The 126th edition of Wimbledon looks set to be an excellent competition. This year, like every year, the tournament will be held at the All England Club, during the months of June and July.
The Championships is one of four Major tournaments, alongside the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open. Wimbledon is the only Major event that plays its tennis on grass.
In this particular article, I shall focus my attention on Russian international, and 2011 runner-up at SW19, Maria Sharapova. The article will explain Sharapova's history in the prestigious Major. It will answer the question in the title and finish with the bookmakers’ odds regarding the Russian's chances in the 2012 Championships.
Sharapova turned professional back in 2001. She first entered the Championships in 2003, and was defeated in the fourth round by fellow Russian national, Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The 24-year-old performed at her very best in 2004, winning the women’s singles final against the thirteen-time Grand Slam titleholder, Serena Williams.
For two consecutive years after Sharapova's glory, she managed to get to the semi-finals of the competition, losing to Venus Williams, in 2005, and Amelie Mauresmo, in 2006.
In 2007, Sharapova lost to the eventual winner of the tournament, Venus Williams, in the fourth round of the competition. The next two years saw the 24-year-old Russian lose in the second round of the tournament, to Alla Kudryavtseva, in 2008, and Gisela Dulko, in 2009.
In 2010, Sharapova improved on the previous two Championships, by getting to the fourth round of the competition, where she lost to Serena Williams. The 24-year-old progressed even further in 2011, and was beaten in the finals by Petra Kvitova two-sets to love.
So, in answer to the question in the title: “Can Maria Sharapova win the ladies' singles title?”.
My answer would have to be yes. Recently, Sharapova has been playing some outstanding tennis, and she is one of the favourites in the Wimbledon betting odds to win the prestigious title. The bookies generally consider the 24-year-old the fourth favourite to win the competition with odds of around 7/1.