Wimbledon is in the final days of intense competition. When you think of this highly prestigious event, besides tennis of course, other things may come to mind. The Wimbledon Championships is steeped in a lot of long-standing traditions. Spectators eating strawberries and cream, which stemmed from its garden party days, to the players curtseying the Queen of England when she is in attendance, to the dress code of all white tennis uniforms.
However, many upsets and victories have taken place on the grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club since 1877. We’ll focus on the Women’s Singles events. Here is a look at the Top 5 Women tennis players who some are incidentally ranked 1-4 in the world. They seem to have the right stuff to be champions. Now we will preview their past and present wins as well as what the media has been saying about them.
Preview of the Top 5 Women
1.) Serena Williams – She’s hungry for a win since the loss against her older sister Venus at last year’s Wimbledon. Her last win at the grass courts was in 2003. This year the #2 ranked Serena has the drive, determination, and destiny to win. According to Point-Spread.com she is at 9-4 betting odds to win. At the Tennis Forum, a discussion board, she is a favorite this year. Currently the Australian Open champion, and having a total of 10 Grand Slam Singles to her name, Serena is on a roll.
2.) Venus Williams – The two time reigning Wimbledon champion back to back was matched against her younger sister Serena last year. She has won the Wimbledon singles title five times. Currently Venus is ranked #3. There is a saying that states lighting doesn’t strike twice in the same place. In other words, it is unlikely another sibling rivalry match-up will take place again like last year’s. It happens rarely in major sporting events. Venus is not considered a favorite, but is definitely a strong contender and will provide serious competition to any opponent. Her fastest serve was clocked at 129 mph (208 kph) in 2008 at Wimbledon.
3.) Dinara Safina – She is the #1 ranked tennis player, but her downfall is she has yet to win a major tournament. In a way Dinara reminds me of those athletes who are World Champions or U.S. Champions in their respective sport, yet when they get to the Olympics they falter under the extreme pressure and high expectations to take home the trophy or medal. I feel Wimbledon may be her “Olympics” where the pressure is simply too much. In 2005, 2006, and 2008 Dinara got as far as the third round at Wimbledon. It will be even tougher for her to get by the Williams sisters. They are a force to be reckoned with at Wimbledon.
4.) Sabine Lisicki – The 19 year old Sabine Lisicki from Germany is currently ranked at #37. She was on my original Top 5 contenders list, however, at the time I chose instead Svetlana Kuznetsova whom she beat in the 3rd Round. Based on her impressive victory against the #5 ranked 2009 Roland Garros champion, Sabine could prove to be a dark horse in this competition after all. She made it to the 2nd Rounds in 2008 at the French Open and US Open. Also, Lisicki made it to the 3rd Round in ’08 at the Australian Open. Earlier this year at the Family Circle Cup, her first WTA Tour title, she managed to beat Venus Williams, Mario Bartoli, and Caroline Wozniacki. In the 4th Round Sabine Lisicki beat Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4. She lost to the #1 ranked Dinara Safina in the quarterfinals 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-1.
5.) Elena Dementieva – Her performances at two Olympics, 2000 in Sydney and 2008 in Beijing made Elena the strongest competitor in recent times with a 11-2 record. Right now she is ranked #4. She has reached the finals in two Grand Slams. Like Dinara Safina, she has not won a Grand Slam. She won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 for the Women’s Tennis singles event against Dinara Safina.
Based on the information from the updated standings as of July 2nd I still predict Serena Williams to be in the finals, which she now is. Her semifinals match against Elena Dementieva was challenging 6-7(4), 7-5, 8-6. As far as her opponent it will be Venus Williams based on her smooth sailing through the semifinals against Dinara Safina 6-1, 6-0. However, there is no doubt Serena Williams will be the victor at long last. Lightning has now struck twice for another rematch between the Williams sisters in the Finals. It’s not surprising, they have dominated much of Wimbledon since 2000. Either one of them now own it. *Update* Serena Williams beat Venus Williams for her third Wimbledon title 7-6(3), 6-2 on Saturday July 4, 2009. Congratulations Serena!