Wimbledon 2019 women's singles: The top favourites for the Wimbledon trophy and their form coming into The Championships

Hannah Wilks in Wimbledon 13 Jun 2019
  • Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova and Ashleigh Barty among favourites to win Wimbledon title
  • Who are the top favourites for the women's singles title at Wimbledon 2019?
  • We analyse the form and records of the title contenders
Who will win the women's trophy at Wimbledon 2019?

Who are the favourites to win the women's singles title at Wimbledon in 2019 - and who has the best form coming into The Championships?

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The greatest fortnight in tennis is approaching as Wimbledon 2019 will take place from Monday 1 July to Sunday 14 July on the pristine grass lawns of the All-England Club, but who will be lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish on women's final day?

Another exciting and unpredictable season on the WTA Tour leaves the field for the Wimbledon title wide open. As we saw with Naomi Osaka at the US and Australian Opens and Ashleigh Barty at the French Open, it's possible for one of a number of women to win a major as long as they can produce their best tennis for a period of two weeks - especially with question marks hanging over a number of the sport's more established champions, including Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova and last year's winner Angelique Kerber.

Of the ten top favourites at the time of writing, all but one has been to a major final or won at least one title, so there's no shortage of champion quality in the field. We're looking at those favourites to win the women's singles title at Wimbledon in 2019 and evaluating their records and form ahead of The Championships, live from Wimbledon from 1-14 July.

Wimbledon player performance - top women

Here are the crucial statistics on the top favourites for the women's singles title at Wimbledon 2019.

Wimbledon player performance: Top women

PlayerTitlesFinalsMain-draw appearancesWin-loss record2018 result
Serena Williams731892-11Runner-up (lost to Angelique Kerber)
Petra Kvitova201130-9R1 (lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich)
Ashleigh Barty0032-3R3 (lost to Daria Kasatkina)
Naomi Osaka0024-2R3 (lost to Angelique Kerber)
Karolina Pliskova0078-7R16 (lost to Kiki Bertens)
Angelique Kerber111130-10Champion (d. Serena Williams)
Madison Keys00614-6R3 (lost to Evgeniya Rodina)
Johanna Konta0077-7R2 (lost to Dominika Cibulkova)
Simona Halep00817-8R3 (lost to Su-Wei Hsieh)
Garbine Muguruza11616-5R2 (lost to Alison van Uytvanck)

Wimbledon women's favourites

All odds correct as of 13/6/2019

Serena Williams

Still in the hunt for her first title (at any level) since returning from maternity leave in March 2018, Serena Williams comes into Wimbledon as the top favourite despite having only played 12 matches in the first six months of 2019.

Williams looked nailed on for her 24th Grand Slam title when she made the Wimbledon final in 2018, dropping just one set on her way to face Angelique Kerber - only to turn in a horribly nervous performance and lose 3-6, 3-6 to the German left-hander. Since then, it's all gone a bit wrong for Williams. She made the US Open final but flamed out against Naomi Osaka in a storm of controversy and did not play again in 2018. She led Karolina Pliskova 5-1 in the third set of their Australian Open quarterfinal clash, turned her ankle and lost six straight games. Then her next three tournaments - Indian Wells, Miami and Rome - saw her retire or give walkovers as she struggled with a knee injury.

While Williams's knee injury is, she says, behind her, her glaring lack of matches showed in a straight-sets third-round defeat to Sofia Kenin at Roland Garros and although Williams hinted at the possibility of taking a wildcard into a grass-court event before Wimbledon, there has been no sign of it so far. Williams will always be the greatest and she plays some of her best tennis at Wimbledon, where she can serve and first-strike her way through in a way she could not do at the French Open - but sooner or later she will be tested, by the occasion (as in last year's final) if not by her opponents. Has she simply not played enough tennis over the past two years to be able to handle the pressure?

Petra Kvitova

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has been enjoying one of the greatest seasons of her career and would be rightfully the top favourite - were it not for a badly-timed injury which has quite possibly scuppered her chances.

Since returning from an absence enforced by career-threatening knife injuries to her left hand in 2017, Kvitova has made a sensational comeback to be, arguably, better than ever, winning five titles in 2018 (including successfully defending her Birmingham title) and already a champion in Sydney and Stuttgart in 2019. Moreover, while she badly struggled with Grand Slam nerves in 2018, failing to get beyond the third round at any of the year's four majors including Wimbledon where she crashed out in the first round to Aliaksandra Sasnovich, she seemed to have made a breakthrough on that front at the Australian Open in January, where she made the final in storming style and was only stopped by Naomi Osaka.

