Tennis fans will have had next Monday circled in the diary with a big red marker for months now, as that’s when the latest two-week Wimbledon festival gets underway. For Garbine Muguruza, the tournament will represent the completion of an amazing 12 months.
This time last year, the Spaniard headed to SW19 as an 80/1 outsider, briefly hitting 100/1 during her second-round clash.
The odds soon tumbled however, as the Venezuelan-born player reached her first Slam final, before going down valiantly 4-6 4-6 to Serena Williams.
Early exits at the US and Australian Opens followed, but in between came a strong October run to the Wuhan and China Open finals – winning the latter – hinting that the 22-year-old was really starting to make a name for herself.
And after a slow start to the year, a semi-final run in Rome last month (beaten narrowly by the rapidly-improving Madison Keys) kick-started Muguruza’s campaign at the perfect time.
In the French Open a week later, Muguruza very much became a recognised name, exacting revenge on Serena with a 7-5 6-4 win in Paris, winning every set after dropping her first round opener.
And so just a year after being an 80/1 shot, the Spaniard goes to Wimbledon this time around as 5/1 second favourite, with only Serena at a shorter price.
A first round exit in Mallorca last week shouldn’t be too much of a concern to potential backers, with the player herself quickly putting a straight sets defeat to Kirsten Flipkens down to a lack of preparation, having been in Paris the day before.
With the terrifyingly strong competition in the WTA ensuring a consistent run is nigh-on impossible, it’s the little things that can make the big differences, and Muguruza’s French Open experience could be exactly what hands her that edge across the channel in Wimbledon over the next few weeks.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.