Wimbledon 2011 was a tournament full of shocks as far as the women’s singles was concerned, with the Williams sisters, Caroline Wozniacki and Na Li all sent packing in the early rounds of the competition.
It paved the way for Petra Kvitova to claim her first Grand Slam triumph of what will surely be a glittering career, although the Czech isn’t yet the finished article and you can get odds of 14/1 (Victor Chandler – £25 free bet) that the 21-year-old wins consecutive major titles by claiming the spoils at Flushing Meadows.
We should remember that Serena Williams was far from 100% at SW19 and the bookmakers have the three-time US Open champion as the 13/8 favourite (Paddy Power – £100 free betting). Williams Jnr might well thrive in front of a home crowd at New York although her last win in this Grand Slam came in 2008.
Maria Sharapova has also won this tournament, with the Russian claiming victory in 2006 and the 24-year-old will be a tough player to beat after reaching the final of Wimbledon. The big question mark is whether Shara’s serve will hold up under pressure of if it will fold as per the final against Kvitova.
In truth, there are several players that can claim victory after the withdrawal of Kim Clijsters due to injury and it was Vera Zvonareva that reached the final last year which is the closest that she has ever come to winning a major title. Paddy Power offer 14/1 that she makes it a memorable 2011.
Viktoria Azarenka is another player searching for a first Grand Slam title and there was a lot to like about the 22-year-old’s performances at SW19, although the baseline did find herself outclassed by Kvitova in the semi-final despite claiming the middle set.
Caroline Wozniacki comes into the 2011 US Open as top seed, despite the fact that the Dane is another Grand Slam bridesmaid, although she has a steadying influence thanks to her recent relationship with Rory McIlroy and that could be the secret ingredient as this likeable player hunts down a title to match her number one status.