STARNBERG, February 20, 2018
The injury concerns hanging over Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, coupled with Roger Federer’s (relative) advancing years has all come together to make Wimbledon’s betting picture somewhat confused. While there is often little to choose from between the fabulous quartet of men’s tennis, this year Federer is the only one who seems to be in peak condition.
The doubts swirling around those players has certainly impacted the early odds for Wimbledon. Below are the odds for Federer, Nadal, Murray and Djokovic from a selection of bookmakers:
While, understandably given his recent record, Federer is the favourite across the board. There is much confusion among the other three players, with all swapping the roles of second, third and fourth favourites by the bookmakers. Djokovic’s range of 7/2 to 8/1 will be of particular interest and makes you wonder how these odds-setting decisions are made by individual bookmakers.
Djokovic comes back
While a confused picture presents difficulty for bookmakers, it should be an opportunity for punters and there is value to be found if you get an early bet in on Wimbledon 2018. Djokovic is the best example. There is no way he will be priced at 8/1 for Wimbledon should he get through his first ATP World Tour event of the season in Indian Wells unscathed. Recovering from a minor procedure on that troublesome elbow, Djokovic has been bullish about his recovery. He will have four months to get in shape for Wimbledon: Ample time to get back to somewhere near his 2015 best.
Murray will hope to put injury woes behind him
Andy Murray also has posted positive updates on his injury and while he has been a little coy on setting a firm date, the bookmakers seem to have banked on his return with more surety than with Djokovic. Nadal, ever the enigma in Majors held outside of Paris, is possibly the market where bookmakers are steadiest. Nobody will be surprised if he wins on the grass again. It’s just you never know what you are going to get with the brilliant Spaniard.
Cilic tops best of the rest in bookmakers’ odds
Perhaps some of those outside tennis’ ‘Big 4’ will fancy their chances this year. You have to go all the way back to Leyton Hewitt in 2002, an incredible 15 tournaments, to find a Wimbledon winner outside that quartet. The odds for some of the other contenders are shown below:
A ‘changing of the guard’ at the top of men’s tennis has often been mooted, yet it has failed to materialise for several years now. Some, like the 20-year-old Zverev, should have designs on breaking the monopoly held by Federer and Co at the All-England Club. With so many doubts hanging over the Big 4, he may not get a better chance than this year.