One of the highlights of the summer, Wimbledon, gets underway on Monday with Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber heading into the tournament as defending men’s and women’s champions this year.
Looking at the men’s singles market in the outright betting first, it would be a big surprise if one of the ‘big three’ of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer did not come out on top once again overall.
Despite the trio now all being in their 30s, there is no let-up from the established stars of the men’s game as they have won the last 10 Grand Slam titles between them.
Top seed Djokovic is favourite at 27/20 but will be wary of old rival Federer who, despite being 38, usually saves his brilliant best tennis for SW19. It seems like every year we enter Wimbledon waiting for the years to catch up on the Swiss master but he rarely lets anyone down and he will be looking to extend his record of eight Wimbledon titles.
Nadal, who was upset at being seeded third behind Federer in Wimbledon’s unique system, is fresh from yet another French Open triumph – his 12th Roland Garros success – but has only come out on top at the All England Club twice and not since 2010.
Of the rest, Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas is fancied to continue his recent impressive rise as the 20-year-old looks to build on making it to the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time this year, while Italian Matteo Berrettini, 23, is another of the new breed of players hoping to catch the eye.
There is no Andy Murray in the men’s singles for the second successive year but the Briton is making great progress from his previous injury troubles after career-saving hip infusion surgery earlier this year.
The Scot feared he may never play at Wimbledon again before the operation but will be taking part in the doubles and proved he was getting back to his best when winning the Queen’s Doubles title alongside Feliciano Lopez earlier this month.
The women’s draw looks much more open than the men’s side and the odds reflect the fact, unlike in previous years, no one player is dominating.
Nine of the last 10 Grand Slams have been won by different players and world No.1 Ashleigh Barty, the top seed, is favourite in the outright market at 5/1.
The Australian won the French Open but may struggle under the weight of expectation now on her shoulders.
Naomi Osaka, the world No.2 and second seed, admitted after she exited at Roland Garros in the third round that she had felt under pressure in Paris and it will be interesting to see how she fares over the fortnight with many expecting her to bounce back.
Seven-time champion Serena Williams is only on offer at 15/2, third favourite, as she is being hampered by a knee injury as she looks for her first major title since giving birth in September 2017. The American should never be discounted at Wimbledon, even if she is clearly way off her devastating best.
However, it’s Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova, who goes into the tournament in fine shape having won the Eastbourne title, who could finally break her Grand Slam duck.
The world No.3 was knocked out in the fourth round last year but has the game to go all the way if everything falls into place.
The 27-year-old also boasts a bit more experience than 21-year-old Osaka and 23-year-old Barty and, with ongoing doubts over her rivals, Pliskova is tipped to triumph.
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