Wimbledon Preview

The Championships at Wimbledon is the third of the year and most prestigious of all the Grand Slams in Tennis, and we preview all the action ahead of the tournament.

The oldest tennis tournament in the world, dating back to 1877, it is now the only one of the ‘slams’ played on grass.

Defending champion is British star Sir Andy Murray – one of the most successful sportsmen of his generation, but despite being seeded at number one, he has been struggling for form and fitness this year.

After a decent run at the French Open, Murray was expected to figure prominently at Queens – one of the big pre-Wimbledon tournaments – where he has never had more success, but he bowed out in the first round.

He has also been forced out of an exhibition at the Hurlingham Club with a hip injury and there is even a question mark over his participation – but he is in the draw and ready to take his place, although his loss of form and injury concerns have seen him drop behind Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the betting.

Federer, though, has warned Murray to be careful about risking his health: “Andy needs to feel he could play for 14 days, or seven matches. If you feel you can only play one match, I don’t think it’s good enough.

“Over the best of five sets, over two weeks, only the tough survive. It flushes you out. You need to feel confident in your body, otherwise what’s the point? Andy’s had too much success to do that. I understand it if it was somebody finishing their career.

“But the world’s watching because it’s the defending champion opening on Centre Court. It’s a big deal. You want to be at 100 per cent or at least as close to 100 per cent as you can be.

“If he is 100 per cent physically on Monday I think we will see a very strong Andy Murray at these Championships.”

“If he is 100 per cent physically on Monday I think we will see a very strong Andy Murray at these Championships”

Roger Federer

Murray has been drawn on the same side as Nadal, with Novak Djokovic and Federer on the other side – the odds are still stacked on one of the big four winning the event, indeed nobody has won the event outside of Murray, Nadal, Federer and Djokovic since 2002 when Lleyton Hewitt  won.

The draw does mean we could see a repeat of the greatest Wimbledon final of all time from 2008 when Nadal beat Federer, and the odds are on those two to meet again.

Outside the big-four – who are the four top seeds – the likes of Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic and last year’s beaten finalist Milos Raonic are fancied to push them.

On the women’s side, defending champion Serena Williams is missing due to her expecting her first child and German Angelique Kerber has been named number one seed.

The favourite for the event is not even ranked in the top-ten and it is two-time former champion Petra Kvitova – who has made a successful return to the sport following a knife attack last year which damaged her hand, and their would be few more popular winners.

Czech Karolina Pliskova is the second favourite – the world number three has never won a ‘slam’ but made the semi-finals at the French.

The home fans, though, will be looking for Johanna Konta to become the first British woman to win The Championships since 1977 when Virginia Wade lifted the trophy – and the Bookmakers think she has a real chance as she is third favourite for the title.


We spoke to Alistair Gill of Unibet to get their thoughts on Wimbledon.

“There is a lot of pressure on Andy Murray, we might start to see some more money on him – but we will have to see with him,” he told us.

“Roger Federer has taken more than 45% of our money, on the back of his win at Halle and the way he is going, he is getting shorter and shorter in our market and it is not putting anyone off at all.

“In terms of the money we have taken, nobody outside the big four has taken much money – even Djokovic we have not seen too much – but it is focused on those four.

“Staying that we do think there is real value further down, you have Stan Wawrinka at 33/1 and Marin Cilic at 16/1 would surely be in with a chance, so there is a bit of value – but as we said it is difficult to look outside the top-four in the market.

“As for the women’s – we have Kvitova and Pliskova, who are a long way up the market – but the women’s draw is tradtionally wide=open – look at the French, we had a 100/1 winner there.

“I think Kvitova is the pick of the bunch and she was as big as 14/1 not long ago and she has been hammered in to become the favourite.

“Further down the market, Serena is not here but Venus would surely look good value at 17/1. Then we have Johanna Konta, we have seen some home interest as you expect – but we have had money quite a long way down on the women’s side.

“But we have plenty of bets in running which we hope people can get on. We have action betting which allows point by point betting, we have our ever popular betting championship which has a prize pool of over £50,000.”


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