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Wimbledon 2017 Preview

Wimbledon 2017 Preview

2017 has already been very eventful with  Roger Federer winning his 18th Grand Slam and Serena Williams becoming the most successful woman in the sport of Tennis by capturing her 23rd title. And last month, Rafa Nadal won an incredible 10th French Open title while an unknown Ostapenko stole the show in the Women’s final.

With the oldest tournament in the history of the sport now about to commence, let’s have a sneak peek at the possible winners..

Women:

Favourites: Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova

Both are priced under 6 on Betfair. Considering Pliskova’s form and Kvitova’s immense experience on Grass (having won this title already), these two may indeed be the right favourites.

Kvitova’s possible route to the final:

I can’t see Kvitova struggling in the early days. Her first threat could come from home favourite Jo Konta whose form is quite impressive. Assuming she gets past the Brit, I believe she is good enough to beat Halep to reach the Semis. Whomever she faces in the semi-finals I believe she will likely overcome that challenge to reach this year’s final.

Pliskova’s possible route to the final:

Pliskova may have a tricky encounter in round 2 against Rybarikova who has been playing well. Assuming she gets past that challenge, she could meet Pavlyuchenkova, and later on Wozniacki. A possible semi-final against Kerber and then it’s just one final hurdle to overcome, possibly her Czech compatriot Kvitova.

Next in line:
Muguruza, Venus Williams, Ostapenko, Konta, Vandeweghe, Halep and Kerber.

The above mentioned players are currently flirting around the price of 20 on the Betfair outrights. Considering inconsistency, I would rather avoid investing on Mugu, Venus and Halep.

Ostapenko is probably the best bet of this bunch as, apart from Venus, no one else poses a legitimate threat for the recently crowned French Open winner.

Konta should be considered a good bet only because this is her home Grand Slam and crowd support is always an advantage. If she can get past Kvitova, the doors are wide open for Jo.

I am putting Vandeweghe in this list only due to one of her wins in recent weeks at Birmingham where she thrashed Konta 6-1 6-3! If she can bring that sort of form into Wimbledon, there is enough reason to expect a big American surprise this year.

Though her form this year has been quite dreadful, one must not forget that Kerber was a serious challenge to Serena last year, not just at the Australian Open but also at Wimbledon where she was the runner up. For the German to have any chance, I feel she simply must step up her serve this year.

Decent Outsiders:
Wozniacki, Keys and Kontaveit

Wozniacki’s form has been solid since the French Open. At odds of 34 she look a decent investment this year at least to get to the quarter-finals.

Madison Keys shouldn’t really be included in this list because her form is abysmal! Still, this is a Grand Slam without Serena, and if the American steps up her game, she could easily end up a big threat to the favourites. Keys is priced around 50 on the outrights.

My best option among these three players is Anett Kontaveit (priced around 40) who has seriously impressed me in recent months. This girl can serve, returns extremely well, doesn’t mind running around in rallies and above all, plays very aggressive tennis. The perfect mix needed for a future champion if you ask me!
However, unfortunately for Anett, she is placed in the same draw as Karolina Pliskova so it could possibly be an early exit for this young talent.

Odds of 100:
Konjuh, Bacsinszky and Lisicki

Even though Bacsinszky had an amazing French Open and Lisicki looked pretty decent on Grass in recent weeks, my best option for investing amongst the three would be Ana Konjuh as she can serve and plays quite attacking Tennis.

Odds of 500 – 1000:
Witthoeft, Sabalenka and Potapova

Witthoeft posed a big threat to Kerber last year even though she lost in straight sets. Priced under 1000, I think she is a decent investment considering her aggressive nature.

I was expecting to add Kristie Ahn in this list but she got knocked out by Sabalenka in the qualification with a 6-1 6-1 thrashing. Any unknown player who can do that to a very attacking player like Kristie deserves some credit I feel. Therefore including Aryna Sabalenka as my second choice.

It’s only a matter of time before everyone knows the name of 16 year old Russian Ana Potapova who won the Wimbledon Junior’s title last year. This girl plays great on both defense and offense and has already won all three of her qualification matches in straight sets which included a tough to beat compatriot, Kulichkova.
Surely, there has to be some value in backing Potapova this year at these big odds!

Prediction:

As great as Pliskova has looked recently, I feel in big time situations she ends up choking. On the contrary, if Kerber reaches latter rounds, she always has a good chance with no Serena Williams to worry about. Therefore, I am going for a possible Kvitova vs Kerber final this year with Kvitova likely to come out on top.

Winner: Petra Kvitova

Mens:

Favourites: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray

I can say with quite a bit of confidence that I see Roger Federer doing well this year. I see the price of 3.3 shooting down in the coming weeks so backing Roger early on and laying him in latter rounds looks a very good strategy.

Nadal’s form has been sublime throughout this year. Priced around 6 he is the second favourite this year which is quite a surprise considering Grass is his weakest surface. I do not suggest backing him early on as it’s good to wait out a first couple of rounds to see how he adapts the switch from Clay to Grass.

Djokovic and Murray have both had disastrous seasons already. Personally, I would omit backing either of them as neither have looked right physically.

Next best bets:
Wawrinka and Cilic

In a best of 5 set match I would rather go for experience and overall form which is why I am ignoring a lot of decent talents for this tournament such as Zverev, Kyrgios, Thiem, Dimitrov and Tsonga.
Considering Wawrinka has had a very good season losing only to eventual winners at both the slams this year (Federer at Aus Open and Nadal at French), I feel these odds of 40 look a bit too high.
As for Cilic, he has been playing solid on all surfaces this year. Worth noting that he also had a very good Wimbledon in 2016 where he should have really knocked out Roger Federer but went on to lose in 5 sets. No wonder Cilic is priced as the 5th favourite, only under Murray!

Odds of 100 – 500:
Feliciano Lopez, Pouille and Khachanov

Lopez just won the Queens Tournament beating Cilic in the final. He served incredibly well there. I don’t think he will win this title but perhaps a small investment is a calculated risk.

Pouille is priced around 200 and his form on Grass in recent weeks has been very good winning at Stuttgart beating Lopez after coming from a set down.

Khachanov currently priced around 300 looks incredible value as he looked amazing at Halle and broke Federer a few times. There is indeed a possibility that he could end up beating Nadal in his draw if he plays that aggressively.

Odds of 1000:
Taylor Fritz

I am already predicting that Fritz will be a future American number 1 with the talent he has. I really think this guy is the real deal and could emulate someone like the legend Pete Sampras.
Sadly for Fritz, he is in the same draw as Federer and will struggle to go the distance. But, a couple of quid on him with these odds of 1000 look the right gamble for me.

Prediction:

I am expecting Stan Wawrinka to continue his good form for the third Grand Slam in a row. That implies a Federer v Wawrinka all Swiss final is a decent possibility this year.
Sure, Roger will be the favourite if they meet, but one must also note that all of Stan’s 3 grandslams has come in the last 3 years –> 2014: Australian Open, 2015: French Open & 2016: US Open.

Could he beat the greatest on Grass and win Wimbledon in 2017? One has to wait and see.

As for now, I feel Roger is the right favourite on his favourite tournament. So I’m going to stick with him.

Winner: Roger Federer

Thanks for reading!

Patrick.

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