With Wimbledon being 12 days away, I thought I'd let you know who to look out for in terms of beauty in the women's games. Since Anna Kournikova is long gone from the tennis world, here are 10 more girls to check out at SW19:
10. Ashley Harkleroad
Ashley Harkleroad has never made an impact in the world of tennis for her skills, but certainly has the looks create a crowd of male fans and photographers. She had a big picture of her backside in the British tabloids one year, and in 2008 she appeared in Playboy. Ashley would probably make more money as a full-time model rather than a tennis player, having only made it past the first round on 1 of her 6 attempts. So if you want to see her make sure you have a ticket for one of the first two days!
9. Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza picked up her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open this year as she and her partner, Mahesh Bhupathi picked up the mixed doubles winners trophies. The young Indian girl is a hard hitter on the court, but has considered giving up the sport because of off-court controversies regarding her religion. If she can put these behind her once-and-for-all we hope she can break into the top 30 again. As for Wimbledon, grass isn't her favourite surface and she'll do well to make it past the second round in singles competition.
8. Elena Dementieva
An Olympic silver medalist when she was just 18, and the gold medal winner in the Beijing Olympics, Elena Dementieva has both skills and good looks! Unfortunately she has a boyfriend too. One of the more experienced players on tour too, having turned professional over a decade ago, Elena Dementieva still has her hard work ethics and good looks that that she possessed at the start of her career. A semi finalist at Wimbledon in 2008, she's not amongst the favourites on grass, but will be looking for titles after the grass season, being a runner up at the 2004 US Open.
7. Alona Bondarenko
The older and prettier of the Bondarenko sisters, Alona is 2 years Kateryna's elder, whom she teamed up with to win the Australian Open women's doubles trophies in 2008. Alona Bondarenko broke into the top 20 just over a year ago and could get back there with a career-best performance at Wimbledon. Having never made it past round 3 here, I'm sure the male viewers and paparazzi will also be cheering her on to make it into week 2 this time round.
6. Nicole Vaidisova
Nicole Vaidisova was just 17 when she broke into the top 10 in 2006, and less than a year later had made it to the semi finals of Australia and the quarter finals of both the French Open and Wimbledon, knocking out then-reigning champion Amelie Mauresmo in the latter. She hasn't reformed that form over the past 2 years, although did make it to the quarter finals of Wimbledon against last year. Only 20 years of age , she is still maturing and we'll be more-than-happy to see her play 5 matches again at SW19 this time round...
5. Caroline Wozniacki
Currently a top 10 player at just the age of 18, Caroline Wozniacki has the potential to go far in the tennis world. Caroline won the Wimbledon Junior title back in 2006. A hard working player, she also enjoys swimming and writes a blog
on her website. Not only is the young Dane multi-talented, but very handsome too. Expect to see lots of this young girl in the future!
4. Maria Kirilenko
Maria Kirilenko is one of many young tennis stars to come out of Russia, and just like most of the others, is a stunner! She has featured in a Sports Illustration Swimsuit Edition and been the face of Stella McCartney's Adidas tennis range since 2006. A good player too, although hasn't fulfilled her potential yet. Still only 22, there's a long way to go for this girl who currently ranks outside the top 50 having not found form nor fully recovered from her knee injury heading into the French Open. Maria has lost in the first round at Wimbledon on 4/5 occasions. Let's hope this year the beauty can go on a little streak...
3. Daniela Hantuchova
An inconsistent player on the court, Daniela Hantuchova continues to make draws drop off the court. This stunning Slovakian beauty is a former Wimbledon quarter finalist and had experiences in fashion magazines too. Always dresses to impress on the court, and never lets us down! Wimbledon is Daniela's favourite event, and she is one of the fan favourites too. She usually wins a couple of matches here, but hasn't matched her 2002 success where she made it to the quarter finals in the singles competition, and won the mixed doubles with Leos Friedl a year earlier. I'm always excited to see this girl on the court.
2. Ana Ivanovic
A great player at junior level, Ana Ivanovic realised her dreams when she won the French Open in 2008, having lost in the final the previous year and at the Australian Open a few months before. She has really struggled since, picking up just 1 title after a short stint as world number 1. Plenty of fashion shoots followed, adding a distraction to her game, and she has never got back to the top of her game since. Ana dropped outside the top 10 after the French Open, and we'll be cheering her on to have a good run at Wimbledon to get her back there, whilst dreaming of another Australian Open 2008, where she battled with Maria Sharapova in the final.
1. Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova broke onto the tennis scene when she became Wimbledon champion aged just 17. Now just 22, having also won the French and Australian Opens since, Maria Sharapova has hinted she will retire early from the sport, but when exactly remains to be seen. In 2007, Forbes magazine listed her as the highest paid female athlete in the world, with annual earnings over £11,500,000. During this time, and still to this day, does modelling work. Expect to see lots of photos of Maria in action at Wimbledon again this year, regardless how far she goes this year!
Labels: alona bondarenko, ana ivanovic, ashley harkleroad, caroline wozniacki, daniela hantuchova, elena dementieva, maria kirilenko, maria sharapova, nicole vaidisova, sania mirza, wimbledon