So everything would seem to be lining up well for Kvitova - were it not for the fact that she sustained a left forearm injury that caused her to pull out of the French Open, and has also seen her pull out of Birmingham. The Czech is clearly racing to be fit in time for Wimbledon, and even if she is fit, she will come in with little recent tennis - not ideal as she tries to overcome her Wimbledon nerves.

Best odds: 7/1 @ Betfred

Ashleigh Barty

Could everybody's favourite affable Australian become the first player since Serena Williams in 2015 to complete the Channel Slam?

Few expected Barty to win the French Open, but she's been playing the best and most self-assured tennis of her career in 2019, following her biggest WTA Tour title in Miami with a first major title at Roland Garros. Barty didn't face the toughest opposition, but I'm not sure it would have mattered if she did, because the 23-year-old is playing with such calm and confidence in her game at the moment, having identified how she wants to win points and matches (and having great success at doing both).

The truly interesting thing is that Barty's favourite surface is grass, on which she made the Birmingham final in 2017 and won Nottingham in 2018, and it is very well suited to the diminutive Australian's combination of big serve and backhand slice. She's never been beyond the third round at Wimbledon, losing at that stage last year to Daria Kasatkina, but the new world no. 2 - who is within touching distance of world no. 1 at this point - will be well warmed-up, scheduled as she is to play Birmingham and Eastbourne.

The big question with Barty is how the Aussie, a rather retiring character, will deal with having been thrust so abruptly into the major-winning spotlight. We may get some idea of that in how she plays in Birmingham and Eastbourne. If it hasn't pushed her off balance too badly, she could be very well placed for a great run at Wimbledon.

Best odds: 13/2 @ bet365

Naomi Osaka

Here's an important thing to know about Naomi Osaka coming into Wimbledon: The world no. 1's least favourite surface is grass. Osaka has just an 11-9 record on grass-court matches at WTA level for her career, with a Nottingham semifinal in 2018 (losing to Ashleigh Barty).

Champion at the last two Grand Slams played on hard courts, Osaka's winning streak at majors was snapped by Katerina Siniakova in the third round of the French Open, and the Japanese-Haitian player candidly admitted afterwards that it was a relief, because the pressure of the career Grand Slam was off her shoulders. 

With Barty's French Open win helping to pull focus, and the Roland Garros defeat, that might help Osaka to reset, lower her expectations and feel less pressure. And there's honestly no reason that she shouldn't be superbly effective on grass, with her athleticism and big power game, on the surface - dealing with the low, skidding bounce could be a major test, but it depends if she faces players that can exploit that. We should be able to tell a bit more about Osaka's chances from seeing how she plays in Birmingham next week, but expecting a Wimbledon title run from the world no. 1 feels premature.

Karolina Pliskova

Big-serving Czech Karolina Pliskova presents a fascinating conundrum when it comes to Wimbledon (as does Madison Keys): It seems like Wimbledon, with its fast courts and history of rewarding big servers, should be her best Grand Slam. And it's her worst. 

A finalist at the US Open in 2017, Pliskova has also made the semifinals of the French Open and the Australian Open. At Wimbledon? She has only won back-to-back matches once - in 2018, when she made the round of 16 before falling to Kiki Bertens.

It's not that Pliskova can't play on grass - she's won Nottingham and Eastbourne and made finals in Birmingham and Eastbourne over the past four years. Now coached solely by former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez, Pliskova's incredibly consistent season - she's 28-7 right now - led me to believe she might be ready to challenge for the French Open title, only for her to go down in the third round to Petra Martic, who played brilliantly but wasn't met by the resistance she should have been. I do believe that if Pliskova keeps putting herself in the mix, she's going to win a major title sooner or later. But at Wimbledon, it feels like there will be too many players who can exploit the tall Czech's lack of movement forward, her reluctance to bend her knees to deal with slice; it's too easy to take time away from her on this surface. It would take a very lucky draw for Pliskova - or her tapping into a rich vein of serving form - to see her win Wimbledon in 2019.

Angelique Kerber

Defending champion Angelique Kerber is curiously far down this list for my money, although it has been an underwhelming season for the German.

Kerber is an excellent grass-court player who doesn't get enough credit for that, perhaps because her counterpunching game doesn't seem like it should work on this surface. Actually, it's supremely effective. She's so good at getting low to the ball, with her very powerful lower body, and it really helps her to take the ball early, allowing a player who sometimes struggles to generate outright explosive pace to take time away from her opponents; and her left-handed game is often at its best on the turf.

