Wimbledon day one: Baghdatis to take grass court form forward

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Although a different grass-based ball game may steal away some of its usual limelight, Wimbledon’s commencement means the ribbon can finally be cut on the British summer.

Andy Murray is looking to defend the title that he won to great fanfare last year while the women’s title cannot be reclaimed after Marion Bartoli decided to retire soon after her triumph over Sabine Lisicki.

Much betting fun can be had in the early rounds, and we look to kick things off with a windfall in our day one picks:

Marcos Baghdatis to beat Dustin Brown @ 8/13

By winning the Aegon Trophy in Nottingham prior to this Grand Slam, the Cypriot claimed his first singles title since 2010 and halted the plummet of his world ranking.

A wildcard entry at Wimbledon, Baghdatis has a golden opportunity to make the tournament’s second round against Brown, who has lost 11 times on grass in his career, winning 15 matches on the surface.

The German’s recent victory over Rafa Nadal on grass is a smoke and mirrors result of a player who’s been dumped out at SW19 at the first opportunity twice in three appearances.

Marin Cilic v Paul-Henri Mathieu to have exactly four sets @ 13/8

These two have met on grass three times over the course of their careers, including twice in the space of three tournaments in 2008.

Cilic leads the series 2-1 but none of the trio of encounters were won in straight sets. In fact, only one of their seven career tussles, on any surface, have been decided without both men getting on the scoreboard.

Kimiko Date-Krumm to beat Ekaterina Makarova @ 7/2

The Japanese veteran’s run to the third round at last year’s Wimbledon was her best performance since a 1996 semi-final appearance (although she was absent from the sport between 1997 and 2007).

She has lost to her Russian opponent on both occasions she’s faced her, but Makarova generally doesn’t like Wimbledon having never stayed beyond the thirs round and losing in the first twice in six tries.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.