Wimbledon champion and BBC commentator Michael Stich recently caused an stir by claiming women's tennis is "just there to sell sex."

How dare you, Mr. Stich.

The tight clothing, perspiration, and repeated moans of athletic ecstasy that we'll be observing on the courts of the All England Club over the next few weeks should be embraced, not ridiculed. Women's tennis is the finest of all professional female sports, and Wimbledon will undoubtedly capture the imagination of male viewers throughout the world, surpassing interest in the rather underwhelming championships of the LPGA and WNBA. (Our fact-checkers have confirmed that those sports do, in fact, have championships.)

So as a service to our readers, Asylum has done only the slightest amount of research -- cross-referencing the Wimbledon women's singles field with a Google image search -- to bring you nine female competitors we'll be keeping an eye on at this year's Wimbledon.

Check out a handful of beautiful Russian women as well as other gorgeous ladies who also happen to play tennis, after the jump.

Maria Kirilenko

Age:
22
WTA Rank: 59
Country: Russia
Wimbledon Chances: Not good, even if the balls were enlarged (pictured). Maria has no major singles' titles and she's never been past the second round at the All England Club. That being said, she's got dirty blonde hair, a cute smile, and a slender 5-foot-8, 125-lb. frame. If she advances to the third round and plays the lovely Caroline Wozniacki, it'll be must-see tennis (or any sport they agree to compete in while sweating).

Check out a gallery of the stunning Miss Kirilenko from our friends at With Leather.

Ana Ivanovic

Age: 21
WTA Rank: 12
Country: Serbia
Wimbledon Chances: After winning the 2008 French Open, this Serbian beauty has struggled to return to form (on the court). On a positive note, she reportedly split with Spanish tennis player Fernando Verdasco earlier this year, so there's a chance she's currently single.

Elena Dementieva

Age: 26
WTA Rank: 4
Country: Russia
Wimbledon Chances: She's got a way with the ground stroke that helped her reach the Wimbledon semifinals last year, so Dementieva could look good and go deep. However, her serve needs work, so we recommend fantasizing about getting close behind her and showing her a more effective motion.

Victoria Azarenka

Age: 19
WTA Rank: 8
Country: Belarus
Chance of Winning Wimbledon: She's hot right now in more ways than one. At the French Open, her powerful forehand helped her defeat the unbelievable hotness of defending champ Ana Ivanovic (see above) in one of the sexiest matches in recent history. Granted she's only 19, so older women's tennis fans may want to consider that before creepily discussing her "game" in mixed company.