Wimbledon 2017: Men's Preview

POutright men's betting preview for Wimbeldon 2017

Our freelance scribe runs the rule over the outright Wimbledon men's betting.

It’s that time of the year again, where the traditionalists of the tennis community get to indulge themselves in a feast of entertaining - and awfully proper - tennis action. The strict dress code will be accompanied this year by even stricter security - with the terror attacks that have beset England in the last few months a poignant backdrop to the on-court frivolity. But perhaps England’s most iconic sporting event is just the tonic that an embattled country will thrive on. And the anticipation this year is only exacerbated by what appears to be the most open draw in recent memory.
The men’s game has undergone a nostalgic revolution this year that has completely altered the outlook for the event. One-half expects Marty McFly from Back to the Future to make a surreptitious appearance on centre court.

One year ago, Novak Djokovic held all four Grand Slams simultaneously. His rivalry with Andy Murray had long been cemented as the rivalry-nouveau in men’s tennis. But Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal seem to have returned from the brink of extinction and re-established their iconic rivalry as the main draw-card in men’s tennis. The ever truculent Scot, Andy Murray, has also been in a state of regression and will have it all to do to defend his Wimbledon crown. Perhaps the more likely usurpers of the Roger-Rafa cinch on the slams this year’s will be from the so-called ‘new generation’: the likes of Zverev or Thiem.

Wimbledon | Monday 3 July to Sunday 16 July | The All England Club

To Win Outright
Rodger Federer 2/1 | Andy Murray 9/2 | Rafael Nadal 9/2 | Novak Djokovic 5/1 | Milos Raonic 20/1 | Marin Cilic 20/1 | Alexander Zverev 22/1 | Nick Kyrgios 25/1 | Stan Wawrinka 33/1

The Favourites
The ‘Big Four’ of men’s tennis are rightfully occupying the top four seeded positions. Wimbledon does operate differently from the other slams in that it takes into account previous history in the event to calculate the seedings. Thus, Rafa drops down from his number 3 ranking to number 4, whilst Roger gets a healthy kick up the rankings that sees him inside the top 4. Ultimately, the prospect of a Rafa-Roger showpiece exists. Roger Federer’s shortened schedule has seen him reap the dividends this year. The victory in Australia was followed by a brilliant victory at Indian Wells. He did disappointingly lose to Tommy Haas - of all people - in Stuttgart - but bounced back to win in Halle and firmly establish himself as the favourite. The SABR (sneak attack by Roger) on opponent’s second serve has added a new dimension to his game.

Rafa Nadal brings an impeccable clay court record season to Wimbledon and seems to have shaken off most of the major injury concerns that have afflicted him of late. He hasn’t - however - gone beyond the fourth round of this event since 2011. His knees seem to struggle with the slightly slicker grass surface. Though a two-time winner of this event - 2008 and 2010 - he will need to overcome a series of huge obstacles to remain in contention.

Andy Murray came into Wimbledon last season with a 33-6 record and as Queens Champion. This year he is carrying a 21-9 victory after being knocked out in the first round of Queens by 90th ranked Jordan Thompson. So it seems as if Murray is going to struggle to remain as relevant as last season. He should, however, benefit from the slightly slower Wimbledon surface that the players will encounter this year.

Then there is Novak. Ever the joker, Novak seemed to take everything in his stride. But that third round defeat to Sam Querry last season was the first in a series of catastrophic events that have seen Novak’s star fade. The 3rd set 6-0 to Thiem at the French Open this year had McEnroe claiming forfeit. It seems as if fatherhood put a lot of pressure on Novak. Added to that is the almost comical merry-go-round that has been his coaching situation. Breaking off from Boris Becker and Marian Vadja - he continues to seek the ‘calming’ influence of spiritual healer Pepe Jimaz. And now he has retained the free - yet slightly unavailable - support of Andre Agassi. Novak is a player who needs structure and availability- something which Agassi just can’t provide.

The Ones to Watch

*() Indicates Seeding

Alex Zverev (10) 
The 20-year-old German is the youngest man in the ATP Top 20 and looks set for a major breakthrough. He has defeated Novak Djokovic this season and beat Roger on grass in the semi-final at Halle last year. He has won three titles this year with a win-loss record of 33-12. He notably won the Rome Masters. Of concern for the fast rising Zverev is the fact that he is yet to beat a top 50 player in the world in a best of five set match. This is likely due to his small, lithe stature. But he is in tremendous form and looks to be getting stronger each day.

Dominic Thiem (8)
The young Austrian has been a revelation this year, which was highlighted by that demolition of Novak at the French Open. That backhand of his is as lethal a weapon that exists on tour, and he has success on grass to bolster his appeal: he won on the grass courts of Stuttgart last season. He has been inconsistent this season with a win-loss record of 35-14, including a recent disappointing loss to Ramanathan at the Antalya Open.

Our Scribe's Predictions  

Likely Champion: Roger Federer

Biggest Disappointments: Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori

Ones to Watch: Dominic Thiem and Alex Zverev

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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