(Updated version of contender profiles ahead of Wimbledon)
July 2 (Reuters) - Penpix of the top women’s contenders at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships:
Angelique Kerber (Germany)
World ranking: 1
Born: Jan. 18, 1988 (Age 29)
Height: 1.73 metres
Grand Slam titles: 2 (Australian Open 2016, U.S. Open 2016)
WTA match record in 2017 (won-lost): 21-14
The world number one had a poor start to the season and became the first top seeded woman to lose in the French Open first round in the professional era when she was beaten by 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova. She has not won a WTA title this year, but has a good record at Wimbledon, where she finished runner-up last year. With champion Serena Williams absent, Kerber will be keen to get her season back on track.
Simona Halep (Romania)
World ranking: 2
Born: Sept. 27, 1991 (Age 25)
Height: 1.68 metres
Grand Slam titles: 0
WTA match record in 2017 (won-lost): 26-8
Madrid Open winner Halep is in fine form, reaching her third consecutive final of 2017 at the French Open in June, where she was beaten by Jelena Ostapenko. Grass is not the Romanian’s favourite surface but she reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year and the semi-finals in 2014.
Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic)
World ranking: 3
Born: March 21, 1992 (Age 25)
Height: 1.86 metres
Grand Slam titles: 0
WTA match record in 2017 (won-lost): 36-9
Pliskova is one of the bookmakers’ favourites at Wimbledon after a strong showing at her last three slams. She was runner up at last year’s U.S. Open, reached the quarter-finals of this year’s Australian Open and the semi-finals of the French Open. With titles in Qatar, Brisbane and on grass in Eastbourne already in the bag this year, she is looking to improve her record at the All England Club, where she has never got past the second round.
Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic)
World ranking: 12
Born: March 8, 1990
Height: 1.82 metres
Grand Slam titles: 2 (Wimbledon 2011, 2014)
WTA match record in 2017 (won-lost): 6-1
Double Wimbledon champion Kvitova has played down her chances this year but bookmakers disagree, marking her out as one of the favourites after her win at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham this month. The grasscourt event was only her second tournament since returning to the circuit after her left playing hand was injured in a knife attack in December.
Venus Williams (U.S.)
World ranking: 11
Born: June 17, 1980 (Age 37)
Height: 1.85 metres
Grand Slam titles: 7 (Wimbledon 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, U.S. Open 2000, 2001)
WTA match record in 2017 (won-lost): 20-7
Five-times Wimbledon champion Venus is always a force to reckon with at the All England Club, and reached the semi-finals last year. Venus was beaten by sister Serena in the Australian Open final at the start of the year.
Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia)
Born: June 8, 1997 (Age 20)
Height: 1.77 metres
World ranking: 14
Grand Slam titles: 1 (French Open 2017)
WTA match record in 2017 (won-lost): 30-12
The French Open champion could serve up another shock at Wimbledon this year after upsetting Halep in Paris. Wimbledon is Ostapenko’s favourite tournament. She won the junior title in 2014, but has not made it past the second round at the senior level. Ostapenko’s entertaining all-or-nothing style of play could be the perfect tonic for a tournament missing several big names, and she has proved she can challenge at the top level of the sport if she hits her stride.
Compiled by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Pritha Sarkar