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Who are the contenders for the women's Wimbledon title?

Who are the contenders for the women's Wimbledon title?
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Ten women to watch at the All England Club.

Simona Halep will make a belated defence of her Wimbledon title when the Championships return next week.

After last year's cancellation, the women's tournament is likely to be another unpredictable battle for the Venus Rosewater Dish.

Here, the PA news agency picks out five top-10 contenders and five from lower down the rankings.

Ashleigh Barty

The world number one has made no secret of the fact that her favourite surface is grass despite winning her first grand slam title at the French Open in 2019. The 25-year-old has been in brilliant form this season but goes into the tournament with doubts over a hip injury that struck at Roland Garros.

Simona Halep

Another leading player with fitness concerns after tearing a calf muscle in Rome and missing the French Open. Halep won her second slam title in sensational fashion in 2019, beating Serena Williams 6-2 6-2 in the SW19 final.

Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka is looking to make her grand slam breakthrough
Aryna Sabalenka is looking to make her grand slam breakthrough (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Despite her position in the world's top four, Belarusian Sabalenka is still under the radar, mostly because of a lack of success at the slams so far. The 23-year-old has yet to progress past the second round at Wimbledon but her big-hitting game should make her a dangerous proposition on grass.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams had to settle for the runner-up plate in 2018 and 2019
Serena Williams had to settle for the runner-up plate in 2018 and 2019 (Mike Egerton/PA)

Williams' quest for a 24th slam singles title goes on, and Wimbledon is widely perceived to be the 39-year-old's best chance. She reached the final in both 2018 and 2019 but was well beaten by Angelique Kerber and Halep, respectively, and has not played a match on grass for two years.

Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek was the Wimbledon junior champion in 2018
Iga Swiatek was the Wimbledon junior champion in 2018 (Nigel French/PA)

Swiatek will play in the women's singles at Wimbledon for just the second time having won the girls' title in 2018. The 20-year-old Pole showed what a talent she is on clay by winning her first slam title at Roland Garros last year and will look to make an impact on grass.

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova is a perennial Wimbledon favourite
Petra Kvitova is a perennial Wimbledon favourite (Victoria Jones/PA)

With no grass-court events last year and only two weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon this time, the advantage could be with players who like and are experienced on grass. Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova fits right into that category, although she is battling to recover from an ankle injury.

Garbine Muguruza

Another former champion, Muguruza made a brilliant start to 2021 before a thigh problem affected her during the clay-court campaign. But the Spaniard looked strong on the grass in Berlin last week and is a player who relishes the big stage.

Barbora Krejcikova

Czech Krejcikova joined the growing list of unexpected women's slam champions by lifting the title at Roland Garros at the end of a brilliant two weeks. The 25-year-old will be making her main-draw debut at the All England Club in singles but is a former winner of the doubles title.

Coco Gauff

Coco Gauff made a sensational Wimbledon debut
Coco Gauff made a sensational Wimbledon debut in 2019 (Steven Paston/PA)

It is two years since Gauff announced her immense talents to the world as a 15-year-old by reaching the fourth round. She returns as a legitimate challenger for the title having broken into the top 25 and reached her first slam quarter-final at Roland Garros.

Jessica Pegula

Jessica Pegula has rocketed up the rankings
Jessica Pegula has rocketed up the rankings (David Davies/PA)

It has been a remarkable season for American Pegula, who has surged from outside the top 60 to inside the top 30 in 2021, pulling off big wins on both hard courts and clay. The 27-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, is looking for her first main-draw win at Wimbledon.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina22131247
United StatesUnited States19201352
JapanJapan175830
AustraliaAustralia1331430
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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