The top 32 seeds have been revealed for this year’s Wimbledon as the tournament returns after a one-year hiatus.
World number two Naomi Osaka will not take part in the Championships, having decided to take a break from tennis to focus on her mental health. The Japanese star withdrew from Roland-Garros last month after being fined for refusing to take part in media duties, but has now confirmed she’ll return for the Tokyo Olympics.
Meanwhile, America’s Jennifer Brady –– 14th in the world rankings, will also miss the competition. The 26-year-old was forced to retire in her third-round French Open match against Coco Gauff and hasn’t recovered in time to compete.
There were injury concerns as well for the likes of Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitová, who have all battled niggling problems in the last few weeks. However, all three are set to play at this year’s event.
Here’s a breakdown of this year’s seedings and where the main contenders are ranked:
Ashleigh Barty - 1st
Despite not playing any warm-up events in the build-up to Wimbledon, Barty has seemingly overcome a left hip problem and is the top seed in the draw by virtue of her number one ranking.
The Australian has enjoyed an impressive 2021 so far, winning both the Miami Open and the Stuttgart Open.
While the 25-year-old appears to be a natural on grass, she is yet to advance beyond the fourth round at the All England Club.
Simona Halep - 2nd
Halep is the defending champion, having beaten Serena Williams in straight sets back in 2019.
The Romanian has struggled for consistency in 2021, however, playing just 16 matches and winning 11.
Like Barty, the 29-year-old enters this year’s Championships with little preparation, after tearing her calf muscle at the Italian Open.
If Halep can survive the early rounds though, and find her rhythm again, she’ll no doubt be a tough opponent to beat.
Serena Williams - 7th
The US star is still searching for a record-equalling 24th major title, but Wimbledon is undoubtedly her best chance of doing so.
With seven wins at the All England Club already, the 39-year-old has reached the final in four of the last five Championships and will fancy her chances again.
Williams has barely played in 2021 and may lack competitive match practice, but given her 88 percent win rate on grass, the former world number one is bound to raise her game for this year’s competition.
Petra Kvitová - 11th
The Czech is another player to have had injury problems in recent weeks, having suffered a freak ankle injury while taking part in a press conference at the French Open.
Ranked 12th in the world, Kvitová has won Wimbledon twice, however, and is still one of the best grass-court players on tour right now.
The 31-year-old is also going well at the Bad Homburg Open this week and faces Nadia Podoroska in the quarter-finals this evening.
Coco Gauff - 21st
The 17-year-old is no longer just a teenage prodigy and has established herself as one of the best players on tour in 2021.
With a record of 25 wins and just 10 losses, Gauff won the Parma Open and reached the quarter-finals at Roland-Garros recently.
The US star loves playing on grass as well, having made her name as a 15-year-old at the Championships two years ago.