The home of tennis opens its gates again for the greatest tournament of the year: Wimbledon. The All England Club will be awash with strawberries and cream, champagne and tennis betting. But come two weeks times, who will be holding the titles aloft from the ATP and WTA tour?
After years of broken dreams and gravelly throats wrecked by the ‘Come on Tim!’ squeals, Britain had its cries for a new hero answered when Andy Murray lifted the title in 2013 - ending a 77 year wait for a British Men’s champion. Murray returns this year in top, top form and the tennis betting has him crunched in at 5/2 to take the title. Despite not adding any more slam titles to his collection, Murray has been at the business end of both the Australian and French Open this season and looked comfortable and impressive when taking the title at Queens last week. Despite a tough draw with Tsonga, Ferrer and Federer in his half, Murray should be set for an almighty run at a second title and we might have to get used to seeing a Brit in the final.
Novak Djokovic has looked in such good nick this season that even when two sets to one down in the final at Roland Garros, he was still the favourite in Titanbet’s live tennis betting. Novak eventually went down to surprise winner Stan Wawrinka in four sets but could quite easily mirror last year’s results and bounce back from a French final defeat with a title at Wimbledon. The Serb has been involved in some scraps this year and has a great ability to produce ice cold tennis at the hottest points of matches. Despite not playing in any warm up competitions, Djokovic should be able to use week one here as a warm up and peak in time for the sharp end of the competition.
Stan Wawrinka’s win at Roland Garros shows that there is still value to be found in the ATP despite the power and success of the ‘Big Four’ in recent seasons. Without a slam title since his 2012 crown at Wimbledon - his seventh in total - Roger Federer may be seen as a dwindling light and no longer a powerhouse of the game. However, this could not actually be further from the truth, as he has maintained a remarkable record in slams and often only fallen short in semi-final or final matchups. Federer is part of the history at Wimbledon and you would be foolish to rule out another semi appearance at the least. At that point it will come down to likely duels with Murray and Djokovic, but at 6/1 he offers the value to back each way as a cover.
Stan Wawrinka (18/1) leads the threat from the back and will fancy another go at Novak if seedings go to plan and they meet in the semi final, although grass has never been his favoured surface and better value lies elsewhere. The big serving Grigor Dimitrov (33/1) and Milos Raonic (40/1) may not possess the all round ability of the elite players but offer a game that will be extremely hard to break down on grass and should certainly be considered as small stake bets to upset the tennis betting and win their quarter.
Petra Kvitova has found Wimbledon to be a very good home to her over the past few years. The hard hitting lefty followed up her shock 2011 win with another title last year and should be deemed a grass court specialist having never even made a final at any other slam. She is back on the surface she loves and, with her No.2 world ranking, avoids Serena’s half of the draw - a victory in itself. The 7/2 available for her to make it a hat-trick of titles is appealing.
When Serena Williams retires it may just sink in how incredible she has been for the game of tennis. Serena arrives here as the recent champion of the French Open for the third time and fancies her chances of adding a sixth Wimbledon title to her achievements. The draw has not been overly kind to her though, with Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova stood in her way to the final. Whilst a month ago the 11/4 for Serena to win the French Open was a gift, the 8/5 on offer for her to triumph here is far too short and easy to take on.
Last year’s tournament saw relatively unknown Eugenie Bouchard produce an incredible tournament and reach the Wimbledon final. This could be taken as a blueprint for your Wimbledon betting as there is plenty of value to consider. Whilst Canadian Bouchard (50/1) is best avoided because of a huge slump in form and recent injury withdrawal at her latest tournament, there are numerous stars on the fringes to consider. Angelique Kerber was a semi-finalist here last year and has flirted with the latter stages at all grand slams. She arrives in great form having won the AEGON Championship, and is certainly worth considering at 25/1.
The ever recovering Viktoria Azarenka (16/1) cannot be ruled out and the elusive slam title may be just round the corner for the dangerous again Caroline Wozniacki (33/1). But the pick of the pack is Lucie Safarova (25/1). The Czech star is at her highest ever world ranking and produced a shock semi-final appearance here last year, having never previously been past the third round. The majority of her career success has come as part of a doubles unit, although it now looks like the latter part of her career may be spent excelling in the singles game. It certainly wouldn’t be a shock to see her deep in the tournament this time around.
The ATP looks set for a routine top half of the draw, with the overpowering force of Novak Djokovic reaching the final. Meanwhile, the bottom half of the draw could throw up a shock, with a resurgent Tomas Berdych and evergreen Roger Federer likely to throw up one half of the semi final, although the form and high level consistency of Andy Murray in recent months should see him through to the final.
The WTA has so many options for us this week but the key is to take on Serena Williams at the short 8/5 on offer. You can look as deep in the Wimbledon betting as Ekaterina Makarova (80/1), young gun Belinda Bencic (100/1) or even grass court specialist Camila Giorgi (150/1). But when considering a potential winner for an each way bet, side with the peaking Lucie Safarova; the balance of hard hitting ground strokes and court craft matchplay can see her go far in SW19.
Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and arguably the most famous and popular due to its traditions and venue.
Played on grass at the All England Tennis and Croquet Club, it has become one of the most important sporting occasions in the world since its foundation in 1877.
In terms of the whole tennis calendar, for men (on the ATP Tour) and women (on the WTA Tour), grass courts play very little part overall in comparison to hard and clay surfaces which are used for the majority of tournaments throughout the year.
Thus, the fortnight extravaganza at Wimbledon is made extra special and unique by the playing complex which is dominated by the iconic Centre Court, now roofed to minimize playing time lost due to the notoriously wet British weather which has caused many disruptions to crucial matches in the past.
Many players aspire to become Wimbledon champion and indeed view success at SW19 as the absolute pinnacle in terms of tennis achievement.
Following on promptly from the lengthy clay court season and the French Open, players have very little time to prepare for the championship and acclimatize to the grass which is vastly different compared to clay.
The sharp, quick surface suits the big serving players who can hit the ball hard and maintain a consistently strong rhythm with their groundstrokes.
A mixture of solid baseline play and net improvisation is required to be effective and ultimately succeed over the duration of the tournament which takes in seven different rounds.
Players with realistic Wimbledon hopes will look to gain some momentum on the grass ahead of the championship at one of the few preparation events – the most notable and widely recognised being Queens Club just a few miles away from Wimbledon.
Wimbledon betting dominates ante-post tennis betting, particularly in the UK, some way out from the beginning of the tournament in late June.
For many years, this was influenced by the prospect and hope of a first British winner since Fred Perry lifted the title back in 1936.
Throughout the late 1990s, Tim Henman carried Britain’s best hope of a new champion on a perennial basis and was the subject of hefty betting support due to obvious crowd belief and sentiment – as well as the fact that he was far better on grass than his overall ranking implied.
Henman would often start the championship at a much shorter price than he was for the other Grand Slam events and would generally be seeded much higher than his outright position within the ATP Tour.
‘Tiger Tim’ came close to a magical success for Britain on a number of occasions reaching the semi-finals on four times, however he tended to find one player superior enough to outwit his effective serve and volley approach.
Henman participated through an era dominated by the legendary Pete Sampras who triumphed on no less than 7 occasions at SW19.
‘Pistol Pete’ was as reliable a favourite as backers could wish to find, landing the Wimbledon odds year upon year until he was finally ousted by Roger Federer who would go on to match his sterling achievements.
Like Henman and Sampras, current British star Andy Murray has Federer to deal with and the Scot was beaten by the Swiss in the 2012 showpiece after becoming the first Brit since Bunny Austin in 1938 to reach the final.
However, one year later Murray finally ended the long wait for a British winner of the mens' tournament when he beat Novak Djokovic in the final to claim his second Grand Slam title and repeat his achievement of winning the gold medal at Wimbledon during the 2012 Olympics.
John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg are other noteworthy champions of the recent past who managed to triumph on Centre Court more than once.
And the women’s game has produced equally a celebrated recent history of superb multi-Wimbledon champions.
From Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Billie Jean-King in the 1970’s and 1980’s to the remarkable Steffi Graf of the 1990’s, right through to the post-Millennium dominance of the Williams sisters, the women’s singles has held its own against the men in terms of providing great champions and wonderful excitement.
And Virginia Wade can still count herself to be the last British Wimbledon singles champion following her shock victory in 1977.
As tennis moves through each min-era, there are usually an elite bunch of players in both the men’s and women’s game who can be considered for Grand Slam success and indeed triumph on the grass courts of Wimbledon.
Although the likes of Navratilova, Graf, Sampras and Federer have enjoyed prolonged periods of superiority, SW19 has often been the place to provide surprises and huge upsets.
The champions return the following year to Centre Court can regularly be a nervous affair despite the celebrations as Lleyton Hewitt’s first round match against unknown Thomas Zib proved in 2003.
The Aussie star was taken to the hearts of the Wimbledon crowd following his success in 2002 but a year later, he was shocked first time out by Zib who was ranked around 300 places below him.
Heavy odds-on favourite Roger Federer also threw away his 2011 semi-final against Jo Wilifried Tsonga from a two set leading position, a match which will inevitably go down as the most remarkable underdog’s comeback in Wimbledon history.
It is therefore a tournament which can easily scupper the most solid looking of bets and backers require just as much luck as the players to pull off a winning wager.
On the face of the Wimbledon betting markets, things often appear more straightforward pre-tournament than any other Grand Slam but traditionally, a lower ranked player will emerge from absolutely nowhere to pull off a massive upset or negotiate their way to the latter stages.