Wimbledon 2017: Who are the front-runners?

  • 30 June 2017
Wimbledon courts Image copyright Getty Images

It's not long to go now before Wimbledon 2017 gets under way and millions of tennis fans all over the world watch eagerly to see who will lift those famous trophies.

Some of the best tennis stars from around the world will be heading to London to compete in the event.

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Image caption Thousands of fans will head to Wimbledon to watch their favourite tennis stars in action

To find out more about some of the British players in the tournament who you might not have heard of, click here.

As for the big stars, Newsround takes a look at some of the main contenders for the Wimbledon singles titles this year...

Andy Murray

As the world number one and the top seed in the tournament, Andy Murray is one of the favourites to win.

There is little doubt that people up and down the UK will be crossing all of their fingers and toes that he can go on to win his third Wimbledon title.

However, he hasn't been playing as well recently as he has done in the past.

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Image caption This is the moment that Andy Murray lifted the Wimbledon trophy last year

There is a tournament that takes place before Wimbledon called Queen's. In both of the years that he won Wimbledon (2013 and last year), he won the Queen's tournament before.

This year, however, he lost in the very first round of Queen's, which was a surprise.

"It's a big blow, for sure," said the star. "There is no guarantee that I won't do well at Wimbledon, but it certainly would have helped to have had more matches," said Murray.

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On Thursday, he pulled out of his final warm-up match with a sore hip, meaning he has now only played one match on a grass court - like the courts at Wimbledon - this year.

We will have to wait to see if he is able to bring his A game next week!

Rafael Nadal

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The Spanish star is another hopeful to lift the trophy.

Having recently won the French Open - the 10th time he's done this - he is currently ranked as the second best player in the world, after Murray.

If he wins all of his matches in the opening rounds of Wimbledon, he will meet Murray in the semi-finals.

His win in the French Open (one of the four Grand Slam tournaments) made him the first man or woman to win the same Grand Slam title so many times during the Open era, which puts him in a good position.

However, the next person on this list has won the most Grand Slam titles of all time, and will certainly be one to beat, after he defeated Nadal in the Australian Open final earlier this year...

Roger Federer

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That's right - it's Roger Federer. The Australian Open champion will be hoping to take the Wimbledon trophy home once again.

The 35-year-old Swiss has won the London tournament an amazing seven times - and this year he will be going for the men's record of winning eight.

Martina Navratilova will still hold the all-time record though, having won the tournament an amazing nine times!

He is the third seed for the tournament, behind Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, meaning if he wins all of his opening matches, he could meet Djokovic in the semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic, who has won Wimbledon three times, was in a much better position going into the tournament last year than he is now.

In 2016, he was the reigning champion for all four of the Grand Slam tournaments. This year, he hasn't got a single one.

"It's the first time now in a stretch of seven or eight months that I haven't won any big tournament," he said. "I'm not playing at my best and I'm aware of that. But I've got to stay positive about myself and my game."

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He was recently beaten in the French Open by world number eight Dominic Thiem, who is another player that people will be keeping their eye on, and is currently fourth in the world ranking and second seed for Wimbledon.

It is the first time that the four players in this list so far have been seeds number one to four.

This means that they will not meet each other until the semi-finals at the earliest, so we will surely be in for an exciting tournament.

Angelique Kerber

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In the women's singles tournament, the world number one and top seed for Wimbledon is one of the favourites to win the competition.

At the end of May, the 29-year-old German player became the first women's top seed to lose in the first round of the French Open and she has also just been beaten in a Wimbledon warm-up tournament by Johanna Konta (find out more about her below).

Can she find her form again over the next fortnight? Only time will tell!

Simona Halep

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Only recently, world number two Simona Halep had the chance to take the number one top spot from Angelique Kerber, when she reached the final of the French Open.

If she won, she would have become the world number one, but unfortunately she didn't, meaning she has never won a Grand Slam.

"I'm sad I couldn't win it but it was a great experience," she said.

As for Wimbledon, the 25-year-old reached the quarter-finals last year, but has never made it through to the final.

Will she get her first Grand Slam title in London?

Karolina Pliskova

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The Czech player is the third seed for this year's tournament.

Despite being a semi-finalist in the Wimbledon doubles tournament last year, she has not got past the second round when playing on her own.

She will be playing British number one Johanna Konta in a warm-up tournament in Eastbourne on Friday ahead of Wimbledon.

The two met in the semi-final of the warm-up last year as well and Pliskova beat Konta, but time will tell who comes out of top in 2017.

Elina Svitolina

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Just a few days ago, Elina Svitolina announced that she did not know if she would definitely play at Wimbledon, after struggling with an injured heel.

"All the time I stand up on the feet, it's painful," she said.

She was beaten by Simona Halep in the French Open, coming within just one point of the semi-final.

If she gets as far as the semi-final at Wimbledon, she will be become the first Ukrainian woman to make a semi-final in Grand Slam history.

Will she definitely play through the tournament or will her injury cause more problems over the next few days?

Others

The women's singles tournament is particularly exciting this year.

With both Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova not playing - and Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams being the only two women playing who have won the tournament before - people may have their eyes on other hopefuls for the title.

Many hope that British favourite Johanna Konta, who is the sixth seed, will have a successful tournament. If she wins, she will be the first female British singles winner since a player called Virginia Wade back in 1977.

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Meanwhile, 20-year-old Latvian Jelena Ostapenko shocked the tennis world by winning the French Open recently, as it was very unexpected. She will be playing at Wimbledon and people will be watching to see whether or not she can pull off another surprise.

"There are about 15 women who could win this year. It is one of the most open ever," said BBC Sport commentator John Lloyd.

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