Kim Clijsters has withdrawn from next week’s Wimbledon tournament with a foot injury leaving the women’s draw wide open.
The world number two was the second seed at Wimbledon and her withdrawal means everyone seeded below her moves up a place, including Serena Williams who was yesterday seeded eighth despite being ranked 25th in the world.
Clijsters has never won Wimbledon but has dominated the Major tournaments in the absence of the Williams sisters recently, winning both the 2010 US Open and the 2011 Australian Open.
The Belgian is one of the stronger players on the women’s tour and her absence certainly makes it easier for her rivals, which is why it’s a surprise not to see more movement in the Wimbledon odds.
The draw will be announced on Friday and we may see plenty of movement in the Wimbledon odds then, but at the moment both Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are sharing favouritism at 4/1.
Na Li has been in fine form this year winning the French Open and losing to Clijsters in the final of the Australian Open, and the Chinese star is 7/1 alongside Venus Williams to win Wimbledon.
World number one Caroline Wozniacki is 10/1 along with Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka is 14/1 and last year’s beaten Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva is 16/1.
Zvonareva defeated Serena Williams at Eastbourne yesterday and there will be many punters snapping up the 16/1 after her displays last year, and the new second seed will have a favourable draw.
Punters shouldn’t read too much into Serena’s defeat following a lengthy absence from the court and while the American would have loved more game time, there’s no doubt Serena’s next few days will be spent on the training courts.
The four-time Wimbledon winner looks a big price at 4/1 considering she has lost just seven of her 63 matches on grass, and I for one will be backing her to overturn Zvonareva should they meet at SW19 in the next fortnight.