First held in 1877, Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious event in tennis and the third of the four Grand Slam tournaments. As the only one staged on grass - on the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis Club in South West London - it presents an intriguing tennis betting puzzle.
Wimbledon fortnight starts on the first Monday of July and, like the other Grand Slams, with 128 players in each singles main draw it offers multiple opportunities for tennis bettors to make money over a wide range of markets.
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Days after Wimbledon has concluded, outright tournament odds will be available for the following year’s event. Finalists and past winners will be very much at the forefront for tennis betting strategies.
These odds will change slightly due to subsequent Grand Slam results but the greatest activity will be in the short grass-court season in the weeks leading up to Wimbledon. Queen’s Club in West London hosts the traditional warm-up event for the men a fortnight before although Roger Federer usually plays at Halle in Germany the same week. Both are ATP 500 tournaments.
For the women, the two main warm-up events are both in England. There is a WTA Premier event at Edgbaston, Birmingham two weeks before Wimbledon with another at Eastbourne a week later.
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In the past, the grass was the quickest of all surfaces with the ball keeping low compared to other surfaces. Serve-volleyers enjoyed the most success and short rallies were the norm. But seven-time men’s champion Pete Sampras’s dominance at the end of the century led the powers that be to make changes to extend the length of rallies.
First, a heavier, bigger ball was brought in to slow down play. And at Wimbledon, the old grass (70 percent rye grass, 30 percent red fescue) mix was replaced by 100 percent ryegrass which is harder but also makes the ball bounce slightly higher.
While the bounce is still lower than anywhere else, the court speed is nowhere near as fast as in the past. It is now similar to that of a medium-fast hard court and there is evidence to suggest that the Australian Open has actually played quicker in recent years.
With 128 players in the main draw, there is a truckload of markets to get stuck into. Popular bets include which player will win their quarter of the draw, odds on a player to reach the final, and naming the two finalists. For big names, there may be odds with the best tennis betting sites available on how far they will get.
Big servers still have an advantage with Roger Federer now a record eight-time men’s champion but, with the grass-court season getting shorter and shorter, serve-volleyers are dying out. Baseliners can and do perform well at Wimbledon now with Novak Djokovic (four wins and counting), Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray (two titles apiece) all lifting the famous trophy.
It’s a similar story in the women’s game with Martina Navratilova serve-volleying her way to the last of her record nine Wimbledon triumphs in 1990. The Williams sisters have 12 titles between them (Serena seven, Venus five) with Petra Kvitova next best on two this millennium.
Navratilova has been critical of the changes at Wimbledon. In 2011, she said, “I can't volley a heavy ball. If you punch it, it doesn't go anywhere. Nowadays, I couldn't serve and volley. I would have to pick my spots. For me, if I can't serve and volley, something's wrong with it, something is wrong with the game.”
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|2018||Novak Djokovic||Kevin Anderson||6-2, 6-2, 7-6|
|2017||Roger Federer||Marin Cilic||6-3, 6-1, 6-4|
|2016||Andy Murray||Milos Raonic||6-4, 7-6, 7-6|
|2015||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||7-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3|
|2014||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||6-7, 6-4,7-6, 5-7, 6-4|
|2013||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||6-4, 7-5, 6–4|
|2018||Angelique Kerber||Serena Williams||6–3, 6–3|
|2017||Garbine Muguruza||Venus Williams||7–5, 6–0|
|2016||Serena Williams||Angelique Kerber||7–5, 6–3|
|2015||Serena Williams||Garbine Muguruza||6-4, 6-4|
|2014||Petra Kvitova||Eugenie Bouchard||6-3, 6-0|
|2013||Marion Bartoli||Sabine Lisicki||6-1, 6-4|
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