After achieving a first Grand Slam success in four years at this year’s French Open, Maria Sharapova is now 3/1 joint-favourite to claim this year’s Wimbledon crown.
Sharapova, whose first Grand Slam came at the English tournament back in 2004, had feared for her future in tennis, following reconstructive surgery on her right shoulder.
Four barren years in terms of Grand Slam victory ensued, and so this latest triumph looks the clearest indication yet that she is primed for more glory on English soil.
Whilst her French Open win dispelled the idea that Sharapova is unable to perform at her best on clay, she undoubtedly prefers the grass surface, as proved by Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open victories of the past.
She shares favouritism for Wimbledon this year with Serena Williams, whilst Petra Kvitova is a 7/2 chance to claim back-to-back titles.
Kvitova was Sharapova’s conqueror as she marched to last year’s final, but the Russian now seems to be in better shape to go one better in this year’s tournament, which gets underway in a fortnight’s time.
Her triumph at Roland Garros sees her return to the head of the world rankings for the first time since 2008, and Sharapova admits it has been a difficult journey for her to return to her best.
“It was reasonable for people to write me off,” she told the Guardian.
“I was out of the game, I’d just had shoulder surgery. Then, it wasn’t like I got back on the court and I won a grand slam, it took a lot of time, a lot of bad losses, a lot of bad days. It certainly didn’t come easy for me.”
A new service action has aided the Russian, as evident by her six ace tally in the French Open final, and that will stand her in good stead to justify joint-favouritism at the All England Club later this month.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.