Familial Ties that bind
No family has dominated Wimbledon as thoroughly as the Williams family has – both sisters have won five titles apiece with Serena Williams winning three of the last four, including last year’s. Given these strong familial ties to Wimbledon, it should come as no surprise that a Williams is listed as the hot favourite to win outright across all sportsbook platforms.
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Serena Williams charges into yet another Grand Slam as the favourite to win outright, but this time around (unlike the lead up to the French Open) she’s a runaway favourite on the short side of even money, cornering the market with betting odds of -188 to win outright at both Bet365 and William Hill.
Serena is vying for an incredible sixth title. She’s flush off an impressive run at the French Open that culminated with a title victory, her second career French Open. Many believe her win in Paris to be one of the great accomplishments of her career after factoring her age, her many disappointments over the previous years at the French Open (it’s her least favourite surface) and the quality of her opponent in the final Maria Sharapova, who dominates the delicate WTA flowers as comprehensively as she is dominated by Serena and who entered the final as the defending champion.
All this and more (no need to wax lyrical about Serena is there?) has many wondering whether anybody can stop her at the All England Club. The evidence suggests: No.
Serena Williams is soaring at the top of the WTA rankings, she’s trimmer and fitter than she has been in a long time and, perhaps more importantly, she appears to be passionate about tennis again. Six years ago Chris Evert called out Serena in an Open Letter, accusing her of not putting 100% effort into her tennis and practically begging her to rethink her career decisions for the sake of posterity and her legacy and the place she’ll eventually occupy in history. No such doubt about her exists today. Why even Evert called her the greatest player ever after winning the French Open.
Sharapova and the WTA wilting flowers
Maria Sharapova rings in as the second favourite for the title in London but a distant second at that, listed at tennis odds of +500 at William Hill and a slightly larger +550 at Bet365. Sharapova won Wimbledon for the first time exactly a decade ago when she shocked Serena Williams in the final 6-1, 6-4 – one of her two lone wins against the American juggernaut. In 2011, Sharapova was a finalist but she lost to up-and-comer Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-4. Last year, Sharapova lost to Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round 6-4, 6-3.
Sharapova reached the final of the French Open earlier this month, marking the first time in her career that she ever managed to give herself a shot at defending a major title. Though she wasn’t successful she competed well enough and while she didn’t take a set off her as she did in Miami earlier this year, both those accounts showed that she can (on occasion) play with Serena and stay with her throughout a match. Overall, the prognosis is positive and that makes her a viable play to win the Wimbledon Championships. Of course, best case scenario for Sharapova might be a Serena-less final (hope springs eternal, so they say).
Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka, are the only other two names that can be found on the board at sportsbooks with triple digit odds. Well, it depends on which sportsbook. Odds makers seem divided where Kvitova is concerned as she is listed at +600 at William Hill but a whopping +1000 at Bet365. On Azarenka’s chances there seems to be a consensus with most sportsbooks listing her at +550 betting odds.
Petra Kvitova was a champion at the All England Club two years ago. Last year, she lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5. Azarenka, meanwhile, reached the semi-finals last year only to lose to none other but Serena Williams 6-3, 7-6 (6).
Tennis Betting Verdict: Where the women’s game is concerned, the smart tennis betting choice is to back Serena Williams to win a sixth Wimbledon title. Of that there is no doubt. But is it a foregone conclusion. Anything can happen. Remember, Serena went out in the Australian Open this year to Sloane Stephens, a result nobody would have predicted. If the unthinkable happens yet again, in hindsight the value plays may prove to be one of the other top four favourites. So best to maybe bank on some now while they are all temptingly priced at +500 and up. Take your pick, each is well worth the trip to the bookies.
Tennis Free Picks: Sharapova at +500