The WTA Legend gives her views on three potential contenders for the Championships crown.
WTA Staff
June 26, 2019

New World No.1 Ashleigh Barty has the ability to win Wimbledon, according to the legendary Chris Evert - but it would be a "Herculean effort" if she managed it this year.

"She's got a great grass court game - I think she loves the grass," the three-time Wimbledon champion said in her capacity as ESPN expert. "I think it's interesting that her parents were scheduled to come over for the grass court season, not for the clay court season. Look what happened.

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"I think it would be like a Herculean effort if she won Wimbledon - to have won the French, to have won the warm-up tournament [Birmingham]...and then when she won that, she became No. 1. At some point it's got to be overwhelming, and she's a human being.

"It would be so impressive if she won Wimbledon. She has the game. She has the athleticism, the variety. I just kind of wonder when the tank is going to start to get a little bit empty, both physically and emotionally. So it's going to be tough."

READ: Navratilova - Barty will be tough to beat at Wimbledon

Evert also tipped Serena Williams as having a chance in the Championships as she chases her record-breaking 24th Grand Slam title.

"She has that intangible championship quality that not a lot of players have," Evert said.

"Again, I talk about the fitness, and I think that it's the fitness, that one or two steps slower than at her peak, I think that everybody would have to agree that's what was missing in the last year since she's come back - and also the confidence...the players kind of know that she hasn't been the same player that she was three or four years ago after she came back last year, and maybe there is not the intimidation factor as much.

"I would have said in January, if there was any Grand Slam she was going to win, it would probably be Wimbledon, and I just think with her game, she just loves hitting the ball. She just loves that power. And if her serve is on, she's going to be tough to beat."

Serena Williams is a seven-time winner at the All England club, having claimed the crown in 2002, 2003, 2009, 2019, 2012, 2015 and 2016. (Getty)
Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2015

And Evert also had words of reassurance for home hope Johanna Konta, who reached the semifinals of the French Open before losing to Marketa Vondrousova 7-5, 7-6(2).

"I was calling a match at the French, and she could have won the tournament the way she played, and then I see her play a match where she could have lost to almost anybody," she said. "I think she's still a work in progress with the mental side of the game, but I think she's working really hard at it...she's one of the hardest workers on the court, physically in her fitness. And just the way she's wired, she just has to work a little bit more on taking the emotion out of the game and just being fully focused.

"You know, it's been a struggle for her in the past, but we've also seen her play some unbelievable matches...I'm not going to say, no, she'll never win a Grand Slam. I'm going to say that she's got - well, she's got a shot, yeah, I will say that."