The Australian Open went to Novak Djokovic back in January and the French Open went to Rafael Nadal earlier this month. The third Grand Slam event of the year, Wimbledon, begins this Monday in London and will play out until a winner is crowned on July 8. Which of tennis’ top stars will win this prestigious event?
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Everyone is chasing the “Big Three”
The field is wide open in golf right now as 15 straight major tournaments have had different winners. The same can’t be said in tennis, because in Grand Slam events, 10 straight and 28 of the last 29 have been won by one of three men; Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer. That’s seven years of dominance over the rest of the field.
Off of clay and back on the grass, World No. 1 Djokovic is the favorite to win Wimbledon at 7/4. On clay, Djokovic has been second-best to Nadal all season, finishing runner-up to him in three different tournaments including the French Open. But off of the clay, Djokovic has won four straight non-clay surface majors including the Australian Open over Nadal back in January and Wimbledon over him last year.
Can Nadal (2/1) carry his recent dominance of Djokovic onto the grass court? Three straight wins against Djokovic are encouraging, but Nadal had lost seven straight to Djokovic before that; on clay, Nadal is 13-2 all-time against Djokovic, but off of clay he is 6-12 all-time. Considering Nadal finished runner-up in the Australian Open this year and the U.S. Open and Wimbledon last year, he obviously has to be considered a huge favorite to make it to the Finals; but would he defeat Djokovic if that was once again the matchup?
While it’s been a while since Federer’s last Grand Slam win back in 2010, Federer (7/2) has four singles titles this year and has won at Wimbledon six times in the last nine years (most recently in 2009). Should Nadal or Djokovic slip up or Federer bring his absolute best, the veteran is certainly the most likely in the field to steal the tournament away from those two.
Searching the board for darkhorses
Coming into the year, Andy Murray (13/2) wasn’t supposed to be considered a darkhorse as many believed this could be the year for him to finally break out and win his first Grand Slam event. He has played well in spurts this season, but with Djokovic and Nadal playing so well and just one singles title this season, he has his work cut out for him. But what better time than now to break out here in London in front of his hometown supporters?
As mentioned above, 28 of the last 29 Grand Slam titles have been won by Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer. The one exception was when Juan Martin del Potro upset Federer in the 2009 U.S. Open. Does Del Potro (20/1) have another magical run somewhere in the tank?
Other potential contenders include Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (25/1), Tomas Berdych (33/1), and John Isner (33/1). Berdych advanced to the Finals here at Wimbledon back in 2010, where he lost to Nadal in straight sets.
Recent winners favored in women’s odds
Coming off of a disappointing showing in the French Open, four-time Wimbledon champion (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010) Serena Williams is the favorite to win this year’s tournament at 11/4. Last year’s winner at Wimbledon, Petra Kvitova, is going off at 7/2 coming off a semi-finals appearance in the French Open. 2012 French Open winner and 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova is currently 6/1 to win this event.
Other contenders on the women’s side include Victoria Azarenka (7/2), Samantha Stosur (10/1), Kim Clijsters (10/1), and Caroline Wozniacki (14/1).
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