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Wimbledon: If Not Serena, Then Who?

Posted by Webster Washington on 6/28/2016 7:25:40 AM

Serena Williams has reached the finals or semifinals in her last three major tournaments - last year's U.S. Open and this year's Australian and French opens. That gives her a 17-3 record in those majors. So let's get one thing straight: anyone else on the WTA tour would love to have such a run. But whether it is her mental or physical state, Serena has had problems getting over the big hump lately. And since she has proven to be something less than invincible of late, we should take a look at who can beat her as we approach Wimbledon tennis betting. Here are the players most likely to hand Serena another setback:

Best Bets

GARBINE MUGURUZA appears to be the latest likely candidate. Ranked No. 2 in the world, and seeded same at Wimbledon, she defeated Serena in the French Open finals this year. She played well before losing to Serena in the Wimbledon finals last year. But she's had various hiccups in tournaments all year, failing to reach the finals in anything outside of Paris. That includes a straight-set first-round loss to Kirsten Flipkens in Mallorca, Spain, last out. Her draw leaves Muguruza a pretty smooth path to the Wimbledon finals, and with a little consistency, she should make it.

PETRA KVITOVA has shown a similar lack of consistency this year. She hasn't won a tourney, her best effort being a semis loss to Angelique Kerber in the Stuttgart Grand Prix in April. But she is considered the second best grass player in the world, behind Serena. Seeded 10th, she would have to surpass Agnieszka Radwanska to reach the semifinals in this year's Wimbledon. She lost in the third round last year.

MADISON KEYS has made two third rounds and a quarterfinal appearance in the past three years at Wimbledon. And the 21-year-old has had a solid spring, advancing to the final of the Italian Open with victories over Kvitova and Muguruza before losing to Serena. She passed the grass warmup test by winning the Aegon in Birmingham last week. Keys also reached the fourth round of the French Open. Seeded ninth, it's no stretch to see her overcoming either Simona Halep or Angelique Kerber in her bracket to reach the finals. If any other American besides Serena can with this thing, Keys is the one.

AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA has played well all year, reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros and making the semifinals in Australia before losing to Serena. She also won a singles title in China at the first of the year. With a 24-8 singles record this year, she's seeded third at the All England Club, where she made the semis last year. A matchup with Kvivtova, who is in her semis bracket, would go a long way in determining championship fitness.

A Longshot to Like

COCO VANDEWEGHE is in this list because she's played good tennis recently, and she has a dangerous grass game. Plus, she's seeded 27th, and who doesn't like a longshot? Vandeweghe demonstrated her grass skills by upsetting Radwanska in the first round at Birmingham and the previous week winning the title in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, for the second time. Her problem: she's in the semifinals bracket with Serena, and she would have to muster up more than just grass skills to get past her. Before that, look for Vandeweghe to pull a couple of upsets along the way.

Wimbledon Tennis Betting

Since these ladies have all been beating up on each other, it's been a matter of survival to see who gets to challenge Serena. And as the last three majors has demonstrated, the survivor has been successful. They were: Roberta Vinci in last year's U.S. Open, and she didn't win that tourney or anything else; Kerber in this year's Australian Open, and she hasn't fared too well since; and Muguruza. That's why it's not hard to picture Muguruza making it to the finals again this year. Gage your Wimbledon tennis betting accordingly, and if we do have a Muguruza-Williams final, we may have a genuine rivalry at hand. Also, when assessing Serena in Wimbledon tennis betting, consider the fact that she needs just one more major trophy to equal Steffi Graf's Open era record total of 22. So lack of drive shouldn't be a weakness for her.

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