Sporting events in the UK could have fans back in attendance by the summer and that’s good news for lovers of the green, green grass of Wimbledon.
The 2020 edition of the Grand Slam at the All England Club was cancelled for the first time since 1945 due to the pandemic but organisers are confident of the event going ahead this summer.
The third ‘Slam of 2021 is set to get underway on June 28 and It will be the 134th edition of the Championships, the 127th staging of the Ladies’ Singles draw and the 53rd in the Open Era.
Wimbledon has seen plenty of greats grace their famous courts over the years and we’ve taken a look at the top 5 women’s champions.
5) Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King retired in 1990 with 12 Grand Slam titles under her belt and the majority of those victories came on English soil.
King won her maiden Grand Slam in 1966 at the All England Club, beating Brazilian Maria Bueno 6-3 3-6 6-1 after overcoming defending champion Margaret Smith in the semi-finals.
The American dominated over the next couple of years, retaining her title in 1967 and 1968, before prevailing a further three times in 1972, 1973 and 1975.
4) Venus Williams
Venus Williams, like King, also lifted her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon when she kicked off the new millennium with a bang.
The American ace had missed the first five months of 2000 due to tendinitis in both wrists but after building up her fitness on the clay courts, she came out fighting at Wimbledon.
She saw off world number one Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals, defeated sister Serena in semis and completed an incredible campaign when beating defending champion Lindsay Davenport in the final.
Williams ended 2000 with the US Open title and two Olympic gold medals on her CV as she put the women’s division on notice.
The former world number one has won Wimbledon on a further four occasions and has finished runner-up four times.
3) Steffi Graff
Steffi Graff is one of the all-time greats and was ranked world number one for a record 377 weeks, while she retired with 22 Grand Slam singles titles to her name.
The German’s first Wimbledon triumph came in 1988 and she ended the year with the Golden Slam after winning all four Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal.
Graff was comfortable across all surfaces and is the only player to have won each Grand Slam tournament at least four times.
Wimbledon proved to be Graff’s most successful major tournament though with seven victories coming between 1988 and 1996.
2) Serena Williams
Current world number seven Serena Williams has captured the Wimbledon title on seven occasions, winning the Venus Rosewater Dish in 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016, while she has reached the final on a further four occasions.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner has fallen at the final hurdle in each of the last two editions and will be seeking an eighth crown this summer.
Despite being one of the veteran competitors in the women’s division, now 39 years old, Williams still has plenty to offer and has reached the semi-finals on his last two Grand Slam appearances in the United States and Australia.
Williams, who is priced at
15/2 to win this summer’s Wimbledon, also looks set to become just the third player in the Open Era to win 100 matches at Wimbledon, having amassed a phenomenal 98-12 record.
1) Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova isn’t just the most successful ladies’ champion at SW19 in the Open Era, winning on nine occasions, but she boasts the overall record for most singles titles at Wimbledon for either men or women.
She retired with a 120-14 record at the All England Club, a record for the most match wins at a single major for any player in the Open Era, with Roger Federer next on that list.
Navratilova also won the women’s doubles seven times and the mixed doubles on four occasions.
*All odds correct at time of writing