FIVE major contenders for Wimbledon 2022 Women's Singles

With the Nottingham Open moving into its closing stages and pre-tournament preparation coming to an end, the wait for Wimbledon 2022 is nearly over.

The home fans will be sweating over the fitness of teenage starlet Emma Raducanu, whose turbulent Wimbledon preparation ended prematurely at the Nottingham Open after she suffered a side strain just 35 minutes into her opening round match with Viktorija Golubic.

With Wimbledon just a couple of weeks away, we preview all of the major contenders for the Women's Singles title.

Iga Swiatek: Unproven on Grass

At face value, world No.1 Iga Swiatek looks unbeatable heading into Wimbledon 2022. The 21-year-old Pole claimed back-to-back Roland-Garros singles titles earlier this month, marking her second Grand Slam victory and heads into the Championships unbeaten in her last 35 matches.

Swiatek's 2022 season so far has been something to behold, having added singles titles in Qatar, Indian Wells, Rome, Stuttgart and Miami to her French Open triumph.

While the young Pole's record on clay and hard ground is something to marvel at, Swiatek's grass record remains something of an unknown. The world No.1 has played just eight senior matches on grass courts throughout her short but illustrious career to date, with a 4-4 record.

Swiatek struggled to make an impact at Wimbledon in 2021 as well, making way in the fourth round to Ons Jabeur after dropping consecutive 1-6 sets. Despite her inexperience and publicised troubles with grass surfaces, Swiatek remains the heavy favourite for the 2022 Women's Singles title, aided by the absence of last year's champion Ashleigh Barty, who retired while holding the world No.1 ranking earlier this year.

The Contenders

Coco Gauff

While Britain's teenage starlet Emma Raducanu is enduring a tough period on and off the field, on the other side of the pond it has been plain sailing for 18-year-old sensation Coco Gauff.

The world No.13 heads into Wimbledon 2022 having just reached her first-ever Grand Slam final, losing in straight sets to the mighty Iga Swiatek, and could go far in the tournament that thrust her into the limelight this time last year.

The American teenager has gone well on the South London grass before, reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon on her previous two trips, and will be a contender in 2022.

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka's participation in Wimbledon 2022 looked to be going down to the wire after the ATP and WTA stripped the tournament of its ranking points amid a dispute over the participation of Russian and Belarusian players, but the Japanese player is set to take part this summer and could be the major challenger to Swiatek's Wimbledon dreams.

Osaka knows how to win Grand Slam finals and heads into the Championships as a four-time major winner, but her Wimbledon record leaves a lot to be desired, failing to progress beyond the round of 32 in three attempts to date.

The 24-year-old will need a favourable early run to make it to the latter stages of the tournament but will fare better the deeper she goes and the more momentum she gathers.

Simona Halep

Amidst a field of young talent, the experience of 30-year-old Simona Halep could make a difference in this year's Wimbledon Women's Singles championship. The Romanian is a two-time Grand Slam winner having tasted victory in South London back in 2018 when she beat Serena Williams in straight sets.

Halep has enjoyed her time on the Wimbledon grass, progressing to the quarter-finals on four separate occasions and have participated in 15 separate Grand Slam quarter-finals.

A disappointing second-round French Open defeat to Qinwen Zheng exacerbates concerns following an underwhelming display at January's Australian Open, but Halep will take confidence from a close encounter with world No.1 Swiatek at the Indian Wells tournament back in March.

Ons Jabeur

For those looking to follow an outside pick for the Wimbledon 2022 Women's Singles crown, Tunisian player Ons Jabeur could be one-to-watch. The 27-year-old has been elevated to No.4 in the world rankings thanks to impressive showings in the Rome Open and Madrid Open.

Jabeur took home the title in Madrid after claiming victories against Simona Halep and Jessica Pegula, while May's Internazionali BNL d'italia saw the Tunisian lose in the final to Swiatek.

The world No.4's chances will be elevated by her Wimbledon record though, beating current No.1 Swiatek on her route to the quarter-finals in 2021 and could have the upper hand if the pair meet on the Wimbledon grass this summer.

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