We’re only a week into Wimbledon 2019 but the storylines have flowed like cream over Kent strawberries. (I’d prefer the County Wexford variety myself but there’s no need to have an international incident in the first paragraph.)
We’ve already seen defending champ Angie Kerber crash out, while a 15-year-old prodigy has lit up SW19 and the BBC’s ratings.
There was more Grand Slam pain for Sascha Zverev, but Jo Konta has very much rediscovered her major mojo. And there’s Serandy of course, which will be the story of the tournament if Serena Williams and Andy Murray go on to lift the mixed doubles championship.
As we enter week two, I’ve picked out a favourite from each singles draw and a couple of outsiders to watch.
Favourite: Novak Djokovic – 8/11
Having made it through the first week relatively unscathed, the defending champion looks ready to raise his level and claim a place in yet another final.
On Monday, Djokovic will face world no.66 Ugo Humbert for a place in an 11th Wimbledon quarter-final. If he beats the Frenchman as expected, I can’t see Fernando Verdasco or David Goffin stopping the world no.1 from a spot in the last four.
As for the semi-final, 2016 finalist Milos Raonic may just be slight favourite to emerge from the second quarter. Djokovic will hardly fear that encounter though since he holds a 9-0 lead in their head-to-head record.
If there is to be one banana skin for the Serb, it could be Roberto Bautista Agut who has already beaten Djokovic twice in 2019.
Outsider: Matteo Berrettini – 60/1
I expect Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to make up the second semi-final, but if there is to be a surprise, this Italian could cause it. Berrettini has had a superb 18 months, rising from 130 in the rankings in January 2018 to a current high of 20.
The 23-year-old has already won two titles this season, including Stuttgart on the grass. He’s set to meet Federer in the fourth round and they’ve never met before.
In the unlikely event that the Swiss has a subpar day, Berrettini could just be this year’s Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Kevin Anderson.
Favourite: Karolina Pliskova – 10/3
I could have put a number of names here. The next lady to lift the Venus Rosewater dish could easily be Ash Barty, Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep or perhaps Jo Konta.
I’ve gone for the Czech because she’s playing well and has a more straightforward route to the final.
If Pliskova can manage to beat her lower-ranked compatriot Karolina Muchova in the fourth round, she will probably have to duke it out with familiar foes Elina Svitolina (quarters) and Simona Halep (semis).
She could of course lose to either player but this surface favours her game more than theirs. All the grass court specialists are in the top half so Pliskova has a superb shot at making her second major final.
Outsider: Jo Konta – 16/1
After some disappointing warm-up tournaments on the grass, the Brit has found form at the perfect time. Her performance against Sloane Stephens in the third round, where she recovered from a losing position, was very impressive.
Up next, she will take on two-time champion Petra Kvitova. Konta is a very solid opponent and if Kvitova has one of her erratic days, the 28-year-old can take advantage.
If Konta survives that contest, she would be confident of beating either Elise Mertens or Barbora Strycova in the last eight.
How she would love to get a crack at another Wimbledon semi-final.
* All odds correct at time of posting.