Day 2 Womens – Punters shy in backing Serena to progress

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Serena Williams opens her Wimbledon challenge against the world number 56 Aravane Rezai on Tuesday, yet the American is just 1/16 to win.

When you consider the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are trading at 1/200 in their opening round matches, you can see that there isn’t too much support behind Serena bagging a fifth Wimbledon title.

Rezai lost to Britain’s Elena Baltacha in Eastbourne last week and shouldn’t prove too much of a problem for Serena, although the two have met once before in Australia and Rezai took Serena three sets.

Heather Watson vs Mathilde Johansson

British hopes are high for Watson following a strong performance in Birmingham last week and there is every reason to believe she will justify her 1/2 favouritism in her first round match against Johansson on Tuesday.

Johansson may be ranked 29 places higher than Watson, but she has been plying her trade in the lesser tournaments on the WTA Tour and Watson’s grass court experience over the past two weeks stands her in good stead.

The two have never met before but we fancy Watson to progress 2-1 at 3/1.

Maria Kirilenko vs Alberta Brianti

Both players enter this match on the back of first round defeats in their only grass court tournaments this year, but it’s their match-up in Thailand earlier in this year which makes this an intriguing betting contest.

Kirilenko is the 2/7 favourite to win this match and is ranked 28 places higher than her opponent, but the Italian took Kirilenko three sets in February and punters can find plenty of value in backing Kirilenko to win 2-1 at 3/1.

Ana Ivanovic vs Melanie Oudin

Like Kirilenko, Ivanovic should progress through her first round match with Oudin but if their only previous encounter is anything to go by, this tie could prove a lot tougher than Ivanovic’s 1/8 odds suggest.

Ivanovic had to come from a set down to beat Oudin last time and is 11/2 to come from behind and win on Tuesday.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.