The usual suspects will be heading to Wimbledon as favourites. World number one Andy Murray will be hoping to retain his title to solidify his position in the rankings, whilst Roger Federer will always be considered a favourite even though the Swiss legend prompted questions over his fitness by avoiding the clay court swing entirely. Novak Djokovic has a trio of titles in London and another former winner Rafael Nadal is in supreme form. There is no point tipping any of these giants of the game, but there is possible value in more left-field options.
Step forward Stan Wawrinka. It seems slightly ridiculous to be touting a man of Wawrinka’s quality as an outside threat, as the 32-year-old has three Grand Slams to his name. Each Grand Slam comes from a different tournament, but Wimbledon has proved elusive thus far. In fact, the Swiss player has not managed to surpass the quarter-final stage in London, where he fell to compatriot Federer in 2014 and to Richard Gasquet in a five-set epic in the following year. Last year, Wawrinka’s fate was sealed by an unfortunate draw; Juan Martin Del Potro’s injury ensured that he had fallen down the rankings and avoided being seeded, so Wawrinka drew the short straw in taking on the revitalised Argentine so early in the competition. Del Potro has shown signs since his comeback that he can rediscover the form that took him to Grand Slam titles, so it was certainly an unlucky draw for Wawrinka who was perhaps unprepared for the high level of his opponent.
However, a wonderful showing so far at this year’s French Open has proven that Wawrinka is discovering top form at a crucial point of the season, able to comfortably dispatch lesser opposition and able to raise his game against potent threats. Wawrinka is one for the big matches, with each of his Grand Slam titles remarkably coming in victories against the number one seed for the tournament.
Wawrinka is unplayable on his day, and therefore, odds of 25/1 for him to find a hot streak in Wimbledon could be perceived as value; those interested in backing him may look to take advantage of welcome bonuses such as a Coral betting offer of £20 free bet to maximise their stake. The market is currently favouring younger prospects such as Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev, in addition to last year’s losing finalist Milos Raonic, over the more experienced Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. But none of these players have the Grand Slam credentials of Wawrinka.
Marin Cilic could run deep into the competition at Wimbledon. Source: Marin Cilic via Facebook.
Wawrinka comfortably overcame a previously impressive Marin Cilic at Roland Garros, but Cilic is another dark horse for Wimbledon, who could be value at 28/1. Cilic has one Grand Slam to his name, with his US Open title in 2014 taking the tennis world by surprise. The Croat has far more pedigree on grass than Wawrinka, although with more question marks over his ability to trouble the top players. Cilic has made the quarter-final in the last three years, only succumbing to Djokovic (twice) and Federer in respectable displays. The towering 28-year-old has also triumphed in the warm-up for Wimbledon on the grass courts at Queen’s, a place where he generally performs strongly.
The caveat to endorsing Cilic is that he has fairly woeful records against the leading players, with win percentages of 6.7 against Djokovic, 14.3 against Federer and 25 against Murray. However, Djokovic has looked like a shadow of his former self at times this season, whilst Murray has been inconsistent by his standards and Federer has been inactive. There is definitely scope for an upset this year at Wimbledon. A player like Cilic could put together a run of form that they will remember forever, or the experienced champion Stan Wawrinka could add the final Grand Slam to his collection. Or, of course, Federer could win.