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Wimbledon tips: Grass acts as a leveller but Aryna Sabalenka should be the clear favourite for the crown

The women's singles draw at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships is wide-open, can we find you a winner?

Aryna Sabalenka's inability to be utterly dominant on grass is truly perplexing and even though she heads into Wimbledon as the favourite few would put their neck on the line to say that she will certainly be the winner.

The tag of favourite is an uncomfortable fit for the star from Minsk.

Sabalenka has never won a title on grass, losing finals at Eastbourne and Rosmalen in the past.

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The uncomfortable favourite

Sabalenka hasn't had the ideal build-up to the tournament, winning her first match on grass this season before pulling out of her second round match in Berlin with injury.

Her second Grand Slam title win in Australia will have given her the belief that she can win tournaments like Wimbledon but it isn't really confidence that she lacks.

Sabalenka can muscle her way through encounters when she isn't playing well but she doesn't seem to be able to summon the best of her game at will which always gives predictors pause when she is labelled as the tournament favourite.

If she gets her serve dialled in it will be tough if not utterly impossible to stop Sabalenka on grass.

However, if her delivery starts to falter such errors are often punished more severely on the surface and so her game is a double-edged sword.


Can Iga Swiatek challenge on grass?

Bookies are reluctant to lengthen the odds of Iga Swiatek claiming the Wimbledon crown despite there being many reasons to believe she won't claim the trophy.

Swiatek has never reached the final of a grass court event let alone won one and her best performance at Wimbledon was her quarter-final run in 2023.

She is a far better player on clay than she is on grass but she has also won plenty on faster hard courts suggesting that her challenge with turf courts goes beyond not having the game for it.

Of course the longer that struggle persists the harder it will be for Swiatek to break through that mental block.

Swiatek has not played any grass court warmups this season opting instead to rest after she decided to enter the Olympic Games tennis competition despite flirting with skipping the event.


Does that make Elena Rybakina the favourite?

Elena Rybakina is the top player with the best record at Wimbledon having won the Championships in 2022, but she comes into this tournament under an injury cloud and not playing her best tennis.

Rybakina has played just one completed match on grass this season, defeating Veronica Kudermetova before she retired in the first set of her Berlin Open second round match against Victoria Azarenka.

So, Rybakina also doesn't look in the greatest shape but if she builds momentum and gets into the second week she will be a difficult player to derail.


Wide open field

The grass court results from the WTA Tour suggest that the battle for the women's singles title at Wimbledon is wide open.

Previous finalist Ons Jabeur enters after a grass court season just as plagued by injury as the rest of her stop-start 2024 campaign. However, she has the drive to finally get the job done at Wimbledon.

American Jessica Pegula was a titlist in Berlin and will be desperate to reach the last four in a Major for the first time having played in six Grand Slam quarter-finals.

Her compatriot Coco Gauff has admitted that grass doesn't really suit her game but in this wide open field she is certainly capable of being a threat.

Former world No 1 Naomi Osaka has never been beyond the third round at Wimbledon but sportsbooks are showing her some esteem ahead of the third Grand Slam of the year.

Young Mirra Andreeva continues to amaze every time she steps out on court and will once again draw eyes at Wimbledon.

Defending champion Marketa Vondrousova has failed to replicate her 2023 Wimbledon form since her greatest triumph, like Rybakina she knows she can go all the way and could be just as dangerous in the second week.


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