Wimbledon, the most interesting and exciting of the four Grand Slams for my money, starts on Monday and runs through July 8. Novak Djokovic will look to defend his title on the men’s side, while Petra Kvitova is the defending champ in the wide open and chaotic ladies field. Here are few names that stand out on both sides along with some 2012 Wimbledon predictions (all odds are from Bovada)
As we have come to expect, the story here is three guys against the world. Novak Djokovic is at 7/4 to win it all, with Rafael Nadal at 2/1 and Roger Federer at 7/2. No one else in the field is at lower than 13/2. The big three have won 28 of the last 29 Grand Slam tournaments, so you would have to have a pretty good reason to bet against any of them. All three looked pretty good in the French Open as well, so their form is solid.
Betting on those three is solid, but isn’t particularly exciting. Let’s take a look, then, for guys who may not win it all, but who should do some damage — and make bettors some money — along the way.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (25/1)
At this price Tsonga may be the biggest steal on the board. He played very well against Djokovic in Paris, and he is much better on grass than on clay. Last year he beat Federer at Wimbledon, so he likes the tournament and he can obviously handle pressure and attention. He needs to show that he can take things to the next level and actually close one of these things out, but he has the game to get it done. A matchup with Nadal looms in the quarters, but he should be able to get there without really breaking a sweat.
Milos Raonic (20/1)
He’s the 21st seed in this tournament, yet he has been bet down until he is the fifth choice in the futures. Clearly I’m not the only one who likes my fellow Canadian. He’s young and increasingly impressive. He has yet to have a big Grand Slam breakthrough, but he has won his share of tournaments and beat the big guys along the way. Last year at Wimbledon he hurt himself and ended his year, so he’ll be hungry for revenge. He leads the ATP in aces this year, so his serve will be a big asset here. His path won’t be very easy — he would face Andy Murray in the fourth round, and the winner of that Nadal-Tsonga match in the semis — but things are pretty smooth outside of that, and he has the potential to be the story of the tournament. He’s going to win one of these before he’s done.
Tomas Berdych (33/1)
Here’s another guy who offers some decent value in the futures. All you have to do is think back to 2010 at Wimbledon. That year he beat Djokovic and Federer to make the final. Obviously he likes the place and the surface. He’s had a mostly strong year, and he’s confident. He faces a rematch with Djokovic in the quarters, but really couldn’t have a much smoother route to getting there.
The women’s field isn’t as clear as the men’s. In fact, it’s bit of a mess. Serena Williams is the favorite at 11/4 despite only being the sixth-seed and coming off the worst Grand Slam showing of her career in the French Open. It’s hard to tell where he head is going to be at here. She could win it all without dropping a set, or she could lose in her opener. Neither would surprise me. Maria Sharapova is also at 11/4 fresh off her French Open win. She has lacked consistency lately, so it’s hard to trust that she will be ready for her best here. The uncertainty up top opens up the possibility for a longer shot to pay off. Here are a couple who could do some damage:
Victoria Azarenka (6/1)
She’s comparatively undervalued here — she’s the second seed, yet she goes off at 6/1. She was a semifinalist here at Wimbledon last year, and she won the Australian Open and made a solid run in the French, so she is confident and ready to go. In the Australian final she totally crushed Sharapova, so she isn’t going to be intimidated. Anything can happen in women’s tennis these days, but she certainly has the potential to go all the way.
Caroline Wozniacki (20/1)
This Danish star offers good value at her price. She has yet to win a slam, but she has been a semifinalist three times and a finalist once, so she can compete. She’s a model of consistency here at Wimbledon — she has reached the fourth round each of the last three years. She has the draw to make it at least that far again, and she should be useful as someone to trust in early matches if nothing else.
Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of member’s picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please for any handicapper and any sport on Doc’s Sports Advisory Board list of expert sports handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.