Serena Williams has been tipped to put her Roland Garros heartbreak behind her and secure a record-equaling triumph at Wimbledon next month. The 37-year-old American superstar slumped to a shock defeat at the hands of unheralded youngster Sofia Kenin at this week’s French Open. It was the first time she has crashed out of a Grand Slam before the quarter-final stage since 2013 and she was understandably dejected in the aftermath. Yet the leading betting sites expect her to bounce back in style as they have made her the favorite to win Wimbledon in July.
The odds at Bookmaker and other highly rated sites put her out in front in the betting, ahead of Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka. If she can pull it off, she will move level with Margaret Court as the joint most successful player in singles history. She already leads the way in the Open era after winning her 23rd Grand Slam at the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant. She subsequently took a year out, during which she gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. and suffered a pulmonary embolism, leaving her bedridden for six weeks and delaying her return to training.
At the age of 36, many would have called it a day. After all, most professional athletes are retired by that age. But Williams is no ordinary athlete and she has already done phenomenally well to become extremely competitive once more. She reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year, then went all the way to the final of the US Open, before losing to Osaka in a heated contest. She returned to the top 10 in the world this year and went to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open before her surprise defeat at Roland-Garros this week.
She responded with a social media post that read: “Yesterday was not my day,” she wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post. “But it’s about getting up time and time again after you fall. Here’s to a multitude of tomorrows.” Williams is a superb competitor and she certainly has a great chance of securing that 24th Slam at Wimbledon next month. She may have faltered, but it is worth noting that the women’s game is extremely unpredictable and open right now.
The men’s game sees Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal powering their way through on cruise control, and surprises are few and far between. Yet the women’s game is thrilling and anything can happen. Seven of the top 10 seeds were eliminated before the quarter-finals at Roland-Garros and that is typically the case at Grand Slams nowadays. Williams’ yearlong absence blew the scene wide open and nobody has taken her mantle as they are all too inconsistent. If she can build her fitness up and tap into her vast reserves of mental strength, there is every chance that Williams can win Wimbledon for the eighth time during her glorious career.
She won it twice in a row before taking time out to give birth, and she has a brilliant record on grass. “I hope I have time to get fit for Wimbledon,” she said after the defeat in Paris this week. “I am still working on it. I think it will be enough time. I definitely hope so. I definitely felt super short of matches. I have some time on my hands and maybe I will take a wildcard at a grass-court event.” That would be a sensible decision, as she could be invincible if she shakes off any rust. She is on the brink of equaling the record and it would be exhilarating if she could achieve that in southwest London, so she is sure to dominate the headlines in the buildup to the tournament and it will be intriguing to see how she gets on.