Get your tennis tips for women’s section of the 2023 Wimbledon tournament, which seems destined to be won by one of the dominant trio of Swiatek, Sabalenka and Rybakina…or can a bolter come from the clouds?
Women’s tennis’ dominant force, Swiatek has held the world No.1 ranking for 14 months and has notched two more French Open titles (taking her tally to three) and a maiden US Open trophy during that time – and she only turned 22 a month ago. But her grass-court credentials are yet to be proven: the power-hitting Pole’s best Wimbledon showing was a fourth-round appearance in 2021, while she was rolled in the third round by Alize Cornet last year. Yet to reach the final of a tournament on the surface, Swiatek has looked very good this week at the Bad Homburg Open.
Completing the current ‘big three’ triumvirate on the WTA Tour, Sabalenka delivered on her long-held promise on the grand slam stage by taking out the Australian Open in January. Emphatically putting her 2022 serving woes behind her, the Belarusian – who was prevented from playing at Wimbledon last year by a controversial ban – has also reaching the Indian Wells and Stuttgart Open finals, and won the Adelaide International and Madrid Masters in 2023. Including the French Open earlier this month, Sabalenka has reached the semis in five of the last seven majors she has competed in. The best value in the market.
A surprise winner at Wimbledon last year after coming from a set down to beat Ons Jabeur in the final, Rybakina has looked every bit the grand slam champion in the 12 months since her breakthrough triumph. So far this year she has reached the Australian Open and Miami Masters finals, and won the Indian Wells and Rome Masters – beating Swiatek three times in the process. But a virus forced to withdraw during the French Open and has interrupted her build-up to Wimbledon. If she is at full capacity, though, Rybakina is a great chance to become the tournament’s first back-to-back women’s champ in more than a decade.
The Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, Kvitova’s slam-contending heyday appeared to have passed – she hasn’t been beyond the fourth round of a major since the 2020 French Open. But the 33-year-old has been a great touch in recent months, winning the Miami Masters in March and adding a fifth grass-court title at the German Open earlier this month to surge back into the top 10.
A 15-year-old Gauff rocketed to prominence in 2019 by making it to the fourth round at Wimbledon on grand slam debut. She made it to the last 16 at the All England Club in 2021 but was bundled out in the third round last year. An all-surface force, Gauff earned a maiden grand slam final berth at last year’s French Open. While a tad underwhelming in 2023 so far, a quarter-final appearance at Roland Garros and a deep run at the Eastbourne International bode well for the world No.7’s chances over the next fortnight.
The hard-luck story of the 2022 season, Jabeur broke through for grand slam final appearances at Wimbledon and the US Open but lost both – to Rybakina as a favourite and Swiatek, respectively. Jabeur’s progress this year has been hampered by injuries, though she did win the Charleston Open and reached the Stuttgart Open semis and French Open quarters in a strong clay swing. The 2021 Birmingham Classic and 2022 German Open winner is a very accomplished performer on grass and can certainly threaten is her body allows.
The Ukrainian veteran has made a highly impressive return to the tour after a year out on maternity leave, gradually regaining fitness before winning the Internatiounaux de Strasbourg and embarking on a super run to the French Open quarters. The former world No.3 made the semis at Wimbledon in 2019 and is a wildcard entry few opponents will want to see on the other side of the net during the early rounds.