Ah, Wimbledon. A time for strawberries, cream, dubiously titled slopes, selfie-stick piracy and almost incessant use of the phrase “quintessentially British”.
Oh, and also tennis. Which I’m sure you’ll agree is little more than a sideshow to the main attractions of this wonderful event, namely voyeuristic celeb-spotting, lecherous cleavage closeups and the zealous observance of an intricate system of outdated traditions. Still, unfortunately some sport does indeed need to be played out amid the more important business of observing and reporting Bradley Cooper’s sartorial choices.
To that end, our traders have come up with a selection of outsiders who could topple the favourites and end up netting you a fortune.
Here’s what they have to say.
With Murray and Djokovic more out-of-sorts this season than a Conservative political strategist, and Nadal playing on what is probably his least-favourite surface, this could be a year for the outsider.
Federer, admittedly, looks the man to beat and has shortened significantly into 9/4 after his title win at ATP Halle last week. But we’ve identified two of the better long-shots who could end up rolling over the Swiss.
The Croat is no stranger to slam success, having won the 2014 US Open at Flushing Meadows. His big serve gets him plenty of cheap points on grass and he has reached the quarter final in the last 3 years at Wimbledon. A tough match for any of the top seeds.
The rapidly improving Frenchman is now up to 15 in the world. He won in Stuttgart during the first week of the grass swing and reached the quarter finals at SW19 last year.
Looks to be getting better with every passing week and will be full of confidence going into Wimbledon.
The ladies’ competition looks wide open following the withdrawal of Maria Sharapova due to injury, while defending champion Serena Williams is also out as she is expecting a baby.
Other big guns such as 2016 French Open Winner Garbine Muguruza and double grand slam winner Victoria Azarenka are also currently struggling for form, though the latter has only recently returned to the tour following maternity leave.
However, doubts remain regarding Kvitova’s physical fitness following her recent return from injury, while Pliskova has never been past Round 2 of Wimbledon.
The two outsiders who we feel can make a decent stab of it are:
After a breakthrough campaign last year, in which she won two grand slams, the German has struggled somewhat this year.
Kerber has an impressive record at the venue, reaching the Final, Semi-Final and Quarter-Final on separate occasions in the last 5 years, while she also picked up a grass title at WTA Birmingham back in 2015. There is every chance last year’s beaten finalist can make a deep run in the tournament.
This year’s runner-up at the French Open is another with grass court pedigree having reached the Quarter Finals and Semi-Finals of this tournament in two of her last three visits.
She has also picked up a grass title at WTA Hertogenbosch in the past. The 25-year-old is probably the in-form player on the WTA tour over the last two months having picked up a title in May at WTA Madrid followed by two runner-up places at WTA Rome and the French Open.
*All prices correct at time of posting