Who Should Replace Ashleigh Barty to Continue This Historic Tradition at the Wimbledon Championships 2022?

Published 06/23/2022, 2:43 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 10, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova Pool via REUTERS/Mike Hewitt

After much waiting, the 2022 Wimbledon Championships is just around the corner. Players are making the final touches to their games, with just four days left for the Championships to begin. As per tradition, on the men’s side, the court will be opened by the defending champion, Novak Djokovic, on Monday.

While things are set on the men’s side, a decision is awaited for the women’s side. As per the tradition, the defending champions open the court for men as well as women. However, with the women’s defending champion, Ashleigh Barty, announcing her retirement early this year, a question has been surfacing through the entire tennis world. In the absence of the retired Ash Barty, who should open play on the women’s side on Centre Court at Wimbledon?

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The speculated ones to open the women’s play at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships

With Ashleigh Barty announcing her retirement, who will open the women’s court. While the final decision remains reserved with the Wimbledon officials, let’s have a look at the possible players who could open the game on the women’s side.

The first and foremost on the line and the most preferred one is the current World No. 1 Iga Swiatek. In devastating form, the top-seeded player is one of the main contenders to open the court on the women’s side. With 35 wins in a row, the 2022 French Open champion will be eyeing her third Grand Slam title on the grass courts of Wimbledon.

The next in line is the 2019 Wimbledon champion, Simona Halep. Going back in time, one can recall how an injury forced Halep to stay out of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. Hence, the 2019 champion couldn’t open the court as the defending champion.

Coming back to the present, with Barty’s retirement, Halep could have the chance this year. Looking at her performance so far, the 16th seeded is still to win a title this year. However, even though she hasn’t won a title, she has shown some decent performances, the latest being the semi-finals at WTA 250 Birmingham.

Apart from that, Halep’s Wimbledon record could also be a major notice for officials, who are yet to make the much-awaited announcement. Looking at the records, the 2019 champion has also been a one-time semifinalist and a two-time quarter-finalist so far.

Iga Swiatek and Simona Halep remain the top contenders for opening the play for the women’s side. However, apart from these two, there are two more players who could possibly be chosen by Wimbledon to do the needful.

The other two players who could be a part of Wimbledon’s tradition

Following Swiatek and Halep is the 2021 Wimbledon runner-up, Karolina Pliskova. The former World No. 1 had the most pleasant Wimbledon run of her career to date at Wimbledon last year. The 30-year-old reached the semi-finals of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships without dropping a single set. In the semi-finals, she outplayed the second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka before finally falling to Barty in the final.

Polishing herself in Berlin and Eastbourne, Pliskova will be entering the 2022 Wimbledon Championships as the 6th seed.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 10, 2021 Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova looks dejected as she holds up the runners up trophy after losing her final match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty Pool via REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Last but not least is the legendary, Serena Williams. After being out of the tour for a year due to injury, Serena is set to make a comeback at this year’s Wimbledon. While the seven-time champion will be entering the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club as a wildcard entrant, she still remains one of the most looked upon players in the tournament.

Watch this story- Serena Williams reacts as Caroline Wozniacki announces happy news  

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There seems to be no practical reason for Serena opening the play this year. However, her aura on the court and winning record could possibly be an influencing point for the officials.

Eyeing a strong comeback at Wimbledon, Williams is currently preparing herself by playing doubles in Eastbourne. Pairing up with Ons Jabeur, the two are set to play in the semi-finals.

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The above four are the top contenders for opening play on the women’s side at Wimbledon. However, the final decision remains to be made by the Wimbledon officials. The draw of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships is scheduled to be announced on the 24th of June.

The announcement will be followed by the release of the schedule for Day 1 of the tournament.

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Ahmar Wasif

759 articles

Ahmar Wasif is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is a national level tennis player and has a number of titles to his name. His experience on the court allows him to incorporate a deeper understanding in his coverage of the sport.

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