Wimbledon Odds: Ban on Russian & Belarusian Players Impacts Betting
The best betting sites have shifted their odds on who will win the Wimbledon men’s singles title after confirmation Russian and Belarusian players won’t compete this summer.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a string of sporting bans across the world. So far much of the tennis tour has refrained from blocking the country’s players from competing on the WTA and ATP Tours.
But Wimbledon has confirmed players such as Daniil Medvedev – the men’s world number two – won’t be able to compete in the Grand Slam this summer.
Both of tennis’ governing bodies have criticised the move, which means women’s world number four Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will also be unable to compete.
But the All England Club appears to be sticking to its decision, stating: “In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players”.
And tennis betting sites have been swift to reshuffle their tennis odds in the wake of the ban.
Indeed, the men’s singles odds have been particularly affected by the decision to prevent Medvedev from playing. The 26-year-old is considered one of the few players capable of defeating Novak Djokovic at SW19 this summer, having crushed the Serb to claim the US Open title in three sets last year.
Medvedev hasn’t fared better than the fourth round at Wimbledon but was still the second-favourite to win the trophy this season.
His omission has caused the odds of those directly above him in the Wimbledon betting markets to shrink. Two-time champion Rafael Nadal is now the second favourite at 5/1 with Paddy Power, while Italy’s Matteo Berrettini is in to 6/1.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (17/2), Alexander Zverev (9/1) and Denis Shapovalov (14/1) have also seen their odds come in. What’s more, even 40-year-old Roger Federer is now just 20/1 to win Wimbledon.
However, one player whose odds haven’t changed since Medvedev’s omission is Djokovic. The defending champion remains at Evens (1/1) to win what would be a 21st Grand Slam title – odds so low that the bookies are struggling to cut his price any further.
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Wimbledon Women’s Odds Shift
Meanwhile, Sabalenka’s omission comes after Ashleigh Barty recently confirmed her retirement from tennis at the age of 25. It means the Wimbledon women’s singles odds have greatly bunched up, and the focus is now on five core players.
Iga Swiatek is now the firm favourite at 3/1, with Naomi Osaka in second at 6/1. Last year’s US Open champion Emma Raducanu will have the national spotlight on her this summer and is 9/1 to win the title – a big ask for a player who, at the age of just 19, has only experienced Wimbledon once before.
Remarkably, Serena Williams’ odds of winning a 24th Grand Slam have fluctuated since Sabalenka’s omission. The American’s price initially widened from 12/1 to 18/1, before coming back in to settle at 14/1. Punters evidently aren’t sure what to make of Williams’ chances this summer. But she is expected to make her return to the tour for Wimbledon, and can never be discounted.
Will Wimbledon Ban Be Overturned?
While betting sites rearrange their odds to account for the omission of Medvedev and Sabalenka, there is also a chance that Russian and Belarusian players could be reinstated before the tournament begins.
The ATP is assessing its options for an appeal to the ban, which also includes other grass-court tournaments in the UK this summer.
In a statement, the body said: “We believe that today’s unilateral decision by Wimbledon and the LTA to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from this year’s British grass-court swing is unfair and has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game.”
And the WTA said: “A fundamental principal of the WTA is that individual athletes may participate in professional tennis events based on merit and without any form of discrimination.”
Appeals are likely, although how successful they will be remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Ukrainian players Elina Svitolina, Marta Kostyuk and Sergiy Stakhovsky have written a joint statement requesting the ATP and WTA question Russian and Belarusian players over their stance to the war in Ukraine.
“If applicable, we demand to exclude and ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in any international event, as Wimbledon [has] already done,” the statement said.
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