STARNBERG, April 10, 2018
With the clay court campaign already underway, the eyes of the tennis world will soon descend upon a certain corner of southwest London for Wimbledon 2018.
The women’s game currently boasts four different holders of all the Grand Slams but how will they fare when taking to the grass courts of the All England Club this year?
Let’s take a look at what’s behind the early prices for those reigning major ladies’ singles champions on route to SW19.
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki had a terrific end to 2017 when winning the WTA Finals in Singapore and carried that momentum into this season when she triumphed at the Australian Open.
Such Grand Slam glory had eluded Wozniacki for so long – over a decade since her 2007 French Open debut in fact – but it was hard earned in a three-set victory over Simona Halep.
Hard courts clearly suit the Dane’s game best as she’s reached the semi-finals or better seven times at Flushing Meadows or in Melbourne now. When the grass season comes around, though, Wozniacki is yet to make the quarters in 11 attempts at the main draw.
The last 16 seems to be her ceiling in SW19 as she’s reached round four on six previous occasions. That’s reflected in Wozniacki being an early top-price 33/1 to win the ladies’ singles there.
US Open champ Sloane Stephens finally delivered on her huge potential in her home Slam at the end of last summer. It’s nice to have some variety in the American women’s game at last as she became the first United States competitor who wasn’t either of the Williams sisters to win a major singles title since Jennifer Capriati at the Australian Open way back in 2002.
Flushing Meadows hosted two all-American semi-finals in the draw last season with Stephens defeating first Venus Williams and then Madison Keys to take the title. She has since landed the Miami Open – one of the WTA Tour’s premier mandatory tournaments.
As with Wozniacki above, most of Stephens’ success has come on hard courts so far. When it comes to the grass Grand Slams, she’s only made the second week of Wimbledon once in seven attempts, when reaching the quarter-finals and losing to eventual winner Mario Bartoli. From a betting perspective, Stephens is a best-price 28/1 chance at the All England Club this year.
Unlike Wozniacki or Stephens, Venezuela born Spanish representative Garbine Muguruza has actually won the Wimbledon ladies’ singles and heads to SW19 this year as defending champion. That victory was her second in a Slam after landing the spoils at Roland Garros in 2016.
Muguruza’s game certainly suits the grass when she is on song, having contested two of the last three finals at the All England Club. She will also expect to give another good account of herself during the clay court season that culminates at the French Open, where she’s a top-price 9/1 to win again.
Also available at a best of 10/1 in the early 2018 Wimbledon betting, Muguruza is definite each-way value for either Slam as you can get half of those odds with some bookmakers for her just to reach either final.
Punters looking to use Wimbledon free bets must seriously consider the Spaniard, who brings strong all-round attributes to tennis.
Young Latvian tennis star Jelena Ostapenko was a shock winner at Roland Garros last year when she toppled Wozniacki in the quarters and Halep in the final. She couldn’t follow-up at Wimbledon, however, as Venus won the battle for experience over youth in the quarters.
Ostapenko’s form really peaked last summer in her still fledgeling tennis career but, having stunned her elders at the French Open and made significant progress on grass, she has the potential to reach the top of the game.
It’s amazing to see some bookmakers taking a huge chance on Ostapenko by offering best odds of 50/1 for her to win Wimbledon this year. Taking that early price would be some gamble if it pays off and she shocks again!