The tour turned to grass following a thrilling fortnight at the French Open, and while the field remains fairly open, a core group still stands above the rest when it comes to those most likely to strike gold on the hallowed grounds of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.
WTA Insider profiles five tournament favorites, what gives them the goods to win at the All England Club, and what might stand in their way.
Career grass court winning percentage is calculated through the Aegon International Eastbourne final.
Karolina PLISKOVA (CZE)
6th appearance (4-5)
Best result: Second round (2013-2016)
Career winning percentage on grass: .667
Pro: Consistency. Pliskova's reputation for ups and downs has given way to a new incarnation of the Czech powerhouse, one who has reached the quarterfinals in all but three of her 12 tournaments in 2017. Two of those early losses came on clay, but not even her self-proclaimed worst surface was safe from her dominance. She battled into the semifinals and was a set from reaching the final and wresting World No.1 from Angelique Kerber. Set to play the Aegon International final in Eastbourne, Pliskova is gunning for her second career title on grass, a surface that rewards the ace leader's weapons and masks her weaknesses.
Con: Pressure. Coming into Wimbledon with the best chance to become World No.1, Pliskova will be kicking off the final leg of her Grand Slam redemption tour. After failing to make the second week in any of her first 17 major appearances, the 25-year-old has done so at the last three. In a section of the draw that could yield tricky grass-courter Magdalena Rybarikova, how will Pliskova deal with being a primary focus for Grand Slam glory?
Simona HALEP (ROU)
7th appearance (11-6)
Best result: Semifinals (2014)
Career winning percentage on grass: .636
Pro: Momentum. Halep heads to grass in the midst of a career-best stretch, winning her third Premier Mandatory title at the Mutua Madrid Open and finishing runner-up at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and Roland Garros. The last time she reached the final in Paris, she roared into the final four at Wimbledon, dismantling perennial darkhorse Sabine Lisicki in the quarters. Halep survived a pair of three-setters in Eastbourne before succumbing to fatigue against Caroline Wozniacki in what was her second match of the day. With eyes off the Romanian across the Channel, she could get on another roll if she gets past potential early round opponents like Marketa Vondrousova, Carla Suárez Navarro, or Eugenie Bouchard.
Con: Confidence. How well has Halep put away those French Open demons? Nine points from her maiden major title, she saw her dreams dashed by an on-fire Jelena Ostapenko. Wimbledon puts her on her least comfortable surface, and a Vondrousova or Bouchard could easily channel the Latvian's playbook and smother Halep's defenses. She came on court willing to fight past Duan Ying-Ying and Tsvetana Pironkova in Eastbourne, but Slam pressure and inspired opposition could present different problems.
Petra KVITOVA (CZE)
10th appearance (29-7)
Best result: Champion (2011, 2014)
Career winning percentage on clay: .732
Pro: Form. In any other year, Kvitova's run to the Aegon Classic would be enough to cement her status among the top Wimbledon favorites. Even in 2017, playing in just her second tournament since hand lacerations from a home invasion sidelined her for six months, her fairytale week in Birmingham made even the most cautious observers sit up and take notice. Spectators were impressed by her efficiency, dropping just one set in five matches and striking countless aces and winners. Kvitova was moved by her fight in the final, outlasting Ashleigh Barty in her first three-setter of the year. In a workable section of the draw, can the sentimental favorite capture a third Wimbledon crown?
Con: Fitness. It bears repeating: the Aegon Classic was just her second tournament in six months, coming back after a traumatic injury from which she's yet to fully recover. Kvitova looked solid in her opening win at the French Open before suffering a letdown against Bethanie Mattek-Sands in a pair of tiebreaks. A similar letdown might not be expected, but it would certainly be understandble.
Jelena OSTAPENKO (LAT)
3rd appearance (1-2)
Best result: Second round (2015)
Career winning percentage on grass: .500
Pro: Confidence. Of late, it's been fair to anticipate a letdown from a player coming down from the mountain of winning her first major title. Both Angelique Kerber and Garbiñe Muguruza suffered dips in form following their respective Australian and French Open triumphs before rebounding later in the season. Few first-time champions inspire as much confidence as Jelena Ostapenko. Arriving in Eastbourne down to decorate a few cupcakes, the youngester was blatantly unchanged by her career-defining victory. She played impressive three-set thrillers against both Suárez Navarro and Johanna Konta - narrowly losing the latter - and it's clear the 2014 junior Wimbledon winner is just as capable on grass as she proved herself to be on clay.
Con: Consistency. While Ostapenko is unlikely to crack under pressure, she's not immune to dips in form - the very same that marked her matches in Eastbourne. There's certainly fewer than before, but they can still happen, especially against a player who can make her hit the extra ball. Possible second round opponent Kurumi Nara could be that very player.
Venus WILLIAMS (USA)
20th appearance (81-14)
Best result: Champion (2000-2001, 2005, 2007-2008)
Career winning percentage on grass: .827
Pro: Legacy. In the absence of sister Serena, Venus comes to Wimbledon as the most decorated former champion in the field. She kicked off 2017 with a run to her first major final since 2009, finishing runner-up to her sister at the Australian Open. That high level continued throughout the season with quarter and semifinal finishes in Indian Wells and Miami, as well as a second week appearance at the French Open. The 37-year-old lost a tense two-setter to Angelique Kerber last year in the final four; can she go two better and win her first major in nine years?
Con: Draw. Venus landed in a section with Dominika Cibulkova, who went 0-3 on grass court warm-up events this year. Still, her draw is littered with familiar names and potentially troublesome opponents. Opening against Elise Mertens, Venus was emphatic when they played at the French Open, but the Belgian is much more comfortable on quicker surfaces. Her projected third round opponent is No.22 Barbora Strycova, the resurgent Czech veteran who has the variety to unsettle Venus. From there she could face Cibulkova, No.28 seed Ana Konjuh, or 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki, who would likely be in dangerous form should she survive into the second week.
Hear more about the Wimbledon contenders in the latest episode of the WTA Insider Podcast: