Wimbledon: Can Willis beat Federer? Bigger upsets have happened…

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Britain’s Marcus Willis enjoyed arguably the greatest day of his career on the opening day of Wimbledon 2016, producing a huge upset to defeat Ricardas Berankis in straight sets. Now the 25-year-old will be looking to create one of SW19’s biggest ever shocks when he faces Roger Federer in round two.

Having won just £220 all season, Willis – ranked 772 – bagged a £50,000 paycheck after downing world number 54 Berankis.

The Slough man has been rewarded with what will likely be a Centre Court fixture versus the great Swiss maestro, Federer.

R-Fed is 1/100 for the win, with Willis the 20/1 outsider. But with Federer not exactly shining in his opening round contest, could the Brit produce another amazing upset?

Should he do so, Willis would join this list of Wimbledon upsetters…

Jelena Dokic v Martina Hingis – 1999

Dokic would go on to have a long career in the game, but in 1999 she was a 16-year-old Wimbledon debutant up against a Martina Hingis who had won that year’s Australian Open and reached the final at Roland Garros.

Not only was the result a surprise, it was the manner of the result, with Dokic running riot 6-2 6-0 in just 54 minutes. It is still the only time a women’s number 1 has lost to a qualifier, and it was in the first round.

Steve Darcis v Rafael Nadal – 2013

Nadal may have bowed out early to Lukas Rosol 12 months previously in five sets, but heading into Wimbledon a year later, the Spaniard – riding a 22-game winning streak – fared even worse, crashing out in round one.

Knee concerns had interrupted his pre-Wimbledon prep, but world number 135 Darcis’ three-set win  was a shock to the tune of odds of 66/1.

And here’s one more little piece of inspiration for Willis…

Sergiy Stakhovsky v Roger Federer – 2013

The Fed Express was the reigning Wimbledon champion when he faced world number 116 Stakhovsky and the Ukrainian was 25/1 for the win (larger than Willis), with Federer reaching 1/250 at one point.

But on the day, Stakhovsy prevailed through four gruelling sets, ending R-Fed’s run of 36 straight Grand Slams of reaching at least the quarter-finals.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.