Female seeds look the most likely victims in first round Wimbledon betting
The 129th Wimbledon Championships gets under way on Monday and with 128 first round matches to complete it will be a busy few days in SW19.
Novak Djokovic is the favourite for the men’s title but the Serb’s first round opponent is the highest ranked non-seed in the tournament. In the women’s draw, Serena Williams should have a more comfortable time against a Russian qualifier.
Keep reading for our Wimbledon first round preview.
Djokovic faces tricky opener against talented German
In purely ranking terms, world number one Novak Djokovic could not have had a more difficult first round draw. The Serb plays the world number 33 Phillip Kohlschreiber in the opening round – the highest ranked player he could have faced at this stage of the tournament.
The 31 year old German’s best Grand Slam performance was at Wimbledon in 2012 and he came within a couple of points of beating Roger Federer on grass in Halle a couple of weeks ago. He’s lost all but one of his meetings with Djokovic, however, although the pair have never previously met on grass.
Djokovic has lost just one match since 1 March and should win, although this is a more awkward tie than he would have liked. The German is 23/2 to cause a major upset.
If Andy Murray is going to win his second Wimbledon he’s going to have to do it the hard way. The Scot has been drawn in the same half as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych – although the third seed looks to have a relatively safe passage into the second week.
Murray faces Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round with the world number 58 having been easily beaten in the opening round of the grass court tournament in Nottingham by the 18 year old German Alexander Zverev. It should be a comfortable opening match for Murray at 1/100.
Roger Federer‘s bid for his eighth Wimbledon title against the Bosnian Damir Dzunhur while Rafael Nadal faces Thomas Bellucci. It’s also worth watching out for a tie between two long-serving stalwarts who are both at Wimbledon for the last time. 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt is retiring at the end of the season as is Jarko Nieminen and the winner is likely to face Novak Djokovic in round two.
If you’re looking for a possible upset in round one then it could pay to look no further than the French Open champion. Last year’s run to the quarter finals was Stan Wawrinka‘s best performance at Wimbledon by some distance but the Swiss number four seed has gone out in the first round in three of the previous four years.
His opponent is the world number 45 Joao Sousa who, coincidentally, Wawrinka met at this stage last year. Sousa reached the Geneva final earlier this year and has won a couple of grass court matches this summer and while he’s never beaten Wawrinka he could be worth a small investment at 11/2.
Serena given favourable draw as she looks to win her first Wimbledon since 2012
A Wimbledon title for Serena Williams this year would see the American head into the final major of 2015 with a chance of the Grand Slam and would also mean that she simultaneously held all four of the major titles for the first time since 2003.
Having won the French Open despite suffering ill health, Williams looks to have a favourable draw this year. The toughest opponent she is likely to face on her way to the final is Maria Sharapova and the 33 year old looks to have an easy first round match against Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan. She should sail through with ease.
Britain’s Johanna Konta has been in decent form recently having reached the first round proper of the French Open and the quarter finals of the grass court tournament in Nottingham. Konta has a wild card for Wimbledon and faces a tough challenge against former champion and number four seed Maria Sharapova in round one.
Konta took a set off Karolina Pliskova in Birmingham last week but will have to play the game of her life to beat the Russian. She is 51/10 to cause an upset.
Last year’s champion looks to be in the trickier half of the draw although Petra Kvitova should ease into round two with a win over world number 108 Kiki Bertens. Sabine Lisicki loves Wimbledon and should beat Jarmila Gajdosova at 1/5 while we’ve been following the fortunes of Angelique Kerber in recent weeks and the number 10 seed should beat her compatriot Carina Witthoeft.
Backing outsiders in the opening couple of rounds of a women’s Grand Slam tournament can certainly offer some decent profits. 14 of the top 32 seeds went out of this year’s Australian Open in rounds one and two while 12 of the seeds went out at the same stage of the French Open last month.
Seeds who look vulnerable in round one include Belinda Bencic who faces the talented grass court player Tsvetana Pironkova. The unseeded Bulgarian reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2010, the quarter finals in 2011 and the fourth round in 2013 and has a 14-9 record at the tournament. Pironkova is evens to win.
Flavia Pennetta lost her only grass court match of this season at Eastbourne and is vulnerable to a defeat from a player ranked just ten places below her. World number 34 Zarina Diyas reached the fourth round on her debut at SW19 last year while Pennetta has only got past the third round at Wimbledon twice in 12 attempts. Diyas could be one to watch at 23/20.
Last year’s beaten finalist Eugenie Bouchard may like the grass but the Canadian has been in terrible form in 2015. She has won just two of her last twelve competitive matches and went out of the French Open in round one. She faces the unfancied Ying-Ying Duan in her opening match and the Chinese player may benefit from having come through the qualifying process and so has three grass-court wins under her belt.
On paper Bouchard should win but the world number 117 could well cause a major upset at 4/1.