Get the Pimm’s and strawberries and cream at the ready as finally, after a 24-month absence, Wimbledon returns.
The only major slam absent from the calendar in 2020 due to the pandemic, this year’s edition should feel that extra special. So, who looks to be value on both the Men’s and Ladies’ sides of the draw at SW19?
Fresh from his second French Open title at Roland Garros earlier this month, Novak Djokovic is again the favourite to take home the Men’s trophy for a sixth time, priced at 17/20 with both UniBet and Betway. Remarkably, the Serb has not lost a game at the All-England Club since 2017, when he was forced to retire hurt against Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals.
Should you feel ‘Nole’ has a defeat coming his way however, you can back anyone else to win the tournament at evens with Betfair and PaddyPower. Individually, with Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem absent, some of the smart money has gone in the direction of Stefanos Tsitsipas. Having led Djokovic in the French Open final 2-1, the Greek was hauled back to be denied his first slam. Nevertheless, Tsitsipas is being talked up as a future Wimbledon champion, so why not this year?
At 10/1 with SBK and 7/1 with MansionBet, a bet on the number three seed could be shrewd, but for a slightly more conservative 4/1 with SkyBet, he would only need to reach the final. Russian Daniil Medvedev meanwhile, is another name expected to go far in the competition, and is 7/4 with BetFred to reach the semis.
Britain’s love affair with Wimbledon is set to be reignited in the coming fortnight, but Murray Mania may be in short supply, due to Andy Murray’s on-going battle with fitness. But if the Scot can piece together a run, his price of 12/1 with UniBet for the final four could be made to look very silly.
Wimbledon will also seen the return of one its favourite sons in Roger Federer. Having withdrawn from the Australian Open earlier this year and forced out of Roland Garros last month through injury, the Swiss will be hoping for better fare in his favourite slam. An eight-time winner at SW19, Federer is now expected to focus his efforts on another Wimbledon crown as his main career priority, as his years now threaten to catch up with him.
Still sentimental for some more Federer magic? You can get him at 12s to win outright with all four of Betfair, PaddyPower, SkyBet and BetVictor. Perhaps a more balanced bet however, would be for Federer to win his quarter of the draw and reach the last four. BetFred will oblige you at 5/2.
In the Ladies’ draw, the bookies are struggling to separate Serena Williams and Ash Barty in the favourites department. Though Williams has won the Venus Rosewater Dish on no less than seven occasions, Barty is the ever-so-slight marginal call in the markets, with SBK offering 36/5, compared with the American’s price of 38/5.
Away from that particular duo, the competition looks wide open with both Simona Halep unable to defend her title and number-two ranked Naomi Osaka having withdrawn for personal reasons. If similarly to the men we split the draw into four sections, Iga Swiatek might be the wise choice to reach the semi-finals, and at 5/1 with UniBet and William Hill, the Pole should impress.
Petra Kvitova meanwhile – a former two-time Wimbledon champion herself – has put together form in the build-up to the tournament, and is 4/1 with UniBet in her portion of the draw also.
As tournament progresses, we will get a better picture of the shrinking brackets, and those with keen eyes on the markets could be rewarded going into week two.