Tennis Odds and Predictions: French Open and Wimbledon Futures
by Dave Schwab - 5/11/2011
The 2011 professional tennis season heats up over the next two months with the second and third legs of this year’s Grand Slam. The French Open from Paris gets underway later this month, with London’s Wimbledon right around the corner in late June.
Focusing on the men’s side of the sport, it currently appears to be a three-legged race with Rafael Nadal leading the way along with Novak Djokovic giving chase and Roger Federer tagging along for the ride. Bodog has opened Nadal as a prohibitive 2/5 favorite to win in Paris and a more approachable favorite for Wimbledon at 3/2.
Nadal remains ranked No. 1 in the world, but he is coming off a loss to Djokovic in the finals of the Madrid Open and is in danger of losing the top spot if he fails to at least reach the semifinals of this week’s Italian Open. He has won twice this season, but he also lost to Djokovic in the finals of the ATP Sony Ericsson Open and the ATP BNP Paribas Open.
Last year he won the French Open with a victory over Robin Soderling in straight sets in the finals and finished off Tomas Berdych in straight sets to claim the Wimbledon title as well, so it is easy to understand how he is favored to repeat this year. Unfortunately, a new nemesis on the horizon is starting to suck out what little value his current odds have. By his own admission, Nadal has all but conceded the No.1 ranking to the up and coming 23 year-old Serb, but he is not ready to concede two of the most coveted titles in the sport.
Djokovic has been opened as the second favorite to win the French Open at 5/2 and is the third favorite to win Wimbledon at 7/2. His recent straight-set romp over Lukasz Kubot in the first round of the Italian Open was his 33 straight victory this season and keeps John McEnroe’s record of a 42-0 start in 1984 within sight. He also has a win in this year’s first Grand Slam event; the Australian Open under his belt, after beating Andy Murray in straight sets.
Last year he bowed out of the French Open in the quarterfinals in an epic match against Jurgen Melzer and lost to Berdych in the semifinals at Wimbledon. Djokovic proved he has what it takes to bring down Nadal in Paris after beating him on clay in Madrid last week, so there is definite value in his tennis odds to win this year’s French Open. How he fares on the grass courts of Wimbledon remains to be seen, but there is still tremendous value at 7/1 given the way he is currently playing, according to my predictions.
Before you start penciling in Nadal and Djokovic all the way through the brackets to the finals in these two events, you still have to take into consideration the third leg in this race and former No.1 player in the world; Roger Federer. He has been opened as the third favorite to win in Paris at 7/1, but remains Nadal’s main competition in London as the second favorite to win Wimbledon at 3/1.
He is currently ranked third in the world, but the gap between himself and the top two spots continues to widen. Federer has already lost to Nadal in the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open and last week’s Madrid Open, and he has lost three times this season to Djokovic, including a three-set exit in the semifinals of the Australian Open.
Federer still remains a factor in any Grand Slam event after long and illustrious career in these events, but at 29 years of age, his best days are clearly behind him. Last year he did not make it past the quarterfinals in either event after sweeping the two titles in 2009. The value in this year’s odds is just not there for Paris, but it be worth taking a small flyer on the former champion on the grass courts of Wimbledon.
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