Those thinking that Roger Federer is beyond his prime and can’t win Wimbledon this year may want to think again.
The Swiss star claimed yet another ATP Halle tournament win – coming back from a first-set loss to overcome Mikhail Youzhny – and the competition is often a precursor to Federer’s Wimbledon achievements.
In six of his last seven final appearances in the Gerry Weber Open tournament, the 31-year-old has subsequently gone on to reach the showpiece in SW19, winning five times.
That Halle win has pulled Federer in from 6/1 to 11/2 for a record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title, and there’s plenty to suggest he could gain the upper hand on his rivals in 2013 too, just as in 2012.
With Andy Murray missing the French Open to focus on his recovery from injury, and Rafael Nadal handed a tougher than usual draw after being seeded fifth, Federer arrives in south-west London in better shape than anyone perhaps except Novak Djokovic.
But then factor in that Federer beat Djokovic on the Wimbledon lawn in four-sets in last year’s semi-final, and suddenly 11/2 looks a lot more attractive for that eighth crown.
Djokovic is the favourite at 15/8, but he has only once reached the final in Wimbledon, and that was during his near-invincible year of 2011.
The Serb won the US Open this year, but lost out to Nadal in the last four in the French.
Nadal’s recovery from injury is all but complete following his eighth French Open title, and the Spaniard is 3/1 for Centre Court glory.
That price may tempt many thanks to his lower seeding for this tournament due to his knee injuries.
Home favourite Andy Murray is also at 3/1.
Nobody will forget his emotional speech following defeat in last year’s final to Federer, least of all the Scot himself, who will be more determined than ever to finally give the British fans something to cheer about.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing