The Ladies Wimbledon Championships are set to get underway on Monday. Join us as we preview the draw along with the tennis odds and serve up our choice picks.
Wimbledon Betting Board
Hold the front page! Serena Williams is the short-odds-on favourite to win the 2015 Wimbledon Championships. Shocker!
Serena Williams enters the Wimbledon betting markets as the player to beat at +150. Defending champion Petra Kvitova comes in as the second favourite to win a third Wimby crown at +350 while former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova is matched as the whopping +1000 tennis pick at bet365. Will one of these top three favourites come through on their respective tennis odds or is there a champion lurking elsewhere in the draw?
Here we look at the four quarters of the draw and the corresponding tennis odds to win each respective quarter.
First Quarter: Serena -275 to win Quarter
Serena Williams is undeniably the player to beat at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships. The American won both the Aussie Open and the French Open, half of the majors on offer in given season already. She's gunning for a third straight major, marking an incredible 21st Grand Slam title in her career if she's to pull off the feat by the end of the fortnight.
Serena's draw is no picnic, however, with several big hitters strewn along her path, including her sister Venus Williams and two-time Aussie Open champion Victoria Azarenka. Indeed, this is one of the toughest draws of the season for Serena.
Serena opens her campaign against a qualifier, Margarita Gasparyan and the she could take on the winner of Timea Babos and Petra Cetkovska. In the third round, things get slightly tougher with either No. 32 seed Carolina Garcia (+5000 to win quarter), Daniela Hantuchova, Dominika Cibulkova or Heather Watson emerging. Nothing though is going to be more difficult than the fourth round where she could meet big sister No. 14 Venus Williams (+1800 to win quarter) or No.19 Sara Errani, amongst several others. Should Serena survive these early obstacles, she could find herself going toe-to-toe with either Victoria Azarenka (+750 to win quarter), Belinda Bencic (+1400) or Ana Ivanovic (+1800) in the quarterfinals, amongst several others.
Tennis Betting Verdict: Obviously, Serena is the smart choice to win the first quarter at -275. However, there are several players, including her sister Venus Williams, that could throw a spanner in the works. Those looking for alternative bets to win this quarter should consider Venus Williams at +1800 or Victoria Azarenka at +750 on their tennis picks.
Tennis Picks: Serena Williams -275
Outside Tennis Picks: Victoria Azarenka +750 or Venus Williams +1800
Second Quarter: Maria Sharapova +120 To Win Quarter
Maria Sharapova enters as the top favourite to win the second quarter, but she's sure to get a run for her money by Lucie Safarova at +450, Sloane Stephens at +600 and Karolina Pliskova at +800, to name a few.
On paper, Sharapova's corner of the draw looks advantageous. From the first few rounds that loom navigable for the Russian starlet, the sort that will allow her to warm up nicely for the later rounds, especially since she's elected not to play any warm-up events in the lead up to Wimbledon. To the third round where she's slated to come up against Irina-Camelia Begu, and the fourth round where things could get slightly trickier but not insurmountable if Flavia Pennetta or Andrea Petkovic (both at +2000 to win the quarter) emerge.
On the flipside of the quarter, compatriots Lucie Safarova and Karolina Pliskova are slated to collide in the fourth round, which would be a popcorn matchup. Strewn in between these two sensational players are several outstanding dark horses, including another Czech Barbora Strycova and American hopeful Sloane Stephens. This section of the quarter is the toughest and it could yield either one of these ladies or, even, a surprise altogether.
Tennis Betting Verdict: One has to like Sharapova's chances to reach the quarterfinals, but she won't have it so easy from then onwards. Last year's Wimbledon semi-finalist Lucie Safarova beat Sharapova at the French Open R16 earlier this month, so she'll fancy her chances if she gets another crack at Masha. Others that could give the Russian trouble include Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova, a pair of long shots that could emerge shake things up in the top half of the draw.
Tennis Picks: Maria Sharapova +120
Outside Tennis Pick: Karolina Pliskova +800
Third Quarter: Halep, Lisicki and Kerber joint faves to win at +300
The third quarter is the most wide open according to bookies with three players earmarked as likely winners: Simona Halep, Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber all priced at +300 tennis odds to win this section. Reality is that there are a whole slew of players in this section that are potentially capable of shaking things up, if not winning it outright. These are Caroline Wozniacki (+600), Garbine Muguruza (+2000) and Timea Bacsinszky (+1400), to name a few. Other worthwhile tennis picks, albeit long shots, include Kristyna Pliskova (+25000), Katerina Siniakova (+20000), Tereza Smitkova (+20000), Denisa Allertova (+20000) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (+3300). As well, big hitters Camila Giorgi (+2000) and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (+6600).
Tennis Betting Verdict: Of all the sections, this is the toughest to handicap. Undoubtedly, there are sure to be many upsets along the way before we reach the last eight. For our money, we like the look of Sabine Lisicki, Caroline Wozniacki and Time Bacsinszky. But we're feeling no joy here with any of these tennis picks.
Tennis Picks: Sabine Lisicki +300
Outside Tennis Picks: Caroline Wozniaki +600 or Garbine Muguruza +2000
Fourth Quarter: Petra Kvitova +100 To Win Quarter
Defending champion Petra Kvitova falls into the fourth quarter of the draw, along with Wimby runner-up Eugenie Bouchard, Australian Open semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova and former Wimby runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, amongst several others. To all intents and purposes, it's a navigable quarter by the Czech starlet, so long as she plays up to her full potential. One never really knows with her though. Consistency isn't her middle name, but she's gotten better over the last few seasons.
Kvitova first couple of rounds look manageable with Kiki Bertens in the first round followed by the winner of Nara Kurumi vs. Magda Linette in the second round. In the third round, things get tougher with a potential clash against former World No.1 Jelena Jankovic. In the fourth round, things could get dicey in her title defence campaign if she faces off against Agnieszka Radwanska or Elina Svitolina emerge. Finally, in the quarterfinals, she could face either Ekaterina Makarova, Alize Cornet, Madison Keys or Eugenie Bouchard (amongst others), the latter of which would be a rematch of the Wimbledon final last year and would be the must-see match of the quarter.
Tennis Betting Verdict: When it comes to the major stage, Petra Kvitova plays her best tennis at the All England Club, where she's won two titles (2011 and 2014). She's definitely the player to beat in this section, which makes her a solid tennis pick at +100. Often in the women's game, things just don't go to plan. The door is open in this section for a whole slew of players to emerge, including outside tennis picks Agnieszka Radwanska (+400), Madison Keys (+1200), Ekaterina Makarova (+1600) and Elina Svitolina (+5000).
Tennis Pick: Petra Kvitova +100
Outside Tennis Pick: Madison Keys +1200