Mon, Jul 2, 12:05pm by Staff Writer
The 132nd Wimbledon Championships begin tonight from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London.
Roger Federer is the overwhelming favourite at $2.75 to claim his ninth Wimbledon crown and is the defending champion after defeating Marin Cilic in 2017.
Federer’s path to the second week looks straightforward enough, with 11th seed Sam Querrey a potential fourth round opponent.
An opening round match against Dusan Lajovic should provide few problems for Federer, with a match against Eastbourne finalist Lucas Lacko in the second round looking likely.
Novak Djokovic’s comeback appears to be hitting its straps, with the Serbian reaching the final of Queen’s Club a fortnight ago.
Despite losing that final in three sets to Marin Cilic, the 12th seeded Djokovic is a three-time Wimbledon champion at $6.50 to take out the title this year.
Dominic Thiem is a high-seed awaiting him in the fourth round, but the Austrian is unproven on grass, with only a 14-14 career record. He is paying $51 to win Wimbledon and not worth a shot on his least-favoured surface.
Croatia’s Marin Cilic made the 2017 Wimbledon final before succumbing to blisters and will need to overcome his mental demons if he is to defeat Roger Federer on his way to his first Wimbledon crown.
Cilic also lost to Federer in the Australian Open final this year, but has seen plenty of support to win the title at Wimbledon, moving in from $8.50 to $7.50 in the outright market.
He is third-in-line behind Federer and Djokovic and brings winning form into the tournament after taking out the Queen’s Club title in three sets a fortnight ago.
Cilic has the game on grass to go far in this tournament, with his potential semi-final against Federer most likely to decide the tournament winner.
The third seed is likely to face a big server in the likes of Josh Isner or Milos Raonic in the fourth round and should have few problems in the opening week of the tournament.
French Open champion Rafael Nadal is not out of his depth on grass after winning Wimbled in 2008 and 2010.
The Spaniard is $8 to take out the title this year but has not played a lead-up event on grass and may be a scratchy proposition at such short odds.
The second-seed has a tricky draw, with a potential third round match against Australian youngster Alex De Minaur who has taken a liking to grass, or Eastbourne champ Mischa Zverev.
At such a short price, there is better value than taking Nadal in the outrights at Wimbledon this year.
Home favourite Andy Murray withdrew from the tournament, which leaves big serving Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro and Alex Zverev as the next best priced at $17 along with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.
Both Del Potro and Zverev are big servers, with neither enjoying sustained success on the grass in their career thus far.
Del Potro’s best result came in 2013 when he reached the semi-finals, but he was bundled out in 2016 and 2017 as a short priced favourite by Lucas Pouille and Ernests Gulbis.
With only one lead-up match on grass, it is hard to justify a bet on the Tower of Tandil.
Zverev’s best result at the tournament acme last year when he reached the round of 16, but he had an easy draw in the lead up to his round of 16 loss to the Milos Raonic.
In addition, prior to back-to-back five set wins at the French Open, he had a poor record in best-of-five set tennis against top 50 opposition.
A loss to Halle champion Borna Coric and an exhibition win against the grass-poor Pablo Carreno Busta does little to inspire confidence in Zverev capturing his maiden Grand Slam title.
As for Kyrgios, his level has fluctuated this season as the Aussie deals with an elbow injury. He lost in a final set tiebreak to Roger Federer in the Stuttgart semi-final before a 7-6 7-6 loss to Cilic in the Queen’s Club semi-final a fortnight ago. Kyrgios has the game on grass, but has yet to show the mental fortitude over a fortnight tournament.
Halle champion Borna Coric is paying $51 to take out an unlikely first Grand Slam, with big serving South African Kevin Anderson another priced at big odds who is not adverse to the fast conditions.
With Cilic in form, injury free and with the desire to win his maiden Wimbledon crown, he is priced with tremendous value and our pick for the title.
Best bet- Marin Cilic to win Wimbledon at $7.50
Value bet- To reach the final Novak Djokovic at $3.40
Other bet- Most tournament aces Milos Raonic at $3.28
Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Outright Winner – Sportsbet
Roger Federer $2.75
Novak Djokovic $6.50
Marin Cilic $7.50
Rafael Nadal $8
Juan Martin Del Potro $17
Alexander Zverev $17
Nick Kyrgios $17
Milos Raonic $26
Kevin Anderson $51
Borna Coric $51
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