Thu, Jul 13, 10:31am by Senior Writer
They say luck comes from hard work, and there’s no doubt that Roger Federer, now a $1.33 favourite to win the men’s Wimbledon title, has earned his fair slice of fortune from a remarkable career.
But the Swiss maestro couldn’t have dreamt the Wimbledon quarter finals would fall in a way which saw the top two seeds depart, while long-time adversary Rafael Nadal lost in the fourth round.
It leaves the 35-year-old in a brilliant and almost unbackable position to win his eighth Wimbledon title, with another veteran, Tomas Berdych, his semi-final opponent, while Marin Cilic and Sam Querrey will play in the other semi-final.
The women’s semis are much more open, with Garbine Muguruza, who plays world No.89 Magdalena Rybarikova, the $2.50 tournament favourite ahead of local hope Johanna Konta, who is $3.25 and plays 37-year-old Venus Williams ($4) in her semi-final.
There’s much more betting intrigue in the women’s final four, and we think Williams represents the superior value at $1.94 in her match against the Australian-born Brit.
These two have met on five previous occasions, with Konta ($1.86) leading the head-to head ledger at 3-2, although they have never played on grass.
Williams prevailed in their most recent clash at the Rome Masters in three tight sets, while their only Grand Slam meeting was at last year’s Australian Open, where Konta knocked out Williams in the first round.
Our confidence in Williams comes from her experience. It’s easy to forget she’s s five-time champion here, albeit her last title was back in 2008, while she has dropped just one set in her tournament to date and impressed in defeating in-form French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarters.
Konta has played three tough three-setters in her five matches so far and does not have the experience of peaking this late in a Grand Slam.
Rybarikova has had a sensational tournament, but her run should end with Muguruza, who has knocked out a couple of handy players in Angelique Kerber and Svetlana Kuznetsova in her past two matches.
Rybarikova beat Muguruza on the grass at Birmingham a couple of years back, but it’s hard to see her repeating that here.
The feeling is the men’s matches will go the way of the favourites.
Federer is $1.13 to beat Berdych ($6.05) having won 18 of their 24 head to head clashes, including the past seven. Berdych did cause of one Wimbledon’s great upsets back in 2010 when he beat Federer in the quarters, but that was a long time ago and Fed is in red hot form having not dropped a set yet.
In Berdych’s favour is that he got a free pass through the quarters when Novak Djokovic withdrew with a shoulder injury in the second set.
The other semi will be much tighter, but we slightly favour Cilic, who has a 4-0 record over Querrey.
Both have strong service games and back in 2012 played out an epic third round match which was decided 17-15 in the fifth set. They also played a Wimbledon five-setter back in 2009.
Those feeling like the $1.28 about Cilic is a bit skinny might consider backing the Croatian to win in five sets at $6.50. Querrey has played three consecutive five setters and has defied the bookies each time to win.
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