- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

Women to watch at Wimbledon, where play begins Monday:

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ANGELIQUE KERBER

Seeded: 1

Ranked: 1

Age: 29

Country: Germany

2017 Match Record: 21-14

2017 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 10

Major Titles: 2 - Australian Open (‘16), U.S. Open (‘16)

Last 5 Wimbledons: ‘16-Runner-Up, ‘15-Lost in 3rd Round, ‘14-QF, ‘13-2nd, ‘12-SF

Aces: Still trying to find her way in 2017 after reaching her first three major finals last season, including at the All England Club. … She is 0-8 vs. top-20 opponents this year, after going 24-9 last year. Could lose No. 1 ranking after Wimbledon.

Topspin: Became first woman seeded No. 1 to lose in the French Open’s first round in the professional era, emblematic of a real step back this season.

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KAROLINA PLISKOVA

Seeded: 3

Ranked: 3

Age: 25

Country: Czech Republic

2017 Match Record: 36-9

2017 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 9

Major Titles: 0 - Best: RU, U.S. Open (‘16)

Last 5 Wimbledons: ‘16-2nd, ‘15-2nd, ‘14-2nd, ‘13-2nd, ‘12-1st

Aces: Leads WTA in aces this season (her twin sister, Kristyna, ranks second). … Only 4-5 for her career at Wimbledon, where the surface should suit her game. … Has a chance to reach No. 1 for first time.

Topspin: With a terrific serve, and confidence from winning title at Eastbourne on grass, could be ready for a strong showing at Wimbledon. … Victory over Serena Williams in the U.S. Open semifinals last year showed what sort of potential Pliskova has.

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VENUS WILLIAMS

Seeded: 10

Ranked: 11

Age: 37

Country: United States

2017 Match Record: 20-7

2017 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 49

Major Titles: 7 - Wimbledon (‘00, ‘01, ‘05, ‘07, ‘08), U.S. Open (‘00, ‘01)

Last 5 Wimbledons: ‘16-SF, ‘15-4th, ‘14-3rd, ‘13-Did Not Play, ‘12-1st

Aces: Sued Friday by the estate of a Florida man who died after a car crash police say Williams caused. A day earlier, police released a report saying Williams caused the June 9 crash that left the man with a fractured spine and numerous internal injuries. He died June 22.

Topspin: Showed she’s still got game by reaching semifinals at All England Club last year for first time since 2008, then getting to Australian Open final in January.

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PETRA KVITOVA

Seeded: 11

Ranked: 12

Age: 27

Country: Czech Republic

2017 Match Record: 6-1

2017 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 20

Major Titles: 2 - Wimbledon (‘11, ‘14)

Last 5 Wimbledons: ‘16-2nd, ‘15-3rd, ‘14-Won Championship, ‘13-QF, ‘12-QF

Aces: Wimbledon is third tournament of comeback after getting cut by a knife-wielding intruder at her home in December.

Topspin: Many consider her the favorite for what would be her third Wimbledon title. Best news, though, is simply that she is back in competition.

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JELENA OSTAPENKO

Seeded: 13

Ranked: 14

Age: 20

Country: Latvia

2017 Match Record: 30-12

2017 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 1

Major Titles: 1 - French Open (‘17)

Last 5 Wimbledons: ‘16-1st, ‘15-2nd, ‘14-DNP, ‘13-DNP, ‘12-DNP

Aces: Surprised everyone, including herself, by winning first career tour-level title at French Open. … 2014 junior Wimbledon champion.

Topspin: With big strokes and confidence to spare, no reason she can’t go far. After all, grass - not clay - is her favorite surface.

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GARBINE MUGURUZA

Seeded: 14

Ranked: 15

Age: 23

Country: Spain

2017 Match Record: 23-13

2017 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 3

Major Titles: 1 - French Open (‘16)

Last 5 Wimbledons: ‘16-2nd Rd, ‘15-RU, ‘14-1st, ‘13-2nd, ‘12-DNP

Aces: Reached first major final at Wimbledon in 2015; the next year, won first major title at French Open.

Topspin: Has struggled all season and does not look ready to contend at the All England Club. In most recent match, lost 6-1, 6-0 on grass at Eastbourne.

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VICTORIA AZARENKA

Seeded: Unseeded

Ranked: 678

Age: 27

Country: Belarus

2017 Match Record: 1-1

2017 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 20

Major Titles: 2 - Australian Open (‘12, ‘13)

Last 5 Wimbledons: ‘16-DNP, ‘15-QF, ‘14-2nd, ‘13-2nd, ‘12-SF

Aces: Recently returned to the tour after giving birth to a son. Wimbledon will be her second tournament back and first Grand Slam event in more than a year. … Enters Wimbledon via a protected ranking.

Topspin: She’s twice made the semifinals at Wimbledon and has the muscle memory of two runs to Grand Slam titles. Has missed the past four majors, though, so there is accumulated rust. Still, she said Saturday that she thinks she eventually can “play better than I ever (did) before.”

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

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