For the most part, Wimbledon, like the other Grand Slam tournaments in tennis, seeds according to WTA rankings. However, that tournament also takes into account a player’s past grass-court success as Wimbledon is the only major played on that surface.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
For the 2018 tournament, which begins Monday at the All England Club in London, organizers had to take into account another factor for seeding the women’s side: a return from pregnancy. Because American Serena Williams missed nearly all of last year and the start of 2018 due to her pregnancy, she had plummeted in the world rankings to a current number of 183rd. Clearly, Serena is not the No. 183 player in the world.
The All England Club can make seedings change if deemed “necessary to produce a balanced draw.” That’s what it did on Wednesday when Serena was given a No. 25 seed, unlike the French Open in which she was unseeded. The U.S. Open also will consider a player’s return from pregnancy going forward.
Serena is the +500 second-favorite to win her eighth Wimbledon title, which would leave her just one shy of Martina Navratilova’s tournament record. Many believe those are the two greatest overall women’s players ever. Williams missed the tournament last year due to her pregnancy but won it the previous two years. The Wimbledon draw is Friday, and because Serena is seeded 25th she likely would face a player ranked 1-8 in the third round. That won’t be sister Venus, who is seeded 9th and +5000. She’s a five-time Wimbledon champion.
The current favorite on the women’s side at +450 is Petra Kvitova, the No. 8 seed and a two-time winner of Wimbledon. However, she pulled out of her match in a warm-up tournament Wednesday with a hamstring injury so she could be in question for Wimbledon.
The defending champion is Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, who beat Venus Williams in straight sets last year for her first Wimbledon title; Muguruza lost to Serena in the 2015 final. Muguruza is +700 and seeded third.
The world’s No. 1 player is Simona Halep, and she’s the top seed but only +1000 on the Wimbledon odds. The Romanian took her first Grand Slam title at this year’s French Open but her best result at Wimbledon was a semifinal loss in 2014. She hasn’t been past the quarters since. Grass may simply not be her surface.
No American woman other than a Williams sister has won Wimbledon since Lindsay Davenport in 1999. Sloane Stephens is the highest-ranked U.S. female at No. 4 and is seeded there. She’s +1200.