Wimbledon women’s penpix

HOW THE LEADING WOMEN’S CONTENDERS SHAPE UP FOR WIMBLEDON 2015

SERENA WILLIAMS (USA)

Age: 33

Ranking: 1

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US69,676,428 ($A90.07 million)

Career titles: 67

Grand slam titles: 20 (Australian Open 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015; French Open 2002, 2013, 2015; Wimbledon 2002-03, 2009-10, 2012; US Open 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012-2014)

Wimbledon win-loss record: 72-10

Best Wimbledon performances: champion 2002-03, 2009-10, 2012

The all-conquering world No.1 is desperate to end her relative run of outs on London’s hallowed lawns, having failed to reign for three years. A sixth title would earn the American a second “Serena Slam” and few are backing against it.

PETRA KVITOVA (CZE)

Age: 25

Ranking: 2

Plays: left-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US18,523,316 ($A23.94 million)

Career titles: 16

Grand slam titles: 2 (Wimbledon 2011, 2014)

Wimbledon win-loss record: 27-5

Best Wimbledon performances: champion 2011, 2014

The defending champion is seeded for a heavyweight final stoush with Williams after returning to a career-high ranking. Under a slight fitness cloud after withdrawing from the Eastbourne lead-up event with a virus.

MARIA SHARAPOVA (RUS)

Age: 28

Ranking: 4

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US35,071,334 ($A45.34 million)

Career titles: 35

Grand slam titles: 5 (Australian Open 2008; French Open 2012, 2014; Wimbledon 2004; US Open 2006)

Wimbledon win-loss record: 41-11

Best Wimbledon performance: champion 2004

Will be extra motivated after being dethroned at Roland Garros but will likely need to topple the titleholder then beat Williams for the first time since their Wimbledon final 11 years ago to land a second crown.

LUCIE SAFAROVA (CZE)

Age: 28

Ranking: 6

Plays: left-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US7,747,089 ($A10.01 million)

Career titles: 6

Grand slam titles: 0

Wimbledon win-loss record: 9-9

Best Wimbledon performance: semi-finalist 2014

Had a modest record at the All England Club until reaching the semi-finals last year in a breakout that performance that sparked her rise up the rankings to a career-best sixth. Put her early exit at Eastbourne down to a French Open final hangover.

EKATERINA MAKARAOVA (RUS)

Age: 27

Ranking: 8

Plays: left-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US7,991,961 ($A10.33 million)

Career titles: 2

Grand slam titles: 0

Wimbledon win-loss record: 9-7

Best Wimbledon performance: quarter-finalist 2014

The Russian is the biggest improver in women’s tennis with semi-final runs in New York and Melbourne since making the quarters at Wimbledon for the first time last year. A beneficiary of a left-handed serve, a huge advantage on grass.

BEST OUTSIDER

MADISON KEYS (USA)

Age: 20

Ranking: 21

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US2,094,689 ($A2.71 million)

Career titles: 1

Grand slam titles: 0

Wimbledon win-loss record: 4-2

Best Wimbledon performances: third round 2013, 2014

Earmarked as a future world No.1 and coached by former champion Lindsay Davenport, the big-hitting youngster confirmed her immense potential with a charge to the Australian Open semi-finals in January.

BEST AUSTRALIAN HOPES

SAMANTHA STOSUR (AUS)

Age: 31

Ranking: 22

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US14,562,453 ($A18.82 million)

Career titles: 7

Grand slam titles: 1 (US Open 2011)

Wimbledon win-loss record: 8-12

Best Wimbledon performances: third round 2009, 2013

With just two third-round efforts in a dozen tries, the former US Open champion has never come close to living up to John Alexander’s early-career prediction that she’d one day win Wimbledon. Nevertheless back in form and still Australia’s No.1.

DARIA GAVRILOVA

Age: 21

Ranking: 41

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US568,405 ($A734,753)

Career titles: 0

Grand slam titles: 0

Wimbledon win-loss record: never played

Best Wimbledon performances: never played

The fast-rising youngster proved with her run to the Eastbourne quarter-finals that her wins over former world No.1s Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic were no fluke. Strained an ab at the lead-up event but insisted she’d be fine.

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