Top seed and World No. 1 Serena Williams will begin her Wimbledon campaign against 113th-ranked underdog Margarita Gasparyan at Wimbledon. Victory at this year’s tournament would mean that all four Grand slam titles would be held by the American.

Williams is in the same half of the draw as Maria Sharapova and could also come up against her sister and five-time Wimbledon champion Venus in the fourth round. If she prevails as expected, she could potentially face Victoria Azarenka or Ana Ivanovic at the quarter final stage but it is hard to see either of those two stopping the 33-year-old in her quest for a fifth Wimbledon crown.

Despite not winning the event since 2012, Williams is arguably playing at her best ever level at this late stage in her career and will be clear favourite with the bookies.

When looking for alternative picks in the women’s draw, the standout name is defending champ Petra Kvitova. She was the last woman to win a Grand slam other than Serena and already has two Wimbledon titles to her name. She also secured her first ever victory over Williams at this year’s Madrid Open. The main concern surrounding the Czech is her fitness after she withdrew from last week’s event in Eastbourne with a virus. If she is fully recovered, the 25-year-old could be a big threat in this tournament.

Maria Sharapova and Lucie Safarova could be on course for a repeat of their French Open quarter-final with a potential semi-final against Williams at stake. Safarova was a semi-finalist here last year but that that was the first time she has progressed beyond round 3 in 9 attempts. Sharapova has not made it beyond round 4 since 2011 and it is now 11 years since she secured her one and only title at the All England Club.

When looking at the bookmakers odds, one name that stands out as good value is Simona Halep. It wasn’t so long ago that the Romanian was a top contender for any tournament that she entered and it seemed like 2015 might be her Grand Slam breakthrough year. A run of poor results has caused her price to drop sharply and she is now available at 7/1 with Bet365 just to reach the final. She is certainly capable of overcoming the bigger names in her half of the draw including Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova and Petra Kvitov.

Up and coming players to keep an eye on include 17-year-old Croation Ana Konjuh, who recently won the Aegon Nottingham Open; French World No. 37 Kristina Mladenovic, who recently beat Simona Halep in Birmingham; and 2015 Aegon Classic Doubles champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain.


Player to win first quarter: Serena Williams

Player to win second quarter: Lucie Safarova

Player to win third quarter: Simona Halep

Player to win fourth quarter: Petra Kvitova

Outright Champion – latest odds:

Serena Williams 7/4

Petra Kvitova 17/4

Maria Sharapova 12/1

Sabine Lisicki 20/1

Simona Halep 20/1

Wimbledon bookmakers offer

If you fancy placing a £10 bet on Serena to win Wimbledon, Betfair will give you a £5 free bet for every round she progresses.

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