Wimbledon betting enters the penultimate round and on the women’s front it’s a startling last four line-up, one few predicted at the start of the tournament, so brutal has been the high profile carnage at Wimbledon. Join us as we breakdown the semi-final matchups and deliver our tennis free picks.
Down to the Last Four
The semi-final line-up took shape today and leading the charge into the finals is bookies’ favourite to win it all Petra Kvitova at +163. Romanian Rocket Simona Halep is having another standout slam and she emerges as a close second favourite to win outright at +200. Finally, Canadian rising star Eugenie Bouchard is nipping at their heels at +240. Only Lucie Safarova is listed as a clear long shot at +800 to win the Wimbledon title.
Petra Kvitova vs. Lucie Safarova
Analysis: It’s an all-Czech showdown between Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova in the Wimbledon semifinals on Thursday. It’s also an all-lefty clash between two mates and Fed Cup representatives for the Czech Republic, which should make for a rather interesting, if bittersweet contest.
Petra Kvitova is a former Wimbledon champion (2011), a quintessential grass player: big serving power player with penetrating ground strokes and flat out winners. She can blow hot and cold from time to time, has done so ever since her big win at the All England Club three years ago, but she’s decidedly blowing hot right now both as the bookies’ favourite to win it all at +163 and the favourite to beat Safarova at -250.
Lucie Safarova has been a revelation at this Wimbledon. A constant on the WTA Tour for many seasons and, for some time, a constant at Tomas Berdych’s side – until he traded her in for model Ester Satorova – Safarova has never put together quite such a run at a grand slam. To date, her best run was a quarterfinal at the Australian Open in 2007, the year she beat Amelie Mauresmo (now Andy Murray’s coach) in the fourth round 6-4, 6-3.
Clearly, this is unchartered territory for the lefty from Brno, Czech Republic. Appropriately, she’s tipped as the underdog at +188 to win outright at the expense of Kvitova, but not so large an underdog as one might expect given that she’s never beaten her higher ranked compatriot. Safarova trails 0-5 against Kvitova, a run of form that includes a 0-4 mark just on 2014, one of which was a three set loss in Eastbourne (a Wimbledon warm-up event). That said, all five matches were relatively close affairs, two of which went the distance.
Tennis Betting Verdict
There’s everything to play for yet where both these ladies are concerned. Odds makers have weighed in on the final four, deeming Kvitova the favourite largely down to her Grand Slam credentials – none of the other ladies has ever won a slam. But Kvitova can’t be taking anything for granted just because odds makers have theoretically handed her the title in Wimbledon betting markets. She has to get past an opponent she knows well and vice versa. The pressure is on Kvitova, which could be handicapping. Safarova, meanwhile, is the underdog with nothing to lose, which makes her dangerous. She has little experience at this stage, which could go against her or play in her favour. In more ways than one, this is a 50-50 shot.
Tennis Free Picks: Kvitova to win at -250 and in three sets at +250
Eugenie Bouchard vs. Simona Halep
Simona Halep is backing up her French Open runner-up finish by reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals. Most recently, she took out last year’s runner-up Sabine Lisicki in the quarterfinals, storming back from 1-4 down in the first set to take the match in straight sets. For good reason, Halep is the favourite at -150 to win outright. If there is anything that might go against her in the semi-finals, it’s the heavy strapping on her thigh. Clearly, the Romanian has been playing a lot of tennis, expending a lot of energy on court as well. It might all be catching up to her, which would be a huge shame. Her game is built on her athleticism and ability to chase down balls and extending rallies. If she’s hampered in any way in her movement against big-hitting Bouchard, it’s advantage to the Canadian.
Eugenie Bouchard reaches her third straight Grand Slam semi-final, underscoring her meteoric rise through the rankings as a legitimate contender in the women’s game. Bouchard cuts an attractive figure both on and off the court: her composure, self-confidence and belief are admirable for one so young and relatively inexperienced in the broad sense of the game. She’s certainly not a player to be underestimated as Angelique Kerber quickly found out in the quarters today. Kerber, who beat Sharapova in the fourth round, was thoroughly outplayed and outmuscled by Bouchard. You can back Bouchard to beat Halep at +120.
Tennis Betting Verdict
In more ways than one this is a 50-50 matchup as well. Halep was a finalist in Paris just last month, an experience that should help her here. Bouchard has yet to advance into the final of a Grand Slam. On paper, Halep is the correct favourite to win outright, a market cast underscored slightly by a 1-0 head-to-head edge gained earlier this year at Indian Wells. That said, if Halep is hampered at all or slightly injured, Bouchard might prove too much of a contest. It would be a real shame if that is the case because Halep won a lot of fans after her brilliant French Open final account against Sharapova. This doesn’t mean Bouchard wouldn’t deserve a crack at the title. On the contrary, she’s just as legitimate a contender for the title as is Halep and at +120 she’s priced well within a reasonable shot to reach the final. Let’s just hope it’s a good fight, is all.
Tennis Free Picks: Halep to win outright at -150 and in three sets at +250