Is Venus destined for the six-pack?
The return to the All England Club should bring bright smiles to the faces of the game's big hitters. No one could be happier to see the end of the grinding clay season than five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams. And considering the instability among the top women, there are myriad reasons a sixth title is well within her grasp.
World No. 1 Dinara Safina will be seeking redemption following a listless final at Roland Garros, but uncertainty still surrounds her psyche. Can she settle down and play with aplomb for an entire two-week period?
Our experts test their wisdom.
Wimbledon women's predictions
|Bonnie D. Ford
ESPN.com tennis writer
ESPN.com tennis writer
Florida-based tennis writer
|Early Exit||The devastation of Roland Garros will be hard to shake for No. 1 Dinara Safina, and she's never gotten past the third round here, anyway.||Dinara Safina has the game to win on grass but, after another meltdown in a Grand Slam final, not the focus. Has never played particularly well at Wimbledon.||Jelena Jankovic hasn't dropped out of the top 10 like compatriot Ana Ivanovic, but she isn't looking like someone who previously achieved the No. 1 ranking.|
|Sleeper||If Maria Sharapova made the French Open quarters coming off a gurney, she ought to reach the semis here. The 2004 Wimbledon champion knows how to compete.||Gradually working her way up the ladder, Agnieszka Radwanska reached the quarterfinals here in 2008. This is her breakthrough season.||Someone has been feeding Samantha Stosur her Wheaties. She's turning from doubles star to determined singles star now that she's healthy.|
|Winner||Almost by default -- how can you pick against the five-time winner, Venus Williams, in this yard sale of a women's field?||Venus Williams is looking for the rare three-peat and her sixth Wimbledon title overall. Has the perfect game for grass, and the trophy is named after her.||Hard to bet against Venus Williams. When the five-time Wimbledon champion sees grass, she's ready to mow down the competition.|
Toronto-based tennis writer
London-based tennis writer
ESPN.com tennis editor
|Early Exit||With her meltdown in the French final and aversion to grass, Wimbledon doesn't bode well for Dinara Safina -- in theory.||Among many a candidate, Jelena Jankovic stands out. The Serb suffered a tough loss in Paris, and grass doesn't suit her game.||The Serbian gals have become synonymous with shortcomings this year. Look for Jelena Jankovic to keep this trend alive.|
|Sleeper||With her great run at the French Open and game built for grass, Wimbledon should bode well for Samantha Stosur -- in theory.||Maria Sharapova displayed a champion's heart at the French Open, grinding her way to the quarterfinals. Like Serena Williams, she'll enjoy the shift to grass.||Zheng Jie auspiciously reached the semifinals in 2008 and knocked off some fairly formidable foes in the process.|
|Winner||Eenie, meenie, minie ... Serena Williams. In this ever-
continuing unstable hierarchy, she's the safest pick. Right, as if you know who's going to win.
|The French Open choke a thing of the past, Serena Williams returns to a much friendlier surface. It's about time she ends her six-year title drought in London.||After her forgettable French Open final showing, the plight of fragile Dinara Safina will finally come to an end on the lawns of Wimbledon.|
MORE TENNIS HEADLINES
- Oudin: Overtraining caused muscle ailment
- Serena, Azarenka to play exhibition in Thailand
- Serena is WTA player of year for 5th time
- Sharapova hires Groeneveld as new coach
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Women's singles: Serena Williams, United States
Roger Federer, Switzerland
Men's doubles: Daniel Nestor, Canada, and Nenad Zimonjic, Serbia
Women's doubles: Venus and Serena Williams, United States
Mixed doubles: Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Germany and Mark Knowles, Bahamas
Follow us on Twitter