The sun has made its annual appearance, the players are in France, the strawberries are being picked, and the highlight of Britain’s sporting summer is less than three weeks away; Yes Wimbledon is almost upon us.
Aside from the off court traditions, now is the time to seriously consider who could be in contention to walk away from the All England Club with a cheque for £1.6 million – up 40% from last year.
Home favourite Andy Murray