Kristyna Pliskova stung by bee against Kerber

Wimbledon betting tips: Andy Schooler's ladies' singles preview
Kvitova, Federer set as betting favourites at Wimbledon

02 July, 2017

Kerber was denied a first Wimbledon title by Williams 12 months ago as the American star beat the German in straight sets.

But Williams won't be able to defend the trophy after taking the rest of the year off as she prepares to give birth to her first child.

Kerber certainly cannot be ruled out if she can return to her form of previous year, nor can Venus Williams, who despite being 37 has shown solid form throughout the season and thrives on a surface that has seen her win five Wimbledon titles.

"Of course it's different if Serena is not here".

Kvitova is the 11th seed at Wimbledon which starts on Monday.

"I'm not thinking about my Wimbledon results".

"There are so many good ones, they can play, they can win tournaments, as well".

With both players serving out in the opening eight games of the first set Pliskova found the break through when she broke Kerber, reading the German's forehand to return excellently.

Kerber finished runner-up at Wimbledon past year, losing to Serena Williams in the final.

Having pulled out of last month's Birmingham tournament with a hamstring injury, Kerber suffered another blow in her grass-court preparations when she lost to Johanna Konta in the Eastbourne quarter-finals earlier this week.

Although her second round exit previous year was her best showing at Wimbledon, she has shown decent form in the warm-up events on grass, losing in the final at Nottingham and beating Kerber in the quarter-finals at Eastbourne.

"I'm feeling much better playing on grass".

"Actually I'm not thinking about Paris, about the clay court season any more".

There are also local hopes that Johanna Konta could be the first British victor since Virginia Wade in 1977 after a year in which she has established herself in the top 10 and enjoyed her biggest tournament win at the Miami Open in March. You know that everything is possible. My mind is just day-by-day here, like previous year. One slip from Kerber and the Romanian could move closer into position with little more than 100 rankings points separating the top two. I'm already so long the No 1. "That's why I decide to take the wildcard", Kerber said.

"It's great being back".

Kerber added: "It's great to be back [at Wimbledon] when I was here yesterday [Friday] a lot of great memories came through my mind, it's nice to be back on the grass here at Wimbledon and I'm feeling good".

"I had matches last week [at Eastbourne], I'm healthy so far, so that is important for me". It's just an unbelievable match from both of us.

More news