Wimbledon 2016 seedings: Konta joins Murray among elite for grass Grand Slam
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | June 22, 2016
For only the second time ever, Great Britain women’s tennis representative Johanna Konta has joined men’s world number two Andy Murray in being among the seeds for a Grand Slam ahead of Wimbledon 2016.
Reaping rewards of Australian Open run
Konta, who was seeded 20th at the French Open, is now 16th in the women’s singles draw as two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the All England Club flagship event due to a knee injury.
Her first round exit from Roland Garros has not impacted on this but, with qualifying for Wimbledon still ongoing, it remains to be seen who she will face at the All England Club and whether Sydney-born Konta will be placed in the top or bottom half.
Coral make former Australian player Konta a 50/1 shot (from 66/1) to win the Wimbledon ladies’ singles title, having gone on an incredible run to the Australian Open semi-finals in the country of her birth.
Bencic climbs, Kvitova slips
Other notable shifts in the women’s draw see Swiss teenage talent Belinda Bencic (33/1) made the eighth seed, despite her missing the French Open through injury.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (6/1 to win the ladies’ singles again) has dropped out of the top 10 seeds following early exits from the two Grand Slams held this season so far.
Grass remains the Czech’s best surface, however, and Kvitova has reached the quarter-finals or better in five of the last six years.
Brilliant Bertens breaks into seeded spots
Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands catapulted herself into the seeding spots with her run to the French Open semis. She had never been beyond round four of a Slam before putting together a string of superb displays at Roland Garros, and Bertens is ranked 27th in the draw.
Reigning Wimbledon ladies’ singles champion and WTA top woman Serena Williams remains a firm 11/8 favourite (though previously 6/4) to add a seventh success in SW19 and 22nd Grand Slam overall to her trophy-laden CV. French Open conqueror Garbine Muguruza (11/2 second-favourite) is seeded second behind the all-time American great, however.
Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, who has experienced a downturn in force since her maiden Slam triumph in Melbourne at the beginning of 2016, is the fourth seed and a 25/1 chance to replicate her success Down Under in south London.
Raonic among top six seeds
Being seeded second is Murray’s usual place and ensures he can only meet ATP world number one and defending Wimbledon men’s singles champ Novak Djokovic (8/11 favourite to retain) in the final. If the betting is any indicator, then we should see a repeat of their 2013 meeting with Murray, 5/2 to go all the way again.
While deadly Serbian star Djokovic holds all four Grand Slams, he is bidding to try and complete the feat in a calendar year. Swiss duo Roger Fereder (11/1) and Stan Wawrinka (25/1) are also out to stop Djokovic. Both know what it takes to win a tennis Major.
It is Montenegrin-born Canada court ace Milos Raonic, though, who enjoys a high seeding of sixth and equal status with Federer as an 11/1 chance (from 9/1), though.
Thiem on the rise
Although beaten by Murray in the final of Queen’s, one of the traditional preparation tournaments for Wimbledon men, Raonic’s grass campaign has been hugely impressive to date.
Dominic Thiem (25/1) is another eye-catching performer from the 2016 tennis season to date. The Austrian is made the eighth seed – his highest ever billing – following a maiden Grand Slam semi-final appearance at the French Open when defeated by Djokovic.
Terrific talent Thiem has won ATP World Tour titles on all three surfaces this season so far, including the Stuttgart Open on grass.