LONDON, Great Britain - Wimbledon will only be Petra Kvitova's third tournament since returning from the horrific attack at her apartment in the Czech Republic last December, when an intruder cut her racquet hand. And yet Serena Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, has told wtatennis.com that Kvitova could end up winning the Venus Rosewater Dish.
With Williams almost eight months pregnant, and Maria Sharapova also absent, this is a very open women's tournament. "Roland Garros was incredibly open and the winner [Jelena Ostapenko] was the most unexpected one. Wimbledon is as open but with a little difference compared to Roland Garros and that's because grass is very special - it's a big advantage for those players whose games fit well with grass," said Mouratoglou, whose book, 'The Coach', is now out in English.
After winning the title in 2011 and 2014, the Czech will be looking to finish as the Wimbledon champion for a third time. "Players like Petra, Karolina Pliskova and a few others have an advantage over the others because of their game styles matching so well with grass," said Mouratoglou.
Forty years have passed since a British woman last won Wimbledon, going back to Virginia Wade's 1977 triumph. But Mouratoglou suggested that Britain's Johanna Konta, who withdrew from her Eastbourne semifinal because of injury, has the game to contend for the title.
"Konta can win Wimbledon. I know she won't be excited about people saying that she's a potential champion, but I think she can do it. She's top 10 in the world. She hasn't played that well over the last few weeks but that's because clay is not her best surface. But on a fast surface such as grass I think she can do really well," said the Frenchman.
Konta ought to have a considerable advantage from playing before an excitable home crowd. "As a player competing at your home Grand Slam, you feel that people are rooting for you and it can help you incredibly," added Mouratoglou.
"The crowd can be crazy and that can be a big help. But it can also be a burden for some players, who feel as though they have to do well, so they feel pressure. We'll see. If Konta takes this the right way, the crowd can be an incredible help."