Wimbledon 2011 Preview: The Tennis Girls of Summer

Summertime. The land of no college basketball, no football and no hot chocolate. Although the sweltering summer brings joy to many people for many reasons, the sports/television arena loses a bit of momentum. It’s almost like you have to go outside and be a person. Almost.

If the sun is of no interest to you, my grandma’s favorite sport is having this tournament called Wimbledon. Maybe you’ve heard of it, neighborface.

This super fancy tennis tournament started June 20th and runs until July 3rd so it’d be pretty easy to find time to catch a match or two. Wimbledon is one of the four major tennis tournaments called the Grand Slams. These tournaments remind me of Denny’s. If they wanted to express to me that these events are a big deal, they would have called them Lumberjack Slams. But you live and you learn, you know.

Tennis is fun because every match is like a failed relationship. There are emotional ups and downs, lots of grunting, and when it’s all said and done after things have gone on for way too long, someone wins and someone loses. The top four women’s single seeds have a single Grand Slam win betwixt all of them which makes it terribly unclear who will win this year. My money is on a female tennis player but then again, I’m not a betting woman. Kim Clijsters and Dinara Safina, who have both found success in Grand Slams, are out with injuries. Let’s take a look at some of the remaining contenders, shall we?


Maria Sharapova (5)

The Russian player took Wimbledon back in 2004. Since then, she’s become a professional good-looking person and one of the highest paid female athletes in the world. Though her looks might get her a win in your book, she’s going to have to employ her trademark scrappiness and power game to take the title.


Venus Williams (23)

She does her own style, at her own time.

Venus is one of the two players who got bumped up from her Women’s Tennis Association ranking. Guess who the other is. If you said her sister, you are correct. Here’s an internet cookie. (That works on so many levels.) The Williams are The Mowry sisters of the tennis world. Even if you can’t tell them apart, you know they’re both awesome. She’s won Wimbledon singles 5 times, the last being in 2008. Though she’s only played in two tournaments this year, no one is counting her out just yet.


Serena Williams (7)

Sharapova would love to win as a means to finally overcome her last two injury-plagued years. I’m sure Serena wants to win as well but I don’t think it’s going to erase the memory of that time she almost died. If Williams pulls off a win, it will be her third win in a row at Wimbledon. Serena has reached the 200 mark for Grand Slam singles wins in her career. Things I have 200 of include Q-Tips.


Caroline Wozniacki (1)

The Dane has no women’s Grand Slam titles. She’s probably pretty bummed about this since she’s seeded first in the tournament and number one in the world. Now folks expect her to do things like win Wimbledon. People and their expectations, right? Wozniacki is only 20 so I’m not ready to call her Kournikova Jr. just yet.


Marion Bartoli (9)

Why is Bartoli on this list? 1. In the French Open she advanced to the semi-finals. 2. She’s played well at Wimbledon the last four years 3. She recently won her first grass court title at the Eastbourne Warm-Up. I think that’s enough but if you need further convincing, I can make something up. 4. She eats Nutella by the spoonful between games for good luck.

That serves as my Wimbledon warm-up. Thanks for coming by. Here’s something to show how much I care. A picture of Bethanie Mattek-Sands’ tennis ball dress. She sported this gem to the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party. It was designed by Alex Noble whom you may know from his work with one Lady Gaga.

Who do you think will take Wimbledon this year? What is your grandmother’s favorite sport? Should Mattek-Sands have said yes to the dress?

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 328 articles for us.


  1. Oh my God, the dress… lol

    As a tennis fan, I love Wimbledon. :-) I don’t usually follow the girls in the tournaments, I only watch their finals. I do follow the men, though. Wimbledon looks really interesting this year, with Federer, Djokovic and Nadal in good shape. Too bad that I can’t follow the tournament this year because I’m volunteering at a hospital in Peru starting next week… u_u

  2. I’ll admit that I did squee when I saw a Wimbledon article on here.

    I would add Li Na, Sabine Lisicki, and Victoria Azarenka (as long as she doesn’t hurt herself again) to the contender list. I don’t really see the Williams sisters taking it this year because they still look super rusty after their long layoffs.

    I think Sharapova has the best shot since her quarter has opened up since Sam Stosur lost in the first round (which the press is calling an upset but Sam has lost in the first round 5/9 times here). But I’ll keep my eye out on Bartoli. Her double handed way of playing gives her a short backswing which is good for dealing with the low bounces on the surface.

    Now we just have to hope that the Wimbledon doesn’t get too rained out :)

  3. I miss the days when Ana Ivanovic was good. She won her first match quite comfortably this year, so maybe there’s hope. Henin is possibly my all time favorite ladies player (that one handed backhand!), but she’s not playing wimbledon this year :/

  4. I love tennis, it is seriously the best sport. I haven’t been following so much lately, but I can’t wait to watch Wimbeldon. I think the Williams’ are going to make it to the semi’s but I don’t think they’ll win, there’s definitely room for the newcomers. Just ’cause Wozniacki is 20 doesn’t mean you should count her out… Sharapova won Wimbledon at 19 (i think).