Kerber has made the quarterfinals or better at Wimbledon four of the last eight years; she was a runner-up in 2016 and a champion in 2018, as well as twice an Eastbourne finalist and a Birmingham champion. It hasn't, however, been a great season for the German, with the highlight a somewhat fortuitous runner-up finish at Indian Wells, and her clay-court season was blighted by an unlucky ankle injury which contributed to her first-round exit from Roland Garros at the hands of Anastasia Potapova. Scheduled to play her only warm-up event in Mallorca, if Kerber is fit again then we should definitely expect the defending champion to be a factor in the second week.

Best odds: 14/1 @ Ladbrokes

Madison Keys

Much of what I wrote about Karolina Pliskova also applies to the USA's Madison Keys. 

The tall American's giant serve and booming groundstrokes seem, to the superficial eye, to be tailor-made for grass, and like Pliskova she's had success away from Wimbledon, winning Eastbourne and Birmingham. But, again like Pliskova, Wimbledon has been her least successful major - the only one where Keys hasn't made the semifinals, with her best result a quarterfinal in 2015.

For me, it will take much to forget the way that Keys, with a golden opportunity to meet a vulnerable Serena Williams in the next round and take advantage thereafter of an opening draw, completely choked against journeywoman Evgeniya Rodina last year. The American is a very good player but her injury prone-ness and lack of margin in her game are a fairly fatal combination with a seeming tendency to shrink from adversity. Keys does tend to produce her best tennis at majors - she's 13-6 at all levels in 2019, but 6-4 outside the Grand Slams - but since her solitary appearance in a Grand Slam final at the 2017 US Open, she's never really looked like a major champion in waiting and it feels like she's being eclipsed by younger, hungrier players like Osaka and Barty. She's not playing a warm-up event, either.

Best odds: 20/1 @ Unibet

Johanna Konta

A few weeks ago, you would not have found Johanna Konta so high on this list, despite all the wishful thinking in the world when it comes to home favourites.

After Konta's excellent run to the Wimbledon semifinals in 2017, she slumped badly, and a 31-23 2018 season saw her slide out of the top 40 when her quest to defend her Wimbledon points was ended in the second round by Dominika Cibulkova. Konta didn't make a great start to 2019, either, only winning back-to-back matches once in her first six WTA or Grand Slam events of the season. But the British player dug deep in Fed Cup in both February's zonal play and April's World Group II play-offs, and the singles victories she scored at the latter in particular seemed to ignite her confidence once again.

A very impressive clay season followed, which saw Konta make the finals of Rabat and, more impressively, Rome, and she went on to make the semifinals of the French Open, absolutely blitzing Sloane Stephens on the way in a performance of unplayable first-strike tennis. What looked like a golden chance to reach a first Grand Slam final slipped through Konta's fingers when she lost to Marketa Vondrousova, but circumstances (and a great opponent) were against Konta in that one - and clay isn't even quite as good a surface for her as grass is, when she's serving well.

Back inside the top 20, Konta's draw will be key, as will getting wins on the board in Birmingham and Eastbourne. But the British player is tough to stop once she's built up a head of steam, and if the draw is kind, you could absolutely see her playing a role in the second week.

Best odds: 17/1 @ Unibet

Simona Halep

Former world no. 1 Simona Halep is another player I'm surprised not to see higher on this list. 

The Romanian's Wimbledon record is not at all bad - she was a semifinalist in 2014 and made the quarterfinals in 2016 and 2017, and although her lack of outright power does make her vulnerable on this surface (as it does everywhere, really) she can play some excellent tennis on it. An early defeat to Su-Wei Hsieh in 2018, when Halep was reeling from having just won her maiden major at the French Open, doesn't change that.

Halep keeps insisting she's 'chill' in 2019, and her results haven't overly impressed, but they haven't been at all bad: She has compiled a 27-9 win-loss record, making finals in Doha and Madrid, and her French Open defeat to Amanda Anisimova in the quarterfinals was mainly a result of the young American's absolutely superlative play, with only a couple of moments in that match where one felt Halep could have done a bit more. Yes, there is always the risk when picking Halep that she will fall to a player who can, like Anisimova, blow her off the court, but you have to be very, very good to do so. Scheduled to play Eastbourne, Halep should be nicely rested and refreshed, and if she can avoid some of the horrendous draw luck she's had so far in 2019 at majors, I like her chances to make an impact at Wimbledon.

Best odds: 20/1 @ Unibet

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Wimbledon 2019 women's singles: The top favourites for the Wimbledon trophy and their form coming into The Championships

Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova and French Open champion Ashleigh Barty are among the favourites to win the women's singles title at Wimbledon in 2019: We look at the top favourites, their record and form ahead of The Championships, live from Wimbledon from 1-14 July 2019

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