Maria Sharapova reached the final twelve months ago and the number one seed looks to be in great shape ahead of her fourth round match against Sabine Lisicki, with the Russian priced at 9/4 (Boylesports free bets) to land the Wimbledon crown eight years after landing her first title at SW19.
Sharapova was given a test by Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round although the final set went 6-0 in favour of the Russian and that was followed up by a comfortable third round win over Hsieh Su-wei.
Victoria Azarenka is the second seed and she hasn’t dropped a set en route to the fourth round although Monday’s match against Ana Ivanovic threatens to be an entertaining encounter and the Belarussia will have to be at her best to win.
Azarenka is 15/2 (Sportingbet free £50 bet) to claim her first Wimbledon crown although it’s the lady that beat her in the semi-final twelve months ago that has stepped ahead in the betting and Petra Kvitova is looking ominous on grass once again.
The 2011 champion wiped the floor with Varvara Lepchenko in the third round, dropping just one game and the Czech can now be backed at 5/1 to retain her crown, with Francesca Schiavone lying in wait before a potential quarter final against Serena Williams.
Williams v Kvitova in the last eight is a mouth-watering prospect and the American remains a strong contender in this competition despite the fact that she is clearly vulnerable as was shown against Zheng in the last round where the Chinese player went a set up and then took Serena all the way in the final set.
Even so, Williams won the 2009 and 2010 Championship and she’s a best price 7/2 to claim victory on Saturday, having had her preparation hampered twelve months ago when she was recovering from a foot injury that saw her lose to Mario Bartoli.
Kim Clijsters will be looking to face Sharapova in the final eight and the 29-year-old is still looking for her first ever Wimbledon title after reaching the semi-final in 2003 and 2006. She has long been dismissed as a bottler considering she has claimed four Grand Slam titles although can a first SW19 crown be claimed?
Then we have talented number three seed Agnieszka Radwańska who can be backed at a tempting 16/1 despite having a winnable fourth round match against Camila Giorgi which should see the Pole through to the last eight against Kirilenko or Peng.