Serena Williams, three months before her 38th birthday, remains the best hope for an American to win a singles title at Wimbledon this year, assuming the betting odds are a reasonable guide. Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and is currently ranked 10th in the world, is the 8-1 third favorite at William Hill to win the tournament, after French Open champion, Australian Ashleigh Barty, who’s a 5-1 chance, and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic at 6-1.
Among other American players, former U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys, ranked 16th, is a 25-1 shot. Sloane Stephens is the top-ranked American, a spot above Williams, but is a relative outsider at 40-1 partly because she’s not regarded as a grass-court specialist.
Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam played on grass, starts Monday and runs through July 14. Played at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in a wealthy suburb of southwest London, it remains the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament and a highlight of the British social calendar — regardless of whether or not a home player is doing well. Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic won the singles titles last year.
Kerber is the joint-third favorite to retain her title. She swatted Williams aside in little more than an hour in last year’s final. Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who stunned Williams and most of the New York City crowd in the 2018 U.S. Open final, is a 14-1 chance.
Venus Faces Teen
Williams last won Wimbledon in 2016, beating Kerber in the final and setting the mark for the oldest woman to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish. The last American to win before her was sister Venus Williams in 2008. An American has won the women’s singles 29 times since the event was opened to professionals in 1968.
Venus Williams, who at 39 is playing her 22nd Wimbledon and is a 66-1 long shot, was drawn in round one against the youngest-ever qualifier in the open era and the possible future of American tennis, 15-year-old Cori Gauff.
The U.S. presence in the men’s singles is significantly weaker. Top-ranked American John Isner, ranked No. 12 in the world, is seen as an 80-1 outsider by William Hill. Up-and-coming giant Reilly Opelka, standing 6-foot-11 and aged 21, and Sam Querrey are behind him.
There hasn’t been an American men’s champion at Wimbledon since Pete Sampras won the last of his seven titles in 2000, although Andy Roddick reached the final three times. Americans have won the title 15 times in the open era, with Roger Federer’s eight wins putting Switzerland in second place.
The favorites for the men’s singles are Djokovic, Federer and Spain’s Rafael Nadal, the trio who between them have won the vast majority of Grand Slam titles and ATP Tour Masters events since Wimbledon 2003. Djokovic is the clear favorite at 5-4.