Wimbledon 2016: New generation ready to usurp old guard


Wimbledon has been dominated by the Williams sisters since the turn of the decade but their grip on women's tennis appears to be slipping.

Serena's march towards a Serena-slam was ended at last year's US Open by Flavia Pennetta, and since then she has lost her titles at the Australian and French Opens.

Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza have triumphed in 2016's grand slams so far, giving hope to the WTA draw that the same could happen at Wimbledon - the only major title Serena holds at present.

The world number one has not played since her defeat to Muguruza in Paris and will not play a warm-up event on grass prior to the first round at the All England Club next week.

That potentially opens up the chances for others to triumph, and here we look at two sets of contenders desperate to taste success in the coming weeks.



Heading into Wimbledon, the four winners of the grass-court tournaments this season were all born in the 1990s, a sign that the next generation are beginning to find their feet.

Karolina Pliskova and Coco Vandeweghe, both 24, set the ball in motion with successes in Nottingham and Den Bosch respectively.

Pliskova's straight-sets win over Alison Riske secured a fifth title in her burgeoning career, while Vandeweghe's reliable serve and powerful groundstrokes saw her regain the Rosmalen Grass Court Championship.

A week later Madison Keys, 21, and Caroline Garcia, 22, were staking their claim with triumphs in Birmingham and Mallorca.

Keys - who loves a baseline rally - showed she is more than capable to mix things up on grass as she secured the second title of her career, both coming on that surface, and saw her climb into the world top 10.

Grand slams have not been happy places for Garcia thus far, but the Frenchwoman's fortunes changed at Roland Garros where she won the women's doubles alongside Kristina Mladenovic.

The momentum from that win has clearly had a positive effect on her confidence, the world number 32 stunning Ana Ivanovic and Kirsten Flipkens with her all-round game in Mallorca.



Things could not be more different for former number ones Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic, though, as they struggle for form.

Ivanovic has only reached the last eight at a grand slam three times since her 2008 French Open title, and the grass of Wimbledon has never been her favourite surface.

Since her semi-final appearance back in 2007 the Serbian has not been past round four, and her form in 2016 has been inconsistent with 15 wins and 12 defeats.

Wozniacki's fall from grace has been remarkable. Having been comfortably inside the top 10 since 2009, she found herself tumbling down the rankings after 2015 and she is unseeded this year.

That has continued in 2016 with an ankle injury hampering her time on the court. She missed the entire clay-court season but has now returned and her results have offered some flashes of optimism but also concerns.

For Jankovic her form will be a huge worry given she has only won four matches since Indian Wells in March - and three of those came in Mallorca against lower-ranked opposition.