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Ten women who will be hoping to go all the way at Wimbledon

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The All England Club is preparing to welcome the world’s best players once again for the 132nd edition of the championships.

It is the 125th time the women’s singles has been played and all indications point to another highly competitive Grand Slam event.

All eyes will be on Serena Williams on her return to Wimbledon, her first grass court Grand Slam since giving birth late last year.

She did return at the French Open, her first Slam back, but had to withdraw before her crunch game with Maria Sharapova due to an elbow injury.

Of course, there are plenty of women heading to SW19 with aspirations to win the tournament, so just who should we be looking out for?

Here, Press Association Sport have picked out 10 title contenders and ones to watch.

Simona Halep

The world number one arrives in London with the Grand Slam monkey off her back after her triumph at the French Open.

Halep is more at home on clay than grass, but can boast two quarter-finals and one semi-final from her last four Wimbledon appearances, losing a classic encounter to Johanna Konta 12 months ago.

Garbine Muguruza

The defending champion usually reserves her best for the big occasions and was superb last year, dropping just one set in seven matches and beating Venus Williams in the final.

Day Twelve: The Championships - Wimbledon 2017

The Spaniard has undoubted star quality and her big-hitting game suits grass.

Sloane Stephens

The American’s record at Wimbledon is hardly stellar, but it feels as if all that went before her 11-month lay-off with a foot injury can almost be discounted.

Last year’s Wimbledon was Stephens’ comeback event. Twelve months on, she is US Open champion, French Open finalist, and the world number four.

Stephens is a superb athlete and is benefiting from a growing maturity.

Petra Kvitova

Nature Valley Classic - Day Four

Would there be a more popular champion than Kvitova?

The Czech was already loved at Wimbledon after winning the title in 2011 and 2014 and has battled back from a horrific stabbing at her home in December 2016 to return to the top 10.

Madison Keys

Few players hit the ball harder than 23-year-old American Keys, who has underachieved at Wimbledon so far, making just one quarter-final.

But since a second-round loss last year, she has reached the US Open final, Australian Open quarter-finals and French Open semi-finals.

2018 French Open - Day Twelve

Staying healthy is her biggest challenge.

Angelique Kerber

What a rollercoaster two and a half years it has been for the German.

From the stellar highs of two Grand Slam titles in 2016, through 2017’s implosion, to her revival this season, Kerber has experienced it all.

But the 30-year-old remains one of the best all-round players on tour, and was a Wimbledon finalist in 2016.

Ashleigh Barty

A Wimbledon junior champion in 2011 aged 15, Barty was out of the game three years later and tried her hand at professional cricket before picking up her racket again in February 2016.

Nature Valley Open - Day Nine

A top-20 player with a game built for grass, Barty should be a danger, as evidenced by her title in Nottingham this month.

Naomi Osaka

The Japanese-American is the hottest young female talent in tennis and has already made one big breakthrough this season by winning the WTA Tour title in Indian Wells.

Osaka, 20, is yet to make a Grand Slam quarter-final, but that will surely change soon and grass should suit her big-hitting game.

Maria Sharapova

2018 French Open - Day Eleven

Sharapova has not played a match on grass since losing to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2015 following her doping ban and injury last summer.

She began to look much more like her old self on clay, and her return to SW19 will be one of the big talking points.

Serena Williams

Not quite as big, however, as the return of the seven-time champion and new mother, who showed enough in Paris before pulling out of what would have been a blockbuster clash against Sharapova to indicate she should be regarded as a serious Wimbledon contender, provided she has overcome her pectoral injury.

Topics:
Maria Sharapova
Serena Williams
Wimbledon
Tennis

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