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Wimbledon Men’s Preview: Fed both defying and chasing history

Sat, Jul 1, 2:35pm by Senior Writer

Roger Federer has an amazing record at Wimbledon, but the Swiss maestro will have his work cut out to live up to his tag of favouritism and win his eighth title at the All-England club.

Federer, who won this year’s Australian Open to make it 18 career Grand Slam titles, remains well supported as a $3.25 favourite for Wimbledon, but has come up with a potentially tricky draw.

Standing between the 35-year-old and yet another title are possible match-ups with Alex Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic and Novak Djokovic.

While Federer is in good form, having won his traditional warm-up event at Halle last week, it is unlikely the draw will fall in his favour at it did in Australia, where he captured his first Grand Slam win since his last victory here in 2012.
WATCH: Our Preview of Wimbledon 2017

The man he beat in that final, Rafael Nadal, went on to win the French Open in utterly dominant fashion. Nadal had an arduous clay court season but is second pick at $5.50 despite having not made it past the fourth round here since he was beaten by Djokovic in the 2011 final.

He is certainly not the same grass court player he was in his 20s when he made the final here five times in a row, winning titles in 2008 and 2010.

He finds himself in the same half of the draw as world No.1 Andy Murray, but the defending champion is under a major fitness query and has been beaten by Nadal all three times they have played on the revered Wimbledon grass.

Murray suffered a shock first round defeat to Aussie Jordan Thompson at Queen’s after making the semi-finals at Roland Garros. He is $6 third pick.

Djokovic, a three-time winner here, has lost his edge over the past 12 months, but made the final at Nottingham and has been kept safe around the $7 mark. Certainly if he was able to get back near his best, he’d be a huge show, and his path through the first week looks fairly straight forward.

There’s a big gap in the market between the ‘big four’ and the rest, with Marin Cilic next in the market at $17. You would think Wimbledon would be an ideal surface for Cilic and while he has made the quarters here the last three years, he has never made it further. His draw looks kind up until the quarters, where he is drawn to meet Nadal.

Raonic, last year’s beaten finalist, is $19 and finds himself in a tricky quarter which contains Federer as well as Zverev and Dmitrov, who are the next two in the betting at $26 and $34. Zverev is drawn to meet Raonic in the fourth round, while Dimitrov would likely get Federer.

Sportsbet offers quarter betting, which is an appealing option for a player you think can make the semis. In that quarter, Federer is $1.62 favourite, with Raonic at $5.50, Zverev is at $7 and Dimitrov appealing at $10.

The other appealing quarter winner is in the top quarter, in Aussie Nick Kyrgios, who is $7. Murray is understandably $1.91 top pick with beaten French Open finalist Stan Wawrinka at $6.50. With a fitness worry over Murray, who is drawn to be the Australian’s fourth round rival, things could open up for Kyrgios, who boasts a 2-2 career record against Wawrinka.

While winning the tournament at $34 might be a pipedream, the $7 about Kyrgios to make his maiden Grand Slam semi seems a value bet.

There are five other Aussies in the men’s draw, including Bernard Tomic, who is $251 on his preferred surface. Tomic’s first round opponent is the older Zverev, Mischa, the No.27 seed, while Federer looms in the third round.

Thompson also faces a seed, in Albert Ramos-Vinolas (25) in his opener and should he get through that possibly Raonic in the third round.

Also in that half of the draw is Thanasi Kokkinakis, who has unluckily drawn veteran Juan Martin del Potro (29) in his first encounter.

John Millman fared even worse with a first-up clash against none other than Nadal, while qualifier Andrew Whittington gets a winnable match against Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro.

Suggested Bets:

Nick Kyrgios to win Quarter 1 at $7

Gregor Dimitrov to win Quarter 3 at $10

Novak Djokovic to make the final at $3.50

Sportsbet Markets:

Men’s Winner:

R Federer $3.25

R Nadal $5.50

A Murray $6

N Djokovic $7

M Cilic $17

M Raonic $19

A Zverev $26

G Dimitrov $34

S Wawrinka $34

N Kyrgios $34

D Thiem $51

J-W Tsonga $81

K Nishikori $81

F Lopez $81

Make The Final

R Federer $2.20

A Murray $2.75

R Nadal $3.10

N Djokovic $3.50

M Cilic $9

M Raonic $9

S Wawrinka $12

N Kyrgios $13

A Zverev $15

T Berdych $19

K Nishikori $21

D Thiem $21

G Muller $23

J Tsonga $23

G Dimitrov $26

R Gasquet $26

F Lopez $34

I Karlovic $34

K Khachanov $41

K Anderson $41

Quarter 4 Winner

N Djokovic $2.10

D Thiem $8.50

R Gasquet $9

T Berdych $9

F Lopez $11

Quarter 3 Winner

R Federer $1.62

M Raonic $5.50

A Zverev $7

G Dimitrov $10

Quarter 2 Winner

R Nadal $1.91

M Cilic $5

K Nishikori $9

G Muller $10

Quarter 1 Winner

A Murray $1.91

S Wawrinka $6.50

N Kyrgios $7

J Tsonga $9

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