The showcase event of the tennis calendar is upon us again, and unlike last year all the stars will be back in action when play starts in the main draw on Monday at the All England club.
It’s always a wonderful spectacle and with the weather assured to be beautiful, champagne alomg with strawberries and cream will be in full flow (we are offering odds of 50/1 for the official Wimbledon caterers to run out of champagne or strawberries).
Andy Murray’s return to competitive tennis adds an extra bit of intrigue as he has looked surprisingly good in the couple matches he has played since his return a few weeks ago. He was just pipped in three competitive sets by the in-form Nick Kyrgios in Queens, then went on to produce a convincing victory over another comeback man, Stan Wawrinka, before losing to fellow brit Kyle Edmund in Eastbourne.Andy Murray won’t be backing England in Russia, but you can still back him with PaddyPower.com
Despite these two losses, a lot of positives can be taken from his performances and it wouldn’t surprise us if the tenacious Murray gets a good run going this year at his favourite venue. However, he is currently 25/1 to win Wimbledon after receiving a difficult draw on Friday.
He faces the in-form, flamboyant French man Benoît Paire in the 1st round (Murray is odds-on at 1/2 for the match), with further possible draws against Jeremy Chardy or rising star Denis Shapovalov in round two, Juan Martin del Potro in the third round, David Goffin in the fourth, world number one Rafael Nadal in the quarters and Sasha Zverev in the semis.
Best of luck to Andy with that draw….yikes
Should he battle through all those, the man standing likely to be standing at the Centre Court net to meet Murray’s in the final is the undisputed GOAT of men’s tennis, Roger Federer.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone must be Fed’s favourite book because if he hasn’t found the elixir of youth (currently not on WADA’s banned substance list) then it simply doesn’t exist.
Now almost 37-years-old, Federer looks in perilous form.
Of the six tournaments he has entered this year, he has won three, including the Australian Open, and reached finals in two of the other three. After taking a three-month break having wisely decided he couldn’t beat Rafa on clay, the Federer Express steamed throug Stuttgart two weeks ago, winning the tournament with a clinical performance. A week later he narrowly lost the Halle final to an inspired Borna Coric.
Federer is going for an absurd 9th Wimbledon title and 21st grand slam and he is currently 7/4 with us.
The legendary Swiss meets Dusan Lajovic in the first round, and possible encounters with last week’s Eastbourne finalist in Lukas Lacko, Argentine journeyman Leonardo Mayer, Coric again, 2017 US Open finalist Kevin Anderson and Croatian powerhouse Marin Cilic en-route to the final. Can anyone stop him? We’ll see…
Our big tip for the tournament, however, is Nick Kyrgios at 12/1. Say what you want about the young Aussie – he’ll say what he wants about you – but he adds an extra dimension to tennis that is badly needed and his regular rants and magical ‘tweeners are always sheer entertainment for the crowd and add to the intrigue of Kyrgios.
He has played two tournaments on grass over the past two weeks and reached the semi-final stage in both, only losing to Federer and Cilic in final set tiebreakers. His game looks good and he seems to have matured a bit (a tiny bit). Nick’s difficulty is not with tennis, which comes so naturally to him, but in the top two inches.
If he holds his composure for seven matches we don’t think there is any player in the world who can stick with him. He has a monstrous serve which is nigh impossible to return on grass if he gets that first serve in.
Consider this; he amassed, a ludicrous 32 aces in his quarters match up against Feliciano Lopez last week in just two sets. He opens his campaign against Denis Istomin with a likely match up against Sasha Zverev waiting in the fourth round, and then Novak Djokovic in the quarter final.
Look for Nick to go all the way this year.
Quarter 3 Winner: Nick Kyrgios – 3/1
For all the reasons mentioned above. When he’s focused, he can be unstoppable.
Quarter 4 Winner: Rafael Nadal – Evens
The Spaniard’s got an unbelievably favourable draw in our view and it’s hard to see him being tested before a possible quarter final meeting with Juan Martin del Potro or Andy Murray.
Not much has been said about the former two-time Wimbledon champion entering this week but we personally think he will be right in the mix come the latter stages of this tournament. Nadal is currently 8/1 with us in the outright as well.
Dark Horse for the Tournament: Steve Johnson – 150/1
The big-serving American quietly regained some form over the past few months with an impressive victory at ATP Houston in April while also reaching the semi-finals at ATP Geneva at the end of May. He also had a good win against highly rated youngster Daniil Medvedev last week in Eastbourne before losing to eventual champion Mischa Zverev, Sasha’s brother.
No stranger to grass, Johnson captured his first ATP title in the Nottingham Open back in 2016 and made an impressive run at Wimbledon later that same year, getting to the fourth round where he was beaten (naturally) by Roger Federer.
Johnson has received a nice draw at this year’s championship, where he faces Ruben Bemelmans in the opening round and probably his fellow countryman and “King of the Aces” John Isner in the second. If he can survive Isner’s barrage we can’t see him having much trouble until a possible encounter with Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.
Although Dimitrov has bundles of talent he is extremely unreliable and the notorious ladies’ man probably has his mind else where a lot of the time.
Steve Johnson to win Quarter 2 at 25/1 is also a very enticing bet.
*All odds correct at time of posting