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Wimbledon 2019: Ten unseeded women who can make an impact at The Championships

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 28 Jun 2019
  • It's quite common for unseeded players to make it to the second week of Wimbledon
  • We've come up with 10 players who could advance into the fourth round and beyond
Victoria Azarenka (PA Images)

At least one unseeded woman has made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon since 2007 - which players outside of the top 32 have the best chance of doing so in 2019?

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It’s common to see upsets galore throughout the early rounds at Wimbledon, with the fast courts helping lower-ranked players even the ledger somewhat against their more fancied counterparts.

While most of the attention will be on new World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and the legendary Serena Williams - along with defending champion Angelique Kerber and the rest of the top 10 - there’s a number of dangerous unseeded players who are more than capable of knocking them out in the early rounds and making a run into the second week.

We go over some of the unseeded players the big names would want to avoid in the first week below.

Camila Giorgi

At her best, Giorgi is capable of beating basically anyone on grass, but the Italian has been injured for a lot of the year and comes into Wimbledon without many matches under her belt. Regardless, Giorgi’s game doesn’t really need a lot of matches to get going, with her powerful groundstrokes some of the fastest on tour when she’s executing. A quarter-finalist at The Championships last year, Giorgi will be hoping for another memorable run over the next fortnight.

Alison Riske

Riske has never made the second week of a slam before, but this is looming as her best chance to do so. The big-serving American has already won two titles in the lead-up to Wimbledon, securing the $100k ITF crown in Surbiton with a win over former Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova in the final, while she backed that up with a sensational result in s-Hertogenbosch, saving five championship points against World No. 4 Kiki Bertens to capture the title. Riske’s game is taylor-made for quick surfaces and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her make the fourth round for the first time.

Venus Williams

You can’t possibly leave a five-time Wimbledon champion off an unseeded dark horses list. Venus is obviously well into the twilight of her career now, but the 39-year-old adores Wimbledon and will leave everything out there in what could possibly be her last appearance at The Championships. Who knows, if the draw opens up and results fall her way, we might see Venus advance to the latter stages once again - imagine the global interest that would generate!

Kaia Kanepi

Another player you can’t help but mention in these types of discussions. Kanepi only plays a limited schedule these days after dealing with countless injuries throughout her career, but the powerful Estonian constantly pops up in Grand Slams to cause havoc to seeded players, and she is primed to do so again at Wimbledon. Kanepi beat No. 18 Julia Goerges on her way to the fourth round of Roland Garros and as a two-time former quarter-finalist at Wimbledon, she will fancy her chances of making an impact on the lawns once again.

Maria Sharapova

It’s clear that Sharapova hasn’t been the same since coming back from her doping suspension - to be fair injuries have held her back - but when you’ve won the Wimbledon title, finished runner-up and made three semi-finals, you command respect at the All England Club. Sharapova hasn’t won a match at Wimbledon since making the semi-finals in 2015 - and she’s only played 10 matches in 2019 after struggling with her ongoing shoulder issues - but again, if the draw opens up and she gets a few wins under her belt, I’ll sit up and take notice.

Dayana Yastremska

The third youngest player in the top 50, Yastremska has experienced a rapid rise up the rankings and has won three WTA titles in the past 12 months to cement herself as one of the tour’s brightest young talents. We saw 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova make a name for herself by reaching the French Open semi-finals, and it wouldn’t be the biggest shock in the world if Yastremska did the same shortly at a major. Why not Wimbledon?

Anastasia Potapova

Potapova actually beat Yastremska in the 2016 Wimbledon girls final and the 18-year-old will be confident of doing some damage in the main draw this year after earning a big win over Angelique Kerber at Roland Garros. Potapova still needs to find some consistency and balance in her aggressive game, but once she finds her groove, she has immense firepower and can prove unstoppable once she gets on a roll. The Russian has the game to beat the very best on grass and is a youngster the big games will be wary of.

Iga Swiatek

Continuing the theme of young guns and former junior Wimbledon champions, enter 18-year-old reigning junior winner Iga Swiatek, who has been stormed into the spotlight in 2019. Indeed, Swiatek has made her first WTA final and advanced to the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time when she did so at Roland Garros, racing into the top 100 with a bullet. Swiatek is a player on the rise and will be setting her sights on making the second week in her Wimbledon main draw debut.

Ons Jabeur

One of the most talented players on tour when fit and firing, Jabeur is into the Eastbourne semi-finals at the time of writing and is operating at the peak of her powers after wins over Johanna Konta and Alize Cornet. Equipped with a slice-and-dice game perfectly suited for the lawns, Jabeur is hitting top form at the right time, and with three ITF titles on grass under her belt, the Tunisian is due a deep run at Wimbledon - will it come over the next fortnight?

Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka has been patiently grinding away since returning to the tour full-time and appears to be on the cusp of another big run at a major. A two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist, Azarenka has only played one lead-in tournament on grass and was unfortunate to face Nottingham champion Caroline Garcia in the opening round of Mallorca, losing a tight three-setter. Azarenka has claimed some good wins over the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza in 2019 and is definitely one player the top seeds will be wishing to avoid early.

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Wimbledon 2019: Ten unseeded women who can make an impact at The Championships

At least one unseeded woman has made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon since 2007 - which players outside of the top 32 have the best chance of doing so in 2019?

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