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No Deep Runs for Wimbledon Wild Cards

No Deep Runs for Wimbledon Wild Cards

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Thursday, June 27, 2024
Photo credit: Rob Newell/Camera Sport

Wimbledon women wild cards will be dumped from the deck during week one, ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe asserts.

Four of the eight Wimbledon ladies’ wild card recipients—2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Briton Emma Raducanu and Caroline Wozniacki—are former Grand Slam champions. Osaka, Kerber and Wozniacki each returned to the pro Tour after giving birth.

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Two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist Ajla Tomljanovic was awarded a Wimbledon wild card after her run to the Birmingham final last week. Four British women—Francesca Jones, Yuriko Lily Miyazaki, Heather Watson and Raducanu—received main-draw wild cards.

In a Zoom call with the media to promote ESPN’s Wimbledon coverage starting Monday, July 1st, Tennis Now asked ESPN analysts Patrick McEnroe and Chrissie Evert if any of the Wimbledon wild cards, or former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, who doesn’t have a wild card but is an all-court danger when healthy, are capable of making a second-week run at The Championships. 

McEnroe said he doesn’t see it happening for a variety of reasons, including what he calls a lack of variety grass-court tennis requires.

McEnroe says Osaka plays a straight-forward power-based baseline game. He points to Wozniacki and Kerber’s struggles since returning to the Tour after giving birth, though Wozniack beat 2023 Wimbledon semifinalist Elina Svitolina to reach the Bad Homburg quarterfinals this week. McEnroe suggests neither Raducanu, who toppled world No. 5 Jessica Pegula on Eastbourne’s grass yesterday for her first Top 10 career win, nor Andreescu, who pushed French Open finalist Jasmine Paolini to three sets in her first event back at Roland Garros then defeated Osaka en route to the ‘s-Hertogenbosch final on grass, possess enough variety for a second-week Wimbledon run.

“It’s very rare you see someone play straight-ahead tennis and be able to win Wimbledon, particularly now as the players have just gotten better,” McEnroe told Tennis Now during ESPN’s Zoom call. “It’s more of a backcourt game. There’s more slice, more variety.

“That’s a short way of me saying that I don’t think any of those women can make a big run at Wimbledon.”

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