Former player, coach and now analyst for ESPN, Brad Gilbert believes there are 40 women vying for the ladies singles title at Wimbledon which got underway on Monday. But for Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ coach, two women are strong contenders and will be standout hopeful to lift the trophy at the end of two weeks.
“Wimbledon is as open but with a little difference compared to Roland Garros and that’s because grass is very special – it’s a big advantage for those players whose games fit well with grass,” Mouratoglou told the WTA website. “Players like Petra (Kvitova), Karolina Pliskova and a few others have an advantage over the others because of their game styles matching so well with grass.”
Defending champion at Wimbledon, Serena is currently out of action to give birth to her first child. She was four weeks pregnant when she won the Australian Open earlier in the year.
Kvitova, a two time winner at Wimbledon, is coming into SW19 for her third tournament since being stabbed in December during an attempted burglary in her home in Czech Republic. She then underwent surgery and has already won a tournament on grass when she bagged the title in Birmingham. Meanwhile, French Open semi-finalist Pliskova is going for her fourth title this year and first Grand Slam having already shown her mettle by reaching the US Open final last year and most recently, winning at Eastbourne.
Mouratoglou reckons Johanna Konta can do well if she channels the support from the home crowd at Wimbledon. “Konta can win Wimbledon… She’s top 10 in the world. She hasn’t played that well over the last few weeks but that’s because clay is not her best surface. But on a fast surface such as grass I think she can do really well,” Mouratoglou added. “As a player competing at your home grand slam, you feel that people are rooting for you and it can help you incredibly. If Konta takes this the right way, the crowd can be an incredible help.”