Wimbledon 2011: Players to look out for
A look at the leading contenders for the title at Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam tournament of the season.
Having clinched a sixth French Open to equal Bjorn Borg's record, Nadal takes aim at a third Wimbledon title in four years. Despite the win at Roland Garros, Rafa's No.1 ranking is under threat from Novak Djokovic, who only needs to make it to the final to takeover the top spot. Nadal hasn't been upto his best but it was enough to win the French Open but will it also be enough to triumph at All England? He has won 46 career titles along with $41,745,602 in prize money.<br><br> Nadal's best finish here has been as the champion in 2008 and 2010.
Defied his critics by reaching the French Open final thanks to a stunning win over Djokovic in the semi-finals before falling for a fourth time in a Paris final to Nadal. The World No.3 needs one more Wimbledon title to equal Pete Sampras's record of seven, but showed signs of weariness in 2010 when he was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Tomas Berdych. But he looks back in his vintage form and will still be the player to beat in this edition as well. He has won 67 career titles along with $63,343,910 in prize money. Federer's best finish here has been as the champion in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009.
The World No.2 saw his 43-match unbeaten run ended by a rejuvenated Roger Federer at the French Open semi-finals. But he is still the in-form player of 2011 with seven titles, including a second Australian Open. He will again be tough to beat and has a golden chance of claiming Nadal's world number one spot. He, however, still has plenty to prove on grass. He has won 25 career titles along with $26,116,690 in prize money. Djokovic's best finish here has been the semi-finals in 2007 and 2010.
The World No.4 is constantly under pressure to end his country's 75-year wait for a Grand Slam men's singles champion. That will become more acute at Wimbledon where Fred Perry delivered a last home title in 1936. A semi-finalist for the last two years, Murray warmed up for the tournament in style with an impressive title charge at Queen's. His biggest roadblock will be defending champion Rafael Nadal who is in the same half of the draw. He has won 17 career titles along with $15,597,927 in prize money. Murray's best finish here has been the semi-finals in 2009, 2010.
The sentimental favourite at Wimbledon where he has lost three finals to Roger Federer, the last of which was decided by 16-14 in the final set of what is widely-regarded as one of the finest finals ever. A-Rod's fortunes, however, have slipped in 2011, losing his place as US number one to Mardy Fish. But, the World No.10 relishes this venue and manages to lift his performance here. He has won 30 career titles along with $19,554,628 in prize money. Roddick's best finish here has been as the runner-up in 2004, 2005, 2009.
The defending champion will be firmly in the spotlight as she returns to Grand Slam action for the first time since defeating Vera Zvonareva in the Wimbledon final last year. After 12 months out of action due to a life-threatening blood clot and a serious foot injury, it would be a remarkable, if not entirely surprising, story if the World No. 26, seeded 7th, can complete a hat-trick of Wimbledon titles. And, the odds at the All England Club are always in her favour. She has won 37 career titles along with $32,773,004 in prize money. Serena's best finish here has been as a champion in 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010.
The five-time Wimbledon champion returns to the All England Club with questions over her form and fitness after a lengthy injury lay-off. Written off by many after five months out with abdominal and hip injuries suffered at the Australian Open, she returned at Eastbourne, where victories over Ana Ivanovic and Andrea Petkovic in the opening two rounds suggested she should make a strong challenge for a sixth Wimbledon title. The World No.33, seeded a lowly 24, may in fact again get the biggest challenge only from sister Serena. She has won 43 career titles along with $27,734,851 in prize money. Venus' best finish here has been as a champion in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008.
The Russian has clawed her way back up the world rankings to sixth after reaching the French Open semi-finals where she suffered a frustrating defeat against eventual champion Li Na. She believes that her big-hitting shots allied to the fact that for once she is injury-free could allow her to go deep into the tournament that marked her entry into big league seven years ago. She has won 23 career titles along with $15,150,304 in prize money. Sharapova's best finish here has been as a champion in 2004.
The World No. 4 capped a superb year by becoming the first Chinese winner of a Grand Slam when she defeated Francesca Schiavone in the French Open final. That triumph in Paris came hot on the heels of her Australian Open final defeat against Kim Clijsters in January. She should now improve on two last eight appearances at the All England Club. She has won 5 career titles along with $6,444,632 in prize money. Li's best finish here has been as a quarter-finalist in 2006, 2010.
The former Junior Wimbledon champion has consolidated her world number one ranking this year with tournament wins at Dubai, Indian Wells and Charleston. However, doubts remain about the Dane's temperament after she flopped again in the Grand Slams with a semi-final loss in Australia followed by a disappointing third round defeat against Daniela Huntuchova at the French Open. Only a maiden a Grand Slam win will silence her detractors. She has won 15 career titles along with $9,765,775 in prize money. Wozniacki's best finish here has been a 4th round appearance in 2009, 2010.
The World No. 3 will be keen to go one better than last year's Wimbledon campaign, which ended in a heartbreaking defeat to Serena Williams after a surprise run to the final. Her form this year suggests a repeat appearance on the final Saturday is possible as she also reached the last four at the Australian Open and defeated Serena at Eastbourne this week. She has won 11 career titles along with $11,046,691 in prize money. Zvonareva's best finish here has been as the runner-up in 2010.