    • She won it at 17 actually :) She won the US Open at 19. But Wozniacki plays in a completely different style from Sharapova so you can’t really compare the two.

  5. Tennis is something I can only watch if something else is also going on, like sandwiches. Wimbledon is a family tradition, though. :)

  6. Excellent timing, I am watching it RIGHT NOW.

    The women’s draw is probably the most open it’s been for a decade, which I guess is simultaneously exciting and worrying (quality-wise).

    I know it would be great to see a new face break through, but I can’t not want Serena Williams to win, because she’s one of the most consummate athletes ever.

    I am also loving the increase in “mature” players staying on the tour (i.e. women that are barely thirty) – did anyone see Venus against Kimiko Date earlier? I was sad that someone had to lose that, Kimiko is like an ageless tennis ninja.

  7. My dad is a HUGE tennis junkie, so I grew up watching it. However, my passion is soccer (football!), so I’m hoping AS can mention that the Women’s World Cup starts on Sunday.

    Super pumped, but I’m afraid the USA has looked lackluster lately and may be eliminated early. Germany and Brazil are probably the other favorites, but Canada, England and a few others have a chance.

    Anyone else going to watch?

    • Good shout – I don’t know about elsewhere, but the BBC is showing coverage of England’s games on BBC3/Red Button/Online.

      I’ll try and catch some matches, will be nice to see some footballers playing purely for the love of the game.

      • All of the games are going to be on ESPN/ESPN2 or online at ESPN3 (I like this because if you miss one, you can watch the archived match). However, I think the online webcasts are only available in the US through certain providers.

        They have some really great commentators lined up this year and are generally putting more money into production of the WWC than they ever have before, which is good for women’s sports.

        And I agree with you that it’s nicer to watch (relatively) diva-free football.

        • You can also try MyP2P.eu — http://www.myp2p.eu/index.php?part=sports

          And in mens soccer/ football, there is the CONCACAF gold cup final usa v. mexico this saturday. If you can bear to watch usa mens.

          And in other summer sports watching, tour de france starts soon! I’m excited about that, although i wish they weren’t letting contador ride.

    • I’m so excited for the WWC. The commercials on espn have been great (love that they’re including non-US players, like Kelly Smith)

  8. Love the article but I missed the time when Dinara Safina “found success in Grand Slams.” If you become ranked #1 but then fail to win a Grand Slam title in multiple attempts (because you choked) then in the end I’d call that unsuccessful Grand Slam appearances. This is the major difference between Safina and Ana Ivanovic – a Grand Slam singles championship. They both didn’t live up to the #1 hype and most likely they’ll never be ranked there again.

    Caroline Wozniaki is still young and could very well win a Grand Slam. Because let’s face it – Wozniaki not facing the same level of competiton as Andy Murray – who has to get past 3 of the greatest players of the 21st century to win a major. Most of the women who could beat her (Williams sisters, Sharapova, Clijsters) are injured, rusty or still trying to adjust their swing after shoulder surgery.

    That being said – Go Venus, Maria and Schiavone. On the men’s side – Go Nadal, Del Potro and Mardy Fish.

  9. all i have to say is….andrea petkovic, germany’s number one. she’s not going to win wimbledon, but she is smart, zany, and funny. She really should be a dyke, even if she’s not; she likes oscar wilde and bloc party, she dislikes valentine’s day, and yes, she’s beautiful.

  10. How can you have no titles and be ranked #1? Or have several titles and don’t even crack the top 5. This is BS!

  11. Maria Sharapova helped me realize that I don’t just like girls in a friendly way. Something about the way she grunts… ANYWAY, pretty much hoping that Azarenka finally finds this tournament to really turn it up in, though I’m not sure if grass is the surface she’ll find success on.

    Always rooting for the American women as well, I love that there’s a sport out there (other than soccer) that Americans are under-represented in, I like being the underdog. Although you can’t ever really call the Williams sisters underdogs.

  12. YAAAAAY! AS is covering sports! I think Serena is going to take this one, which won’t look good for the WTA but eventually women’s tennis will get out of this slump.
    Here’s hoping you guys will have an article on the Women’s World Cup

  13. I do love Wimbledon! Always watch it on TV, and hopefully going next week – yay!! Plus can’t go through the fortnight with at least 1 punnet of strawberries n pitcher of Pimms…ha, who am I kidding, more like a bottle!!

    • I mean’t to put *without. I’m not drunk honest. I was distracted watching Gaga on Paul OGrady.

  14. I really want to see Serena do well after all the injuries she’s had to deal with over the last two years.

    My biggest issue with Wimbledon is that I like having my routine in the morning, which includes watching First Take while I get ready. And tennis fucks with that routine by screwing with when First Take is on.

  15. safina hasn’t won any grand slams, i don’t think she’s played well for a while now.

    i like schiavone and petkovic, i wonder how li na will do after the french?

  16. This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me.
    Thanks a lot!

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