This July sees the return of the Wimbledon Championships. As the oldest tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon represents the high point of the year for the sport. The 2019 Wimbledon Championships will be the 133rd incarnation of this Grand Slam tournament, and it’s expected to deliver another two weeks of solid entertainment upon the famous grass courts.
Over the years many tennis icons have cemented their sporting legacy at Wimbledon. From the likes of Bjorn Borg’s incredible run in the 1970s, to Martina Navratilova’s astonishing form in the 1980s, it’s clear that Wimbledon delivers top-class tennis like few other tournaments. But who are the likely contenders to win Wimbledon 2019?
When is Wimbledon 2019?
The 2019 Wimbledon tournament runs from Monday 1 July until Sunday 14 July. This year’s competition will be the first to include new rules that have a tie-break at 12-all in the last set. Plus there will be an increased number of female participants with 16 qualifiers from 128 entrants.
What happened in Wimbledon 2018?
Last year’s Wimbledon saw plenty of drama as Angelique Kerber beat Serena Williams 6-3 6-3 to pick up the Women’s Singles title. This was a rematch of the 2016 final where Williams won, but Kerber held her nerve to become the first German since Steffi Graf to claim the Wimbledon trophy.
It was a bad year for the top seeds in the women’s tournament. The defending champion, Garbine Muguruza went out thanks to a shock upset in the second round against Alison Van Uytvanck. Plus there were early exists for the likes of Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens and Caroline Wozniacki.
Novak Djokovic won the Gentlemen’s Singles title in fine fashion with a straight sets victory over the South African Kevin Anderson. Anderson had previously managed to dispatch the defending champion, Roger Federer, in the quarter-finals, but couldn’t hold up against the commanding form of Djokovic who picked up his fourth Wimbledon title.
Other key moments in 2018 Wimbledon included the marathon six and a half hour semi-final match between Anderson and John Isner. Whilst there were also shock exists in the early rounds for highly-ranked players like Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin.
The main contenders in 2019 women’s Wimbledon
This year’s women’s singles tournament promises to be yet another hugely unpredictable affair. Angelique Kerber won last year’s competition in fine style, but it’s expected that the 2019 contest will be anything but a foregone conclusion. Here’s a quick look at the key players expected to perform well at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.
The 23-year old Australian star has come from nowhere to get number one rankings by the WTA ahead of this year’s tournament. Her championship-winning performance at the French Open showed that Barty is able to cope well under pressure, and she’ll be desperate to improve upon her relatively mediocre third-round exit at last year’s Wimbledon.
In terms of playing style Barty has often been compared to Martina Hingis, and her fierce forehand should cause plenty of problems for her opponents. But whether the Australian’s success on the clay courts of the Roland-Garros translates to the grass courts of Wimbledon remains to be seen. However, as Barty recently won Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham in fine style against Julia Gorges, it’s clear that she looks to be in great form for this year’s Wimbledon.
Serena Williams really needs to no introduction, and despite her 37-years of age, she looks good for picking up her eighth Wimbledon title this July. The American star has won a staggering 39 titles during the course of her career, and it’s little surprise to find that Williams has frequently been sport’s highest-paid female athlete.
However, it’s important to remember that Williams hasn’t managed to win a Grand Slam title since her Australian Open victory in 2017. But it seems as though the US player has recovered after pregnancy, and she came close to winning the 2018 US Open. Her form in the recent French Open wasn’t too impressive, but with a player of William’s calibre, you know that she can always rise to the occasion.
Ashleigh Barty’s Birmingham Classic triumph meant that Naomi Osaka was knocked off the WTA number one spot. The Japanese star is the reigning champion in the US Open and Australian Open, but she’s had a relatively dismal time at Wimbledon with only third-round exists in 2017 and 2018 to her name.
In addition to this, Osaka has suffered from a barren run of form recently, with a defeat by Yulia Putintseva meaning that she crashed out of the Nature Valley Classic. However, Osaka’s aggressive playing style and calm mental approach means that she’s always in with a chance.
As reigning champion, Angelique Kerber should be the favourite to win this year’s Wimbledon women’s singles. But the German star was recently beaten by Belinda Bencic in the Majorca Open and overall, she’s had a fairly disappointing 2019.
With a shock exit at the hands of Danielle Collins in the Australian Open, and poor form at Indian Wells and the French Open, it’s clear that something’s troubling Kerber. Whether this is a recurring ankle injury or something else, it seems that the 31-year old will have to work hard to win her fourth Grand Slam title.
Whilst an injury to her arm caused her to withdraw from the Birmingham warm-up, the two-time Wimbledon winner is looking like she could be a dark horse for this year’s tournament. Kvitova is currently ranked fifth in the world, and if she’s fit, then the Czech star is expected to be keen to prove the doubters wrong.
Having overcome the shocking stabbing by an intruder at her home in 2017, Kvitova has worked hard to retain her form that saw her pick up no less than 27 career titles. The 29-year old came close to winning the 2019 Australian Open, but was pipped by Naomi Osaka. All of which shows that this year’s Wimbledon could be a key moment in the Kvitova’s astonishing sporting comeback.
The favourites to win 2019 men’s Wimbledon
Sadly, we’ll see no Andy Murray in this year’s Wimbledon men’s singles. But it’s expected to be another great chance to see the world’s best male tennis players in action. Here are the main contenders.
The world number one in men’s tennis will be looking to bag his fifth Wimbledon title this July. After a long hiatus as a result of elbow injury, the 32-year old is back to his best as was seen when he picked up his seventh Australian Open title earlier this year.
Dominic Thiem ended Djokovic’s 26-match winning run at the French Open, and the Serbian star’s decision to skip all official tournaments up to Wimbledon may have cost him a few rankings points. But when July comes around, you can be sure that Djokovic will be once again ready to show why he’s the world number one.
Can Roger Federer get just one more Grand Slam title to his name? The Swiss tennis icon has a record-breaking 20 Grand Slam titles, and it’s going to be fascinating to see if he can add one more this summer.
Federer managed to shake off injury to put in a decent showing at the French Open where he was knocked out in the semi-final by Novak Djokovic. Plus he went on to win his tenth title at the recent Halle Open in straight sets which suggests that the 37-year old Federer could still be a long way off retiring.
Rafael Nadal is well-known as being the master of clay court tennis, but he hasn’t managed to claim the Wimbledon title since 2010. It was little surprise to see the Spanish star picking up his 12th French Open title earlier this year, and he wisely withdrew from the recent Queens tournament in order to get some much-needed rest.
With 18 Grand Slam titles, there’s little denying Nadal’s ability. The 33-year old was desperately unlucky not to feature in the 2018 Wimbledon final after being knocked out in a gruelling five-set thriller against Djokovic. But whether he can claim his first Wimbledon title in nearly a decade remains to be seen.
At just 20-years of age, Stefanos Tsitsipas is one of the bright new hopes of world tennis. The Greek player has already managed to win three ATP titles and reached seven finals in the course of his short career.
With aggressive baseline play and a big serve, Tsitsipas quite rightly sixth place in the ATP rankings. However, he suffered a quarter-final exit at Queens at the hands of Felix Auger-Aliassime earlier this month. But although Tsitsipas only managed to make the fourth round of last year’s Wimbledon, he could cause some serious upsets in 2019.
Alexander Zverev is another hugely promising young tennis star who could make a big impact at this year’s Wimbledon. The 22-year old is currently fifth place in the ATP rankings, and he’s worked hard to become the reigning champion at the ATP Finals.
Zverev firstly really came on the scene when he managed to beat Roger Federer as a teenager, and he went on to claim his first Grand Slam quarter-final appearance in 2018. Whilst he could only reach the quarter-finals in the recent Halle Open, Zverev is looking good for playing some quality tennis at this year’s Wimbledon Championships.