In the last three years a different female tennis player has made it to their first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon. First it was Agnieszka Radwanska, then Sabine Lisicki and most recently Eugenie Bouchard.
It is widely accepted that different tools are needed to flourish on grass courts, most notably a dominant, big and preferably flat serve.
A big forehand from the rear of the court and a desire to step into the net are not bad attributes either.
Grass-court tennis is almost an acquired taste and so it is therefore far from guaranteed that those players who sit pretty at the head of the WTA rankings are those that will still be alive in the latter stages.
Below, we assess the top five favourites in the Wimbledon betting and five others at much larger odds who may have been underestimated to mount a challenge:
Serena Williams @ 9/5
Five previous titles, a success on the SW19 grass at the last Olympic Games and victories in the opening two Grand Slams of 2015 make Williams the clear woman to beat at Wimbledon.
A sixth success will provide a calendar Slam, which she has previously accomplished when winning the 2003 Australian Open.
However, Williams has failed to make it beyond the fourth round of Wimbledon in three of the last four years and her decision to boycott any grass-court warm-up events must count against her too.
Petra Kvitova @ 7/2
Kvitova’s Wimbledon record since 2011 is 26 match victories and only three defeats, with Williams responsible for two of these losses.
A third Wimbledon title has to be a possibility for a player whose game is best suited to grass and who already has a 2015 victory over Williams on her record. This was her first career triumph over the current world number one and that may bring an extra tier of confidence as she bids to defend her SW19 title.
If there is a flaw in her game, Kvitova is capable of throwing in the odd wobble.
Maria Sharapova @ 9/1
Having already reached the final as a junior in 2002, Wimbledon seemed set to be a favourable hunting ground for Sharapova, following a victory in 2004 and successive semi-final appearances in the following two years.
However, it has to be a concern that she has only made it beyond the fourth round on a single occasion since and, like Williams, it appears that Sharapova will arrive at Wimbledon without any grass-court match practice.
Sharapova has vowed to be ready for the tournament, but her current plan over the coming weeks does raise concern and her odds for victory seem plenty short enough taking everything into consideration.
Victoria Azarenka @ 12/1
It’s now 22 months without a title of any kind for Azarenka after a troubled spell with injuries and although on the comeback trail, a Slam victory in 2015 appears a big ask.
Azarenka insists it remains a dream to win Wimbledon and successive semi-final runs in 2011 and 2012 show she has the capabilities to reach the latter stages. She certainly has the power in her forehand to pose problems.
However, it is significant that her most successful year on tour in 2013 only saw her reach the second round at Wimbledon and in reality it would be a decent tournament for the Belarusian if she was still in the draw in the second week.
The fact she is still only 25th in the WTA rankings also heightens the possibility of getting one of the big guns in an earlier round or running a gauntlet of the fancied females if she is to win the tournament.
Simona Halep @ 17/1
Reaching the semi-finals last year was the first time Halep had made it past the second round at Wimbledon.
Her grass-court game shouldn’t be completely discounted as she is a former winner of the Wimbledon warm-up event in the Netherlands and she did take a set off Williams at SW19 in 2011 when a far more inferior player than she is today.
Even so, Halep cannot call upon many big scalps on grass and a repeat of last year’s performance is likely to be the best she can hope for again.
So you may ask, if Sharapova, Azarenka and Halep won’t provide the competition to Williams and Kvitota, then who will?
Here are five players to watch:
Lucie Safarova @ 20/1
Safarova’s Slam pedigree is far from inspiring as she has only gone beyond the fourth round three times in a career that spans over a decade.
However, there seemed a new glint in her eye and a new determination at the French Open, as Safarova beat Lisicki, Sharapova, Garbine Muguruza and Ana Ivanovic to reach the final, with all of this quartet ranked in the top 21.
Whether she can repeat this level of performance so soon at Wimbledon and how she copes with this newly-acquired spotlight are two big questions to which the answers are unknown, but her basic game is not that dissimilar to that of Kvitova and so it is perhaps a shock that her previous record at SW19 is so uninspiring.
However, she twice pushed Kvitova on grass last year and with her new-found confidence, there remains some juice in her Wimbledon price at over four times the odds of her fellow left-hander.
Angelique Kerber @ 40/1
This is the first time in WTA history that four players in the world’s top 10 are left handed, with Kerber another member of this group, alongside Kvitova, Safarova and Ekaterina Makarova.
Kerber has reached a Wimbledon quarter-final and semi-final within the last three years, with Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams, Lisicki and Sharapova among the players she has beaten.
Back-to-back clay-court titles in Charleston and Stuttgart suggest she is playing well in 2015 and her form on grass was far superior last year than it was on clay, which bodes well for her Wimbledon prospects.
Madison Keys @ 20/1
Keys is another that is no slouch in the power department and already has a grass-court tournament success under her belt when beating Kerber in the final at Eastbourne last season.
The American has since taken a Slam step forward when reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open this year, dumping out the likes of Kvitova and Venus Williams, before eventually losing to Serena.
Average is probably the best word to describe Keys’ efforts on clay, while a recent flu bug is hardly ideal preparation and has caused her withdrawal from the warm-up event in Birmingham.
Still, she has the weapons in her arsenal to make life difficult for the top seeds.
Ana Ivanovic 70/1
Ivanovic is the defending champion of the Aegon Classic event from which Keys has pulled out and will arrive at Wimbledon with good confidence after reaching the semi-finals of the French Open.
However, this does remain the Serbian’s only previous grass-court final and although consistent at reaching the midway point at Wimbledon, she has tended to find one of the big guns too good.
In the last three years she has lost to Azarenka, Bouchard and Lisicki and the concern is that something similar may happen again.
Camila Giorgi @ 150/1
Giorgi may have never gone beyond round four of a Slam, but career victories over the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Sharapova and Azarenka suggest that on her day the Italian is capable of providing an upset.
She recently claimed her first WTA title at the Topshelf Open and is well suited to grass, thanks to the flatness of her shots and strong serve.
The main problem is her lack of consistency, especially on serve. Her propensity to serve double faults also tends to make life difficult and these mistakes will prove costly against the top seeds in particular.