Venus Williams vs. Elina Svitolina is well worth a bill on Center Court on Monday despite the pairing being in the tournament thanks to wild cards. Williams’ story is simply remarkable.
When she made her debut here in 1997, this year’s favorite Iga Swiatek was not even born. But now, at 43 years old and after so many injuries in the last year, the American still seems very enthusiastic. Ukraine’s Svitolina reached the semifinals four years ago and put in a strong performance in Paris last month.
She also won in Strasbourg in May as she returned from giving birth to daughter Skai alongside husband Gael Monfils. The Wimbledon crowd will have a lot of respect for these two.
Venus has grace on the court and said that one of her greatest achievements in the game is fighting for equal prize money for women and men.
It’s great that she still enjoys playing and competing and we saw the great match against Camila Giorgi in Birmingham last month; he still has ambitions to delve into big long matches. The fact that they are playing each other is special.
Venus Williams is the unmissable star of Wimbledon on the opening day of the tournament on Monday
Williams’ history of making it to Center Court is notable due to his injury issues.
It is the best first round match. Coco Gauff against Sofia Kenin will also be exciting.
Also watch out for Russian youngster Mirra Andreeva, the 16-year-old who had a hilarious exchange with Andy Murray last month in which she called him ‘beautiful’ and he replied ‘imagine how good she’ll be at tennis when she’s got the fixed eyes’ !’
WHAT DO THE THREE GREAT WOMEN LOOK LIKE?
It is extremely difficult to pick a winner from the women’s side of this year’s draw. To underscore that, just look at the difference to the men’s draw, where Novak Djokovic is the heavy favorite to win.
WIMBLEDON AS A SECOND HOME FOR VENUS WILLIAMS
This is Venus Williams’ 24th Wimbledon.
Here’s his overall record…won five singles titles: 2000: Bt L Davenport (6-3, 7-6) 2001: Bt J Henin (6-1, 3-6, 6-0) 2005: Bt L Davenport (4-6, 7-6, 9-7) 2007: Bt M Bartoli (6-4, 6-1) 2008: Bt S Williams (7-5, 6-4.
Williams also won six SW19 doubles titles.
The Serb has not lost a match at Wimbledon since 2017, winning the last four titles at SW19 and taking the first two Grand Slams this year, making him the clear choice to win again despite Carlos Alcaraz winning at Queen’s this month and it is the best. seed.
However, on the women’s side, it is extremely difficult to choose. In the past it’s been hard to look past Ash Barty, who retired last year at 26 after taking the sport by storm, or Serena Williams.
Now we have the so-called ‘big three’ of women’s tennis and you can defend them all, but no one is a clear favourite, and there are plenty of outside teams who could win the title.
The last six championships have been won by six different women, will there be a seventh? The draw favors world number 1 Swiatek, who has won four Grand Slams, three at Roland Garros and one US Open, but has yet to conquer grass at the highest level after winning the junior event here as a 17-year-old in 2018.
She likes the clay courts where her big forehand and backspin give her time to set up, hit the ball and generate strong spin.
The grass doesn’t give you time on the forehand and Alize Cornet broke that by beating her here last year. Iga and her team, led by coach Tomasz Wiktorowski, will understand the challenges and she looked good this week in Bad Homburg, where she shortened her swing and became more aggressive before withdrawing with illness ahead of the semifinal.
The Polish Iga Swiatek is one of the female favorites to win the Wimbledon title this year
World number 2 Aryna Sabalenka has gained a lot of confidence by winning the Australian Open in January.
It’s intriguing how Iga manages and adapts their game. He is playing Lin Zhu from China today, who is a very good player, but the draw should give Swiatek time to develop his game.
Aryna Sabalenka is the world number 2 and the Belarusian has gained a lot of confidence by winning the Australian Open in January, although there may be some mental scars from losing the semifinal at Roland Garros despite being in a commanding position.
The 25-year-old doesn’t get many tune-up games on grass courts, which are crucial on this surface. The goal for him will be to enhance his run to the 2021 semifinals here.
Defending champion Elena Rybakina has shown she knows how to win here, but her grass-court season was blighted by illness.
Defending champion Elena Rybakina has shown she knows how to win here, but her grass-court season was blighted by illness, a problem that began in Paris when she withdrew from the French Open in the middle of the weekend with a virus. .
There is definitely an impact when you are sick. Most are more comfortable playing on this unique surface, but Rybakina appears to be calm-minded.
WHO ELSE CAN WIN HERE, THEN?
Coco Gauff has had a couple of hot runs at Wimbledon and is improving her forehand, which is her turning point. The American teenager has a tough first-round draw against Kenin, who won the Australian Open in 2020 but had to qualify after injury and a layoff last year.
But Gauff beat compatriot Jessica Pegula, world number 4, in Eastbourne last week and reached the semifinals, which is a great warm-up for Wimbledon. Donna Vekic, coached by Pam Shriver, has had great results on grass courts not just this year but throughout the years, and her game has been elevated on the surface.
The American Coco Gauff has improved her forehand and will look to surprise at Wimbledon
Gauff (pictured) beat compatriot Jessica Pegula in Eastbourne last week to reach the semifinals, which is a great warm-up for Wimbledon.
Last year’s finalist Ons Jabeur, who we can’t fail to mention, has had a lukewarm year on grass, but can she warm up with all the good memories here? Beatriz Haddad Maia and Jelena Ostapenko, who won in Birmingham, are also dangerous on this surface.
Maria Sakkari and Eastbourne winner Madison Keys could meet in the third round and that could be a big clash. There’s also French Open finalist Karolina Muchova and two-time winner Petra Kvitova. If you walk through the gates of a Grand Slam field as a winner, your confidence is already boosted because you have so many good memories.
GO FROM CLAY TO GRASS
Playing Wimbledon is like taking an exam after an intensive review program. There is hardly any time between the clay and the grass. Most players play one or two tournaments to get comfortable with moving on grass as it is so different.
Switching from clay to grass is difficult for players to adapt to due to the lack of rest between surface changes during the season’s busy schedule.
But the match count can be very low. You have to convince yourself that your game is good on the surface, even when it’s not quite as sharp yet.
Players need time to rest and there are only three weeks between two majors – it’s a very quick reset. This is the biggest transition.
Slow red clay to fast low rebounding grass. Djokovic has mastered the transition, but not many have. If you go deep into Roland Garros, there really is very little time to rest and then prepare for Wimbledon.
That’s why Wimbledon is so hard to predict. Before the French Open, we have six weeks of data on clay to judge the form of the players, how they have played and how deep they have gone in tournaments. It is a fascinating fortnight.