Wimbledon is always the highlight of the tennis calendar, and this year looks set to be a corker.
Andy Murray is on top form, coming in to the tournament confident after his recent Queens triumph, and will be sure to make this a lively few weeks for the home crowd. In the Women’s game, Serena Williams is looking to secure the highly coveted calendar Grand Slam, having already bagged the Australian and French Opens. The German Steffi Graf was the last player to achieve this right back in 1988, showing just how difficult it is to pull off.
In addition to all this, there’s a heatwave setting in across SW19 London, which is sure to make play that much more extreme and unpredictable. Regardless, here are my best tips for those hoping to win some money over the tournament.
Andy Murray tipped to take the Men’s title
Grass play is notoriously quick – hence why Wimbledon is so exciting – and always favours the biggest serving players, with points won quickly and decisively. Roger Federer is famous for his efficiency when it comes to getting the job done and is therefore tipped at 13/2 to take the title. He certainly looked his serenely confident self in his opening match, breezily seeing off the Bosnian Damir Džumhur in straight sets.
The grass surface also heavily favours the top seeded players, which currently means either Djokovic, Federer, Murray, or Wawrinka are highly likely to take the trophy. The last ten Wimbledon’s have all been won by the top three seeds, and eight of the runners up in that period have come from within the top four seeds. The betting markets predictably reflect that scenario quite accurately, with Novak Djokovic a strong 11/8 favourite and Murray clipped into 11/4. Others in with a chance include Stanislav Wawrinka at 16/1 and Nadal at 14/1.
Overall, though, Bookmakers are tipping Murray as the best bet. He had his own slam victory here back in 2013 and he also won the Olympics on these courts. His 68-10 career grass record compares favourably, while his hold percentage over the past two years shows him holding marginally less than his Serbian rival (at 87.5%) but breaking far more reliably than anyone else on tour at 30.5%. That gives a combined rating of 118% – over 3% better than Djokovic.
Lucie Safarova or Sabine Lisicki to take Women’s title
Betting on the Wimbledon Ladies event is often much more unpredictable than the men’s. Whereas the Men’s singles has historically been dominated by the top seeds – in part due to the longer format of the matches – the women’s event is played over three sets, and as such, the top players don’t have the same advantage. In fact, over the past decade, seven of the women finalists have ranked outside the top 10!
Serena Williams, as the top seed, may be the 15/8 favourite to win her sixth Wimbledon title, but she has not featured in either of the last two finals here, losing in the third round last year and the fourth round the year before. As a result, Lucie Safarova (25/1) and Sabine Lisicki (20/1) are as the two strongest outsiders.
Safarova, the world number six, has been much improved this year and reached the French Open Final. She hasn’t played a lot of tennis on grass – just 26 matches in her career, but has proved herself frequently indoors and knows faster courts can suit her game. Lisicki, also boasts a fabulous record on quick courts over the past two years, winning 5-1 against players ranked 10th-50th, and 6-0 against those 50th-100th. These two are the ones to watch!