Serena shakes up Wimbledon odds with Eastbourne announcement

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Both Serena and Venus Williams will take their place in the line-up for the WTA Eastbourne tournament next week.

After a year on the sidelines, all eyes will be on Serena to see how she copes with a return to tennis ahead of Wimbledon at the end of the month.

The former world number one has slid to 25 in the world rankings and a win at Eastbourne would propel Serena back up the rankings, leaving the Wimbledon draw potentially a little easier.

Serena’s last tennis match was defeating Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2 in the 2010 Wimbledon final and the 13-time Grand Slam winner is easily the most devastating player in women’s tennis when she’s in-form.

Eastbourne will offer Serena the chance to find that form ahead of this year’s Wimbledon and eagle-eyed punters will be studying every forehand and backhand on the south coast.

Despite the fact Serena hasn’t been seen on a tennis court for a year, her domination of women’s tennis in 2009 and 2010 sees her prominent in the women’s Wimbledon betting at 9/2.

Only Maria Sharapova (7/2) finds herself ahead of Serena in the betting and even Venus demands respect as one of four joint-fourth favourites at 8/1.

A four-time Wimbledon winner, Serena’s Wimbledon odds could potentially rival Rafael Nadal’s French Open odds of 15/8 as the bet of the tennis season and should Serena dominate the Eastbourne tournament, that 9/2 price will disappear.

Serena has been very quiet about her tennis plans since injuring her foot in Germany last year, and today’s announcement is a welcome boost for women’s tennis who have missed the Williams sisters.

Sharapova, Clijsters, Na Li, Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva and Victoria Azarenka are all names to watch out for at Wimbledon and the return of the Williams sisters will make this a highly competitive Wimbledon.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.