Kvitova aims to reassert dominance on grass

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Petra Kvitova has not been at her best over the past 12 months but will now look to shine back on her favourite surface.

In a genuinely open women's draw, Kvitova will hope to prove that, on grass, she is the woman to beat as she attempts to win a third Wimbledon crown next month.

She may have failed to impress at the Grand Slams since winning Wimbledon last year, but she will welcome the chance to demonstrate her ability as one of the best grass-court players in the world over the coming weeks.

The Czech is ranked second in the world in the WTA rankings and ruthlessly beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-3 6-0 in last year's final.

That was her second Wimbledon title, having beaten Maria Sharapova in the 2011 final, but she has still not managed to repeat that success at the other majors.

This year she lost in the third round in Melbourne, the fourth round in Paris and, looking ahead to the US Open later in the year, she has never progressed beyond the last 16 in New York.

Despite her struggles in the Slams, she has won two tournaments this year; the Sydney International at the start of 2015 and, more recently, the Madrid Open on clay, demonstrating that, when on form, she has an all-court game comparable to the best in the world.

In a genuinely open women's draw, Kvitova will hope to prove that, on grass, she is the woman to beat as she attempts to win a third Wimbledon crown next month.

The only player above her in the world rankings, Serena Williams, is no stranger to success at Wimbledon either.

Her 20 Grand Slam singles titles include five at Wimbledon, her first success there coming in 2002 and her most recent, a decade later in 2012.

The American has not enjoyed the tournament in the two years since; losing to Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round in 2013 and suffering a third-round defeat last year, beaten by 25th seed Alize Cornet.

However, she is still the player for the big occasion as she has proved this year.

She has three tournament wins so far in 2015 and they include both Grand Slams, the Australian Open, where she beat Maria Sharapova, and the French Open, beating Lucie Safarova in the final.

Having those two big wins under her belt will give her the confidence to succeed once again on grass and few would bet against her.

It is now over a decade since Maria Sharapova won the Wimbledon trophy as her one and only triumph in London came in 2004 when she beat Williams in straight sets.

Then she was just 17 years old and one would have predicted several more titles in the coming years.

It has not happened and she has reached the final just once more, losing to Kvitova in 2011.

Like Williams she has struggled at Wimbledon in recent years, suffering a second-round exit in 2013 and a fourth-round defeat last year, losing to Angelique Kerber.

This year she ran Williams close in the final of the Australian Open, although she failed to defend her French Open title, going out at the fourth round stage to eventual finalist Safarova.

The Russian has two tournament wins to date this year; at the Brisbane International and, more recently, the Italian Open on clay.

Simona Halep broke into the world's top 10 early in 2014 and has remained there, achieving a first Grand Slam final in Paris last year, while she also reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon, losing out to the other rising star in the women's game at the time, Eugenie Bouchard.

Although Bouchard has seen her star wane, struggling badly for form throughout 2015, Halep has remained solid.

She has three tournament wins this year; the Shenzhen Open, the Dubai Tennis Championships and the Indian Wells Masters.

She also reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, but suffered a second-round exit in Paris, losing in straight sets to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Bouchard was aged 20 at the time of her appearance in the Wimbledon final last year and, despite her heavy defeat to Kvitova, her future at the top of the women's game appeared secure.

Although she achieved a quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open, in the tournaments since she has been losing to players she was comfortably beating last year.

She goes to Wimbledon following 10 defeats in her last 11 matches on the circuit including Fed Cup play.

Her latest defeat, in the grass-court event at Edgbaston, was her fourth straight loss and she has now fallen out of the world's top 10.

Her form at Wimbledon last year demonstrated what a fine player she is and, at 21, she still has time to recover.

However, she will be desperate to show, back on the grass of Wimbledon, that she can rise again to the top of the women's game.

Caroline Wozniacki is fifth in the world and will aim, at Wimbledon, to better her record there which has seen her reach the fourth round four times but no further.

Her last appearance at that stage was last year when she comfortably beat three opponents without dropping a set before surprisingly losing to unseeded Czech player Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova.

The Dane has claimed one WTA tournament so far this year, the Malaysian Open, but was beaten in the second round at both the Australian and French Opens.

Victoria Azarenka is out of the world's top 20 but remains one of the favourites for Wimbledon this year because of her past record at Grand Slams before injury intervened last year.

A foot injury meant she missed five months of the season, including the French Open, while she lost in the second round at Wimbledon.

However, if she stays fit she is one of the best players on the tour, twice winning the Australian Open, and has reached the Wimbledon semi-finals twice, in 2011 and 2012.

She has also shown, despite her relatively lowly ranking, signs of returning to her best form in 2015.

At the Australian Open she beat Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki and Zahlavova-Strycova to reach the fourth round and, at Roland Garros, was a set up against Serena Williams in the third round before the world number one recovered to win through.

She will hope for a slightly kinder draw at Wimbledon to progress through to the latter stages and hopefully demonstrate the form that took her to number one in the world in 2012.

Sabine Lisicki is another player with a relatively lowly ranking - she's 19 in the world at present - but she is a former finalist at Wimbledon and, in form, has the game to trouble anyone on grass.

The German has not progressed beyond the fourth round at any of the other three Grand Slam tournaments, but, at Wimbledon 2013, she beat Sam Stosur, Agnieszka Radwanska and most notably Serena Williams, before losing to Marion Bartoli in the final.

Although injury, illness and loss of form have affected her since, she has a powerful game that is ideal for grass.

Warming up for this year's Wimbledon at the grass court event at Edgbaston, she served a world record 27 aces in her second-round win over Belinda Bencic and will hope for similar form when she arrives at the All England Club.

Lucie Safarova is up to a career high of six in the world and, having reached her first Grand Slam final at the French Open earlier this month, will be aiming to go one better at Wimbledon, where she reached the semi-finals last year before losing out to eventual champion Kvitova.

Several other players, including Ana Ivanovic, Ekaterina Makarova and Carla Suarez Navarro will also travel to London with genuine hopes in what looks to be a very open and potentially exciting women's draw this year.

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