It's rarely too early to have a peek at tennis futures markets for upcoming majors. In this column, we look at the Wimbledon Championships Gentlemen's odds to win outright.
The 2015 Grass Season Extended
The grass swing is set to take up six weeks of the tennis calendar this year, a scheduling extension that is sure to impact both the tennis betting markets and those looking to clinch the coveted 2015 Wimbledon title. Importantly, players will benefit from an additional week between the French Open and Wimbledon Championships, allowing more time to rest and recover in between the cross-Channel majors.
The Big Four Lead The Charge
Not surprisingly, defending champion Novak Djokovic enters the Wimbledon futures market as the favorite. The two-time Wimbledon champion is matched at +175 tennis odds to successfully defend his title at the All England Club this summer. Adding weight to his current favoritism is his stellar start to the season, which includes winning the Australian Open title in January.
British hopeful Andy Murray emerges as the second favorite to win despite not winning any majors since the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. Nevertheless, the Scot has been competitive reaching the quarters or better in the six majors he competed in after his historical achievement at the All England Club. His best results include semi-final appearances at the 2014 French Open (l. to Nadal) and the 2015 Australian Open (l. to Djokovic).
Seven-time Roger Federer is deemed the third favorite in early tennis futures for the 2015 Wimbledon Championships matched at +550. Some might say that it's only a symbolic gesture acknowledging his dominance over the event, when the reality is his last win at the luscious lawns came in 2012. This may not be entirely off the mark, but there's no denying Federer is at the top of the game and he remains a contender in every event he enters. Not including him in the mix of top contenders would be a blatant disregard of all he's accomplished, past and present. Besides, seven titles at one major is nothing to scoff at. Such is his pedigree on grass.
Rafael Nadal aptly rounds out the Big Four on the tennis betting board as the fourth favorite at +650 to win outright. Of all the top contenders, the Spaniard probably is going to benefit the most from the extended grass court season. Nadal is one of few players to have pulled off the cross-Channel double – winning both the French Open and Wimbledon title in succession in 2008 and 2010. In recent years, however, Nadal's Wimbledon accounts have left much to be desired, prompting many to wonder whether his focus on winning as many French Opens as he possibly can comes at the expense of winning more Wimbledon titles.
According to the odds makers, Grigor Dimitrov, Stanislas Wawrinka and Marin Cilic are the next best bets after the fondly looked upon Big Four. Dimitrov is priced the shortest of this triplet at +1000 while Wawrinka and Cilic are matched at +2000 tennis odds each. That Dimitrov is priced shorter than Wawrinka and Cilic, both of whom are major champions, is somewhat baffling. What's more, Wawrinka came close to winning his second major earlier this season, only to fall short in the fifth set to Djokovic.
Wawrinka is not the only player to be snubbed by odds makers, Tomas Berdych is also on the receiving end of this discourteous treatment matched at slightly larger +2500 tennis odds Then again, Berdych has built a reputation for being a bit of a choker when push comes to shove and the stakes are high. Perhaps his new coach Dani Vallverdu (formerly in the Murray camp) will help him get over that hurdle. Early indications are positive this season and he was in fine form in Melbourne before falling to Murray in the quarterfinals.
The Czech's valuation puts him on par with Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic, two rising stars in the game. Although few tennis bettors will take issue with Nishikori's tennis odds, they might do so with Raonic, who seems overinflated at +2500. Not only has the Canadian yet to reach a final of a major, he's also yet to beat a player of note at a major. Until that happens, it's hard to consider him as a possible contender in the mix.
The rest of the field falls into the so-called outsider's category. In other words, long shot bets to win the title. There are a many interesting names in this mix that tennis bettors might want to pay close attention to for their tennis picks this summer, particularly through the match betting rounds. These include Richard Gasquet (+20000), Nick Kyrgios (+4000), Bernard Tomic (+10000), Jerzy Janowicz, Borna Coric (+15000), amongst several others.
One name that practically leaps off the page is David Ferrer at absurd +12500 tennis odds. There is no way the veteran Spaniard deserves to priced out of the Wimbledon tennis betting market so dramatically. He's one of few players that has a title on every surface, including grass. What's more, he's one of the most consistent performers in the game and has gone as far as the quarters at Wimbledon previously. This year, he's off to a flying start winning three titles: Doha, Rio de Janeiro and Acapulco. Consider his chances to make an impression at this year's Wimbledon Championships if he continues on this furious pace.
Tennis Betting Verdict: Trading on futures can be volatile, complex and a risky venture with non-entities, unheralded players that are yet unproven at the majors. Fact is there hasn't been an unheralded player to win a major since Nadal pulled off the feat as a 17-year-old in his first French Open appearance. It could happen at any given major, but given the quality and depth of the men's tour and the strength of the Big Four it does appear unlikely. Indeed, with four tried and tested Wimbledon champions in the mix Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, tennis bettors would do well to tickle either one or a select choice few for the upcoming Wimbledon Championships.