Andy Murray took the decision to swerve this year’s French Open in order to recover from a niggling back injury and ensure he was in top condition for Wimbledon and with his preparations on grass going according to plan – he won the Aegon Championship at the Queen’s Club last weekend – it looks like the Scot made the right call.
The world number two was beaten in the final at SW19 last year but is 7/2 at Paddy Power to go one better this time around while defending champion Roger Federer is perhaps now considered to be something of a fading force and is available at as high as 7/1 via Stan James to retain his title.
Novak Djokovic, who succumbed to the Swiss ace in the semi-final a year ago commands favouritism at 5/4 with bet365 and he will certainly take some beating given that the world number one’s last ten Grand Slam events have produced five victories, another two final appearances and three semi-final defeats.
However, Rafael Nadal demonstrated in his French Open success at Roland Garros, albeit on his favourite surface, that he is back in form and BetVictor’s 4/1 marked against the Spaniard is arguably the most eye-catching outright price ahead of what should be one of the toughest to predict renewals in years.
The 27-year-old has prevailed twice on Wimbledon’s grass, in 2008 and 2010 and although his early exit last year combined with a seven month injury lay-off means he will only be seeded fifth, meaning he’ll have to do it the hard way, Nadal’s 43 wins in 45 matches since regaining his fitness suggest he can be a match for anybody on Centre Court.
In the women’s event it’s not surprising to see Serena Williams odds-on at 1/2 courtesy of Skybet to defend her title after she was so dominant recently in the French Open. The American simply overpowered her opponents in Paris and if she can replicate that kind of form, she will simply be unstoppable at SW19, where she is already a five-time champion.
Stan James believe 2004 victor Maria Sharapova, at 6/1 is Williams’ main challenger having lost to the number one seed in the final at Roland Garros while second seed Victoria Azarenka is a 7/1 shot (BetVictor) and bet365 post 12/1 against Petra Kvitova in what bookies seemingly consider a four-horse race.
Double on Rafa Nadal and Serena Williams – 7/1 (Boylesports)