Wimbledon | Kerber’s place at the top is under threat.

There is an unfamiliar look at this year’s Ladies’ seedings with the omission of the defending champion Serena Williams unavailable due to her pregnancy. Angelique Kerber, the current world No1 is the top seed and her main adversary, Simona Halep who is chasing her hard for that top ranking, is seeded to meet her in the final.

I love playing on grass Angelique Kerber

Kerber has not had the best of seasons to date, and is only just hanging on to the top ranking and could have lost it had Halep not been beaten the French Open final.

Both players are competing at Eastbourne and the results there could have a bearing on how they do at Wimbledon next week, Kerber admitting that she has an affinity for grass; “I love playing on grass,” she admitted.

Two players who last year were looked at as being journeymen as a refelection of their respective rankings, have jumped up the ladder to become serious contenders for this year’s title, namely Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina.

They have certainly showed some dramatic improvement in their play which has reflected positively in their respective rankings – Pliskova rising from 15 to No3 and Svitolina from 17 to No4.

Britain’s Johanna Konta is this year seeded to reach the quarter-finals at No6 – last year she was at No16. Dominika Cibulkova is also on the move improving from 19 to No8 while the two-time Wimbledon Petra Kvitova, playing what will be only her third event since that horrendous knife attack on her last December, is seeded 11 no doubt in response to her winning the Birmingham pre-Wimbledon warm-up event last week.

Meanwhile some better known players have slipped down namely Garbine Muguruza, last year’s French Open champion and Wimbledon finalist slips down from 2 to 14; the wily Agniezska Radwanska, another former finalist (2012), has dropped out of the top four to ninth while Roberta Vinci, No6 last year, just makes the cut-off at No31.

Then there is the return Victoria Azarenka who had a baby six months ago to become the player no one wants to meet in the raly rounds and if she gets motoring, or even later for that matter.

She is unseeded but will certainly provide players with problems though a lack of match play could well prove to be her major weakness.

And then there is the surprise package from Latvia, Jelena Ostapenko, the 20-year-old French Open champion who has the game to upset the rankings yet again. She is seeded 13.


Women’s seeds

1 Angelique Kerber
2 Simona Halep
3 Karoline Pliskova
4 Elina Svitolina

5 Caroline Wozniacki
6 Johanna Konta
7 Svetlana Kuznetsova
8 Dominika Cibulkova

9 Agnieszka Radwanska
10 Venus Williams
11 Petra Kvitova
12 Kristina Mladenovic
13 Jelena Ostapenko
14 Garbine Muguruza
15 Elena Vesnina
16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

17 Madison Keys
18 Anastasija Sevastova
19 Timea Bacsinszky
20 Daria Gavrilova
21 Caroline Garcia
22 Barbora Strycova
23 Kiki Bertens
24 Coco Vandeweghe
25 Carla Suarez Navarro
26 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni
27 Ana Konjuh
28 Lauren Davis
29 Daria Kasatkina
30 Shuai Zhang
31 Roberta Vinci
32 Lucie Safarova



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