Angelique Kerber leads the field at Wimbledon as the world number one is the top seed in the third Grand Slam of the year. After a lacklustre six months which saw the German fail to display the intensity and fighting spirit she had in 2016, Kerber will have to at least defend her finalist points from last year to remain as the top women’s player after the fortnight. With the competition getting tougher on the tour, the two-time Grand Slam champion has to quickly regain her form entering the biggest Grass Court tournament of the year.
Top spot up for grabs
Looking to snatch the world number one ranking away from Kerber would be Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova. Both players came within one win away from being the best player in the world at the recently concluded French Open, but the Czech was just six games away from doing so with the Romanian being even closer at just 13 points away from claiming the top spot in the rankings. Pliskova finds herself at a risk for yet a Grand Slam semifinal meeting with Halep after being seeded third and having exited in the second round of competition last year, it would be much easier for the hard-hitter to earn the top spot here in London.
Elina Svitolina, who is currently an injury doubt for the Championships, rounds off the top four seeds. With grass being her least preferred surface, expectations are kept low for the breakthrough player this year but a good draw should be able to send her deep into the tournament. Nevertheless, it all depends on the severity of her foot injury.
Last year’s first round match between Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova now sees both of them being seeded in the top eight after some impressive results. Both players look to improve on their best result here with a favorable draw.
Defending quarterfinalist Dominika Cibulkova jumps 11 spots from her seeding last year and now finds herself in deep trouble as she currently owns a 0-3 record on grass this year, with all three losses coming against players outside the Top 100 of the rankings. With the tough competition from the rest of the field, the Slovakian will have to hope for a good draw.
Home favourite Johanna Konta looks to carve a deep run in front of her home crowd as the seventh seed with her game being very suitable for grass. Suffering an exit in the second round previously, the Brit has to eliminate all the pressure from the crowd but also enjoy the support from them.
Last year’s semifinalists Venus Williams and Elena Vesnina return as Top 16 seeds this year. Having claimed much success on this surface in the past, both the American and the Russian owns a great opportunity to progress deep in the draw.
Former champion Petra Kvitova, who is seeded 11th, is also one of the favourites for the title after winning the title in Birmingham and having a successful comeback from a terrifying knife attack which happened in her home back in December. After being uncertain whether she could even play tennis once again, the Czech looked great in her previous matches, playing some peak tennis.
2013 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska and 2015 finalist Garbine Muguruza returns to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club looking to go one step further than their best result. However, it would be a difficult task considering the Pole was plagued with injury problems throughout the year and struggled to find her form, and the Spaniard has recently fallen out of the Top 10. Nevertheless, with both players being able to perform well on the surface, do not be surprised if they carve a deep run.
Surprise Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko hopes to be able to earn a deep run here as she is seeded 13th after winning the first title of her young career in Paris. Looking to affirm her status as the sport’s next big thing, the Latvian wants to break new grounds with her groundbreaking tennis.
Rounding up the top 16 seeds are Kristina Mladenovic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who had impressive seasons thus far. The French is currently in the top eight in the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard and is tipped for a Top 10 entry in the near future. Meanwhile, the Russian reached the quarterfinals last year before narrowly losing to Serena Williams with a symmetrical scoreline of 6-4, 6-4.
Rest of the seeds
Looking at the 17-32 seeds, we see a familiar name in Madison Keys, who has been troubled with a wrist injury this year. The hard-hitting American finds herself at a danger of falling in the rankings if she were to be unable to defend most of her 430 points earned from last year.
Australian Open semifinalist Coco Vandeweghe is a huge threat on grass, and she is lurking in the draw as the 24th seed. With a good draw, Vandeweghe would definitely be able to enter the second week, which she did so back in 2015.
Former world number five Lucie Safarova narrowly got herself into the list of seeded players as she sneaks inside the draw as the 32nd seed after a semifinal run in Birmingham. A former Roland Garros finalist and Wimbledon semifinalist, the Czech is a major giant-killer and would be able to defeat any top players if she were to be firing on all cylinders.
Powerful hitters would benefit on such a fast surface like grass, thus players like Anastasija Sevastova, Caroline Garcia, Kiki Bertens, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Ana Konjuh and Zhang Shuai are all pretty dangerous opponents for the top seeds.
Crafty tennis would also work well on grass because of the low bounce, and players who are capable of producing a variety of shots such as Timea Bacsinszky, Daria Gavrilova, Barbora Strycova, Daria Kasatkina and Roberta Vinci would be able to make some noise in the draw.
Carla Suarez Navarro and Lauren Davis rounds up the list of seeded players at the tournament.