of the Betting Pile
Predictably, Serena Williams leads the tennis betting pile at Wimbledon. This marks the third Grand Slam this season in which Serena, the current World No.1, is the top favourite to win outright. However, taking some of the shine off her fancied +138 odds is the fact that the American starlet is 0-2 in the last two Grand Slams. The Australian Open had Serena fixed as the player to beat. And so she was, beaten by Ana Ivanovic in the R16. Similarly, as the defending French Open champion, she was the player to beat in Paris. Once again, she was beaten. This time, her defeat was a shocking second round upset to an unheralded (but very talented) Garbine Muguruza. So, is Serena Williams the best tennis pick of the lot? Keep in mind she failed in her bid for a sixth Wimby last year, beaten by Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round.
Top seed Serena Williams leads the charge in the market and, despite her less than stellar season, she’ll most likely rank amongst the top picks in tennis betting circles. Cautious optimists, though, might fancy other tempting options, either as a straight up tennis pick or in an each-way bet.
Most likely Alternatives to Serena
Maria Sharapova, matched at +600, is flush off her fifth Grand Slam title, winning the French Open at the expense of rising star Simona Halep (+1400). A decade ago, Sharapova burst onto the scene and beat Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final to claim her maiden Grand Slam. Her form this season is convincing and she’s playing some of the best tennis of her career. But can she pull off the cross-Channel double? It’s easier said than done, especially when the Russian has been set on a collision course with Serena Williams in the quarterfinals, a player she hasn’t beaten in exactly a decade. Seeded fifth and in the same quarter as her biggest nemesis, Sharapova might need a helping hand, not unlike the one she received in Paris, courtesy of Garbine Murguruza who dispensed of Serena in the second round.
Petra Kvitova is listed as the third favourite at +1200 and the tandem of Li Na and Simona Halep come in as co-fourth favourites to win outright at +1400. With respect to former champion Kvitova (2011) and reigning Australian Open champion Li Na, form is a question mark. Kvitova hasn’t quite figured things out since winning her maiden title, while the Chinese star has lost some of her punch since winning in Oz. As such, neither presents a convincing prospect on your tennis picks. Besides, both are drawn into the same quarter (fourth) and could very well cancel each other out in the quarterfinals; that is, if they aren’t dumped prematurely by another. Meanwhile, Simona Halep’s meteoric rise and form are undoubtedly behind her favourable price tag. But is she worth shopping at Wimbledon? Grass isn’t her strongest surface because the fast pace of the slick surface is a real challenge to overcome with her counterpunching style.
In two previous appearances, Halep only went as far as the second round. Following her runner-up finish in Paris, however, where she played some delightful tennis and gave Sharapova a real for her money, punters fancy her going deeper, which makes her an ideal tennis pick to go deep, at least to the quarters.
Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska ring in as the co-fifth favourites at +1600. Radwanska is a former Wimbledon runner-up (2012), so she’s always a threat on this surface. Azarenka, however, hasn’t clocked in a lot of match play since being sidelined in March with a reoccurring foot injury, so she’s a soft fifth favourite. Then again, the Belarusian is a fiery competitor, one of few players in the current game that doesn’t fear the mighty Serena. She’s made the semis of Wimbledon on a couple of occasions (2011 and 2012), and it’s a surface that suits her game fine. As the eighth seed, she’s fallen into the third quarter of the draw, which looks to be a rather good draw. There are some potential minefields along the way, but she’s avoided most of the biggest threats in the game.
Potential Value Contenders and Big-Priced Outside Plays
Potential value plays involve those familiar names on the WTA Tour, established players that we all know have the potential to go deep in Wimbledon but that aren’t always consistent. Still, they could present alternative options to spot on your tennis picks.
One such that practically leaps off the page is Ana Ivanovic (+2800), who is flush off a grass court title in the lead up to Wimby. Ivanovic has a win over Serena earlier this year. She’s been playing some relaxed, confident tennis and looms dangerous in the second quarter, which is bookended by Halep and Jankovic. Ivanovic could certainly emerge out of this quarter given her current form.
Also in the same section is Wimby master and last year’s finalist Sabine Lisicki (+2500). Where the German is concerned, no matter how poorly she plays all season long, something about the luscious lawns of the All England Club brings the best out of her. As such, she’s one to watch. Another German to watch is Angelique Kerber (+4000), who finished runner-up in Eastbourne this week.
Dominika Cibulkova (+6600) reached the quarters in 2011. Given that she’s playing some of the best tennis of her career – she reached the Australian Open final – she could very well light up at Wimby. She’s in Azarenka-Radwanska’s quarter, which is definitely a wide-open section.
In-form, Big-Priced Outside Plays to Do Some Damage
Madison Keys (+4000), rising American just won her maiden WTA title in Eastbourne. Eugenie Bouchard (+2200) has reached back-to-back semis this season. Can she make it three in a row at the Grand Slam level when she’s in Serena’s quarter, slated to collide with the American in the fourth round? Czech tandem of Klara Koukalova (+50000) and Tereza Smitkova (+100000) are players to spot in the early rounds. Andrea Petkovic (+25000) was a French Open semi-finalist this year, her career enjoying a renaissance.
Tennis Betting Verdict
Wimbledon appears to be a wide-open affair on the women’s front. Serena remains the popular tennis pick. If the past two Grand Slams are anything to go by, it’s wise to hedge your bets in the women’s game. A whole slew of ladies strike an attractive pose in Wimbledon betting markets, of which our faves are Sharapova, Ivanovic and Bouchard.