With the European Championships now in full flow and the Olympics set to dominate sporting headlines later this summer, one could be forgiven for forgetting all about the summer’s usual sporting highlight, the Wimbledon Championships.
But with Britain’s Andy Murray set to begin proceedings on Tuesday with a tricky first round tie against world number 47 Nikolay Davydenko, it won’t be long before all eyes are once again on the All England Club.
Provided it remains rain-free, day one also provides much to keep sports fans entertained in the brief Euros lull, with Roger Federer and world number one Novak Djokovic set to open their grass court season on Monday. Both feature in the opening day Wimbledon accie priced at 6/1.
Roger Federer to beat Albert Ramos 3-0 @1/12
The 24-year-old Spaniard has been handed something of a cruel draw in his first-ever Wimbledon appearance. He’s never reached further than the second round in a Grand Slam so far and Federer is not a man to show sympathy for the promising youngster – the Swiss six-time Wimbledon winner last went out in the first round in 2002 and has not failed to make at least the quarters since then.
Novak Djokovic to beat Juan Carlos Ferrero @ 1/8
Djokovic was forced to reacquaint himself with the feeling of Grand Slam defeat for the first time in over a year following his gruelling loss to Rafael Nadal in the French Open final earlier this month. Nadal is the only man who has beaten Djokovic this season, who has won six of his eight victories in straight sets.
These two meet for the first time on grass, with their previous two meetings split down the middle – Ferrero defeated the Serb on clay in 2005 while Djokovic gained revenge on Madrid’s hard court in 2007. Ferrero has struggled so far this season, however, having lost six of his ten games, while his Wimbledon record is patchy to say the least – he equalled his best finish in 2009 by reaching the quarters but followed that by exiting in the first round in 2010 and failed to appear last year.
David Nalbandian to beat Janko Tipsarevic @11/10
The new bad boy of men’s tennis might receive something of a frosty reception on court following his shameful antics at Queen’s, but he’ll also receive plenty of attention, particularly as his tie with eighth seed Tipsarevic is likely to be well-matched. The Argentine leads their previous meetings 2-1, and while all of these have been on hard court, Tipsarevic has an awful recent record at Wimbledon, having lost in the first round in the last two years.
Milos Raonic to beat Santiago Giraldo @ 1/10
There are big hopes for the 21-year-old Canadian giant Raonic, with all of his 6ft 5in being used to produce a devastating serve that should see him past his first round opposition. He served a massive 25 aces against, of all people, Roger Federer in Germany last week, only losing in a third-set tiebreaker. He also boasts a straight-set defeat of Andy Murray in Barcelona early this year.
Kim Clijsters to beat Jelena Jankovic @4/11
Four times Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters faces 18th seed and fellow former number one Jelena Jankovic. The Belgian has confirmed that this is to be her last season, and having never got further than the semi-final at SW19, will be keen to improve on that in her final chance. Despite an injury-hit season meaning she has not been seeded and therefore handed a tricky first tie against an opponent who won the mixed doubles title here in 2007, she does have an excellent record against the Serb – she’s won seven of the eight previous head-to-heads between these two.
Angelique Kerber to beat Lucie Hradecka 2-0 @ 2/5
Eighth seed Kerber boasts a 3-0 record over her first round opponent and one of the year’s high-flyers (Kerber has risen over 100 places to break the top ten) should have few problems against Hradecka, who has lost three of her last four matches.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.