Serena Williams might feel as if she is on top of the world heading into the 2012 Summer Olympics, but how do the tennis odds makers rank her in the line of gold medal hopefuls in this summer's Olympic Womens Singles?
Just three weeks after Serena Williams
claimed the Wimbledon crown, the women are
back in SW19 to compete for Olympic glory.
With seven different women winning the last
seven Grand Slam events, you may be forgiven for thinking this event was a wide
open race, but there's little question who the bookmakers think will win this
one, and following her powerfully dominant performances here last month, it's
difficult to see anyone stopping Serena Williams.
Unlike her sister, Serena has never bagged
herself a gold medal in the singles, but as with Roger Federer in the men's
draw, the location and timing seem to have worked out just perfectly for the
The draw has been kind to Serena too. There
is a potential banana skin in the shape of Jelena Jankovic in the first round,
however if she can successfully negotiate that match, she's then forecast to
face the eminently beatable Caroline Wozniacki in the quarters and the woman
she defeated comfortably in the Wimbledon semis, Victoria Azarenka.
Whilst Serena is the clear tennis odds favourite, not
too far behind her is French Open Champion, Maria Sharapova. It's funny how
quickly names can come and go in the women's game and it's hard to believe that
just a few short weeks ago we were struggling to work out who could possibly
prevent her from winning her second Wimbledon
title. The answer to that question was of course, Sabin Lisicki who dispatched
Sharapova in the fourth round, but the feeling is that even if she'd made it
through, a meeting with Serena Williams would have been too hot for her to
After those two, we're looking at the
current world No. 1 and last year's Wimbledon Champion as the 6/1 and 8/1
Victoria Azarenka has been struggling of
late to live up to the massively impressive start to the 2012 season she made
and even if she does make it all the way to the semis, it's not easy to see her
defeating Serena when she gets there.
Petra Kvitova may like her chances of at
least picking up a medal, and at 8/1 the Czech 22-year-old could actually be a
real hopeful for gold. Kvitova was the only woman to really go toe-to-toe with
Serena at Wimbledon this year and she
certainly has the grass court game to cause big problems for anyone.
There is some value in Kvitova at 8/1 and
her quarter of the draw doesn't look too daunting. A possible semi-final with
Maria Sharapova could be a tasty encounter and although Sharapova easily
defeated Kvitova in Paris this year, it was
Kvitova who defeated Sharapova on Centre
Court just last year, to lift the Wimbledon trophy.
Looking elsewhere around the draw and there
are plenty of other names who will have high hopes for at least a medal.
Sabine Lisicki finds herself in Sharapova's
quarter of the draw again and has performed really well in her last two visits
to London. She
can be backed at 33/1 to win the gold, which may be a little fanciful, but the
11/2 for her to notch a medal is certainly within range.
As with Wimbledon,
Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters are both unseeded and will both be dangerous
to anybody in the draw. Considering her limp first round defeat at Wimbledon, it's unlikely we're going to see Venus
Williams picking up her second gold medal, after winning in 2000, but Kim
Clijsters is amongst the favourites and is only a 5/1 shot for gold.
Angelique Kerber made it to the Wimbledon semis and has looked right on top of her game
so far this year. At 28/1 the German will certainly have medal hopes and could
provide an upset or two along the way.
Finally, don't forget defeated Wimbledon finalist, Agnieszka Radwanska who took a set
off Serena and played some superb tennis across a highly successful couple of
When it comes to placing my tennis picks it's Serena for me, but look out for
Kvitova and there's further potential for Sabine Lisicki to be successful on Centre Court
Gold - Serena Williams
Silver - Petra Kvitova
Bronze - Sabine Lisicki