Rafael Nadal hasn’t been the most reliable source of 3-0 victories in the opening round at Wimbledon in recent years.
In 2013 the Spaniard was dumped out in straight sets by Steve Darcis in the first round, then last year he recovered after dropping the opening set to Martin Klizan.
Throw in that he was dumped out in his first match at Queen’s by Alexandr Dolgopolov and it is understandable why there may be scepticism as to how Nadal will fare in the first round at SW19 against Thomaz Bellucci.
From 8am on Tuesday, Ladbrokes are offering an enhanced price of 11/10 that Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray not only come through their opening Wimbledon assignments, but all do so without dropping a set.
The fact that all of this trio have grass-court tournament victories to their name this season suggests they are all in some kind of form and can make round two with little difficulty.
Nadal not only defeat Bellucci 3-0 in his 2012 Wimbledon opener, but has beat the Brazilian in straight sets in all four of their career meetings.
Bellucci’s dislike of grass is clear from the fact he hasn’t won a match on the surface since 2011 and given he is unpredictable at the best of times, don’t expect this to be one of his going days.
Federer has dropped no more than five games in any of his last three Wimbledon openers and another dominant display is expected against grass-court greenhorn Damir Dzumhur.
The Bosnian has only played three qualifiers on the surface in his professional career, losing to little-known duo Izak van der Merwe and Ante Pavic.
Federer has already beaten Dzumhur in straight sets at this year’s French Open and the Swiss maestro is an even better player on grass than clay.
Murray’s opener against Mikhail Kukushkin has the potential to be tricky, with the world number 59 stealing the first set off Nadal in the third round last year, before dropping all of the next three 6-1.
However, losing 6-0, 6-2 to Alexander Zverev at the Aegon Open in Nottingham is not the best Wimbledon preparation.
Kukushkin does have power down both wings and the flat hitting to pose problems if enjoying a good day targeting the lines, but Murray should progress in three hard-fought sets.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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