Wimbledon, oh how we’ve missed you.
After an absence of 24 months, the return of the All-England Championships has again provided thrills, upsets and of course, the sight of many an umbrella. But the excitement has not been doused despite the weather, as we now look to the business end of the tournament, Magic Monday signals the beginning of the last 16.
In the Men’s draw, the early shock exit of Stefanos Tsitsipas caught many off guard, and Novak Djokovic now remains the clear favourite to win his third Wimbledon title on the bounce. Daniil Medvedev is perhaps the Serb’s biggest remaining threat, but Roger Federer has shown glimpses of his best on his beloved Centre Court and is still available at 10/3 with both Bet365 and MansionBet to reach Sunday’s final. Outright, the Swiss is 11/1 with SBK to win a ninth crown, whilst Matteo Berrettini has taken like a duck to water on grass. The Italian is 12/1 to go all the way, also with SBK.
Sebastian Korda meanwhile, was one of the names to make an impact during the opening week. Son of former Australian Open winner Petr and brother to US golfing duo Nelly and Jessica, the 20-year-old American is currently 3/1 to make the last four, but will have to beat Denis Shapovalov to get there, himself priced at 15/8 with BoyleSport.
If you want to hedge your bets meanwhile, 6/4 was the price for any player other than Djokovic to win before the tournament, and Betfair and PaddyPower are still offering the same odds. In the Ladies’ draw, Serena Williams’ withdrawal due to injury has left the draw wide open, but it is still Ash Barty as odds-on favourite to win her second slam, holding 7/2 value with all the major bookies.
From a British point of view, Andy Murray, Dan Evans and Cam Norrie may have fallen, but in Emma Raducana, the Union Jack remains buoyantly fluttering in the breeze. Coming from near anonymity as a wildcard ranked outside the top 300 in the world, the 18-year-old has electrified Wimbledon 2021 to reach the last 16.
So how long will ‘Emmania’ last?
Having seen her odds sliced since beating Sorana Cirstea, Raducanu is remarkably now just 20/1 to win the Venus Rosewater Dish. That for this year at least is surely too tall a task, but to reach the semi-finals, SkyBet are offering a boosted 5/1 for Raducana to continue her sensational SW19 journey. Or, for her to merely beat fourth round opponent Ajla Tomljanovic, BetVictor and William Hill are offering 11/10.
It is the fourth portion of the draw however, that looks the most intriguing, with Aryna Sabalenka 2/1 to reach the semis. Behind the Belorussian though, Iga Swiatek lurks, whilst Ons Jabeur took out former champion Garbine Muguruza, and is 9/2 to make the last four alone.
The second week at SW19 is sure to be fascinating.