at Wimbledon, at age 15, she became the youngest qualifier in tournament history, then beat Venus Williams in the first round and made it all the way to the fourth before losing to eventual champ Simona Halep.

Matchup to Watch For: Could face Serena Williams in the fourth round.

Words: “My hitting partner told me this match will probably make me a champion in the future. I really do believe that.” — Gauff, after failing to convert five set points in the opening set of her loss at Roland Garros.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 21-1

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