For tennis betting enthusiasts, the four Grand Slams tournaments are the highlights of the year. The third Slam of 2019 is now upon us with Novak Djokovic defending his Wimbledon title. After his hopes of holding all four Slams simultaneously for the second time in his career were blown away at Roland Garros, the Serb will be seeking his fifth title at SW19.
World number one Djokovic is a best-priced 7/5 with Unibet to retain his crown and, while that may appear short, he has received what looks a gem of a draw. His first serious test would appear to come in round four in the shape of either Felix Auger-Aliassime or Grigor Dimitrov, and it is hard to see either of them troubling him at his best.
David Goffin or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals would, again, give little rise to concern and even potential semi-final opponents look reasonably unthreatening with some doubt as to whether the perennially injury-prone Milos Raonic would make it this far. If Djokovic is near his best, he wins. I couldn’t back him at 7/5 but I don’t think I’ll be opposing him.
The second quarter looks wide open with last year’s runner-up Kevin Anderson just back from a bout of tennis elbow. He lasted just two matches on his Queen’s Club and the South African looks one to avoid. Of the other contenders, Stan Wawrinka has never made it past the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, Alex Zverev still looks out of sorts and his Slam record is fairly uninspiring, while I’ve already mentioned Raonic’s fitness issues.
But someone has to win that second quarter and, if his body holds up, I think it might be Raonic. He has an excellent record at Wimbledon having reached the quarter-finals in four of the last five years including losing in the final to Andy Murray in 2016. While I wouldn’t fancy him against Djokovic (or anyone else for that matter) in the semis, I don’t think 11/2 with Ladbrokes is a bad price for him to get to that stage.
I will also be chucking a few pennies at Reilly Opelka. Like Raonic, his serve is his biggest asset and I’ve already mentioned him as an outsider in the outright market. But odds of 80/1 with Paddy Power to win this quarter are huge.
The third quarter looks very open with Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in there. While the Spaniard, now a 12-time French Open champion, reached the semi-finals 12 months ago, he was barely extended until Juan Martin del Potro (sadly absent this year) took him the distance in the quarter-finals. I definitely want to oppose him early on and we’ll get that opportunity in round two when he will likely meet the winner of the all-Aussie clash between Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson.
Readers of previous columns will know I like Kyrgios at Wimbledon and think he can go far. He famously beat Nadal in four sets on his debut in 2014 and, despite his known temperament issues, would have a good chance of repeating that success. We all know he can beat anyone on his day and I think odds of 11/1 with Ladbrokes about him winning the third quarter are more than fair. The same goes for his outright odds of 45/1 with Bet Victor.
The third quarter is definitely worth a couple of darts with my other one being Sam Querrey. The American had been out for 11 weeks before making an encouraging return at Eastbourne last week, finding only Taylor Fritz too good.
Querrey beat Djokovic in 2016 before going out in the quarter-finals, and a year later went out in the semis after putting out defending champion Andy Murray. He can certainly beat Thiem in the opening round and then, who knows? 25/1 with Bet365 to win his quarter looks massive as does the 200/1 outright with Unibet.
Roger Federer is seeded second, ahead of Rafael Nadal, due to his exceptional Wimbledon record which includes a record eight titles. He is 10/3 with the best tennis betting sites to win again, but I can’t help but look back on last year’s semi-final defeat to Anderson who, with the greatest respect, is a player the Swiss would have brushed aside with ease in the past.
Federer leads the fourth quarter betting at 4/6 which looks hellishly short for a man in his 38th year. John Isner hasn’t played since losing to the 20-time Slam winner in the Miami final and his lack of match practice, and possibly fitness, must count against him.
Matteo Berrettini has been well backed for the fourth quarter having been available at 14/1 in a place when it was first priced up. There is 9/1 available with Paddy Power which looks a good price given that the Italian is having a superb season. He has won three tournaments this year, including on the grass at Stuttgart where he beat Kyrgios and Auger-Aliassime, and reached the semis at Halle last time out. I couldn’t put you off an each-way outright bet at 50/1 with Bet365 either.
My other bet for the fourth quarter is, admittedly, a bit of a leap of faith. Lucas Pouille reached the quarter-finals in 2016 after beating Juan Martin del Potro and Bernard Tomic. Soon after linking up with Amelie Mauresmo, he went to the semi-finals of this year’s Australian Open. While his recent results are nothing to write home about, his odds of 50/1 outright with Paddy Power are too big to leave alone. Given how open the third quarter is, I’d also be tempted by a small each-way outright bet at 300/1 outright with Unibet.
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