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10 players to keep a close eye on at this year’s Wimbledon

Coco Gauff is one player to keep an eye on at Wimbledon (John Walton/PA)
Coco Gauff is one player to keep an eye on at Wimbledon (John Walton/PA)

A few familiar names will be missing from Wimbledon this year but the competition is set to be just as fierce for the big titles.

Ashleigh Barty’s retirement means there will be no defending champion in what remains a wide open women’s field, while Novak Djokovic bids for a fourth successive men’s singles title and seventh overall.

Here, the PA news agency picks out 10 players to watch at the All England Club.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams is back at SW19
Serena Williams is back at SW19 (John Walton/PA)

Speculation was growing that Williams may have headed, unannounced, into retirement having not been seen on a tennis court since suffering a thigh injury early in her first-round match at Wimbledon 12 months ago and withdrawing in tears. But a wild card sees her back on the big stage and resuming her chase for a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title. She would surely not have got on a plane if she did not believe she had another major title in her, but it will be a huge ask.

Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek is a former Wimbledon junior champion
Iga Swiatek is a former Wimbledon junior champion (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Barty’s shock retirement looked set to send the women’s game into another period of flux but instead her successor, 21-year-old Swiatek, has dominated like no one since Williams. The Pole goes into Wimbledon on a 35-match winning streak taking in six titles, including a second grand slam crown at Roland Garros. Swiatek is a former Wimbledon junior champion but is still inexperienced on grass, while a minor shoulder problem has kept her out since Paris.

Ons Jabeur

Ons Jabeur won the grass-court warm-up event in Berlin
Ons Jabeur won the grass-court warm-up event in Berlin (Wolfgang Kumm/dpa via AP)

Tunisian trailblazer Jabeur has had an excellent 12 months since winning the title in Birmingham last summer and then reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals. She is now up to three in the world rankings after a fine clay-court campaign and then another grass-court title in Berlin last week. Her unorthodox game is well suited to the lawns of SW19 and she will hope to learn from the French Open, when the pressure got to her and she went out in the first round.

Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu returns to Wimbledon with the spotlight firmly on her
Emma Raducanu returns to Wimbledon with the spotlight firmly on her (John Walton/PA)

Twelve months ago, Raducanu was fresh from completing her A Levels and preparing for a first crack at Wimbledon as a relative unknown. The dizzying speed of the 19-year-old’s rise is still difficult to comprehend, and it would have been hard to know what to expect from her even without the side strain she suffered in Nottingham two weeks ago that has put her participation in doubt. What is not in doubt, though, is Raducanu’s talent and potential.

Coco Gauff