WIMBLEDON 2013: Capsules on women to watch at Wimbledon

  • Article by: HOWARD FENDRICH , AP Tennis Writer
  • Updated: June 21, 2013 - 11:45 PM

Women to watch at Wimbledon, which begins Monday:

SERENA WILLIAMS

Ranked: 1

Age: 31

Country: United States

2013 Match Record: 43-2

2013 Singles Titles: 6

Career Singles Titles: 52

Major Titles: 16 — Wimbledon ('02, '03, '09, '10, '12), U.S. Open ('99, '02, '08, '12), Australian Open ('03, '05, '07, '09, '10), French Open ('02, '13)

Last 5 Wimbledons: '12-Won Championship, '11-Lost in 4th Round, '10-W, '09-W, '08-F

Topspin: Has won three of the past four Grand Slam titles, a run that began a year ago at the All England Club. ... Reached the Wimbledon final in seven of her last 10 appearances. ... Leads active players with an .884 career winning percentage in grass-court matches (76-10). ... Since a first-round loss at the 2012 French Open — her only opening exit at a major tournament — has gone 74-3. ... Current 31-match winning streak is longest single-season run in women's tennis since older sister Venus won 35 in a row in 2000. Venus pulled out of Wimbledon, citing a lower back injury.

VICTORIA AZARENKA

Ranked: 2

Age: 23

Country: Belarus

2013 Match Record: 27-3

2013 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 16

Major Titles: 2 — Australian Open ('12, '13)

Last 5 Wimbledons: '12-SF, '11-SF, '10-3rd, '09-QF, '08-3rd

Topspin: With big groundstrokes and superb returns, clearly capable of a deep run at Wimbledon, where she's made the semifinals the last two years. And she knows her way to a Grand Slam title, too, winning two in a row in Australia. ... Reached at least the semifinals at five of the last six major tournaments. ... Winning 57.1 percent of her return games this season, by far the highest percentage on tour.

MARIA SHARAPOVA

Ranked: 3

Age: 26

Country: Russia

2012 Match Record: 36-5

2012 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 29

Major Titles: 4 — Wimbledon ('04), U.S. Open ('06), Australian Open ('08), French Open ('12)

Last 5 Wimbledons: '12-4th, '11-F, '10-4th, '09-2nd, '08-2nd

Topspin: Won her first Grand Slam title as a 17-year-old at Wimbledon, beating Williams in the final. Since then, though, Sharapova has returned to the championship match at the All England Club only once in eight appearances. ... Loss in French Open final as defending champion was her 13th defeat in a row against Williams. ... Trails only Williams on tour this season in percentage of service games won and percentage of first serve points won. ... Only 7-5 against other women ranked in the top 10 this year.

AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA

Ranked: 4

Age: 24

Country: Poland

2013 Match Record: 28-9

2013 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 12

Major Titles: 0 — Best: F, at Wimbledon ('12)

Last 5 Wimbledons: '12-F, '11-2nd, '10-4th, '09-QF, '08-QF

Topspin: Master of using spin, changing speeds and angles, to fluster opponents. ... Finally had Grand Slam breakthrough at All England Club a year ago, making it all the way to her first major final and pushing Williams to three sets before losing. ... Has understandable losses this season to players such as Williams, Azarenka, Li Na and Petra Kvitova — all of whom are Grand Slam champions — but also was beaten three times by women ranked outside the top 40, including by Jamie Hampton of the U.S. on grass at Eastbourne a week before Wimbledon.

PETRA KVITOVA

Ranked: 8

Age: 23

Country: Czech Republic

2013 Match Record: 27-13 (entering Eastbourne tournament)

2013 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 10

Major Titles: 1 — Wimbledon ('11)

Last 5 Wimbledons: '12-QF, '11-W, '10-SF, '09-1st, '08-1st

Topspin: Lanky lefty's best Grand Slam results came on Wimbledon's grass, but she also reached semifinals at Australian Open and French Open last year. ... Tied for fourth on women's tour with 135 aces in 2013 (Williams leads with 268). ... Entered grass-court tournament at Eastbourne to get ready for the slick surface after a bumpy clay season.

MARIA KIRILENKO

Ranked: 10

Age: 26

Country: Russia

2013 Match Record: 27-10 (entering Eastbourne tournament)

2013 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 6

Major Titles: 0 — Best: QF, Wimbledon ('12), French Open ('13)

Last 5 Wimbledons: '12-QF, '11-3rd, '10-3rd, '09-2nd, '08-1st

Topspin: Reached the quarterfinals at two of the last four major tournaments, the best Grand Slam showings of her career. ... Made her debut in the WTA's top 10 on June 10, after French Open. ... Engaged to NHL star Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, who recently collected his third league MVP award. ... Has won about 75 percent of her service games in 2013, behind only Williams and Sharapova. ... Has managed to have success holding serve despite hitting more double-faults (110) than aces (96) this season. ... Played at Eastbourne to prepare for Wimbledon.

SLOANE STEPHENS

Ranked: 17

Age: 20

Country: United States

2013 Match Record: 19-13

2013 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 0

Major Titles: 0 — Best: SF, at Australian Open ('13)

Last 5 Wimbledons: '12-3rd, '11-Did Not Play, '10-DNP, '09-DNP, '08-DNP

Topspin: One of only two women (Azarenka is the other) to beat Williams this season. Stephens stunned the then-injured Williams in an all-U.S. quarterfinal at the Australian Open in January, before losing to eventual champion Azarenka in the semifinals. ... Getting increasingly used to the idea that she belongs in the second week of Grand Slam tournaments, having reached at least the fourth round at three of the past five majors.

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