Andy Murray proved himself in hype-justifying form ahead of Wimbledon 2013 when defeating Marin Cilic in the final of the AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club, living up to number one seed billing in the process. However, with Ladbrokes offering a refund on all outright bets on the men’s singles (in the form of a free bet up to £25) if Murray is victorious at the grass court slam, there’s all the more reason to consider backing one of his rivals.
The Scot was cut from 3/1 to 11/4 on the back of a performance which will have done much to convince those doubtful of his fitness ahead of Wimbledon. The final against Cilic was the second successive match – after his semi-final victory over world number seven Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – in which he played his best tennis in the final set.
Whilst proving that the Scot will not lack staying power in his bid to go one better at Wimbledon this time around (after reaching the final in 2012) his tendency to take time to reach top gear may also be indicative of a player who is still easing himself back into top-level action with an element of tentativeness.
When it comes to looking back upon the French Open for Grand Slam clues the obvious thing to take from the tournament is the proven fitness of champion Rafael Nadal, who completed his own comeback from a far more lengthy injury hiatus in glorious style at the tournament he has made his own.
Nonetheless the performance of world numero uno Novak Djokovic was a most heartening one for his backers with Wimbledon in mind, pushing the eventual winner all the way in a knife-edge five-set semi. It ranked as his finest French Open performance to date against the undisputed master of the clay.
The Serbian beat Nadal by three sets to one in the pair’s last lawn-based face-off at Wimbledon 2011 and finds Roger Federer – his conqueror in last year’s semi-finals at the All England Club – to have stepped his dominance down another gear this campaign, with the Swiss’ recent tournament win at Halle his first of the entire year.
Djokovic – who won his sole Wimbledon title back in 2011 – has made at least the semi-final stage in the last three years, part of a run of semi-final-or-better finishes in his last 13 Grand Slams. This consistency makes him a great wager at 15/8 and with the insurance of a bet refund offer – available to all online, mobile and in-store customers – if the most upwardly mobile of his three closest rivals pips him to victory in SW19, he can be backed with that much more confidence.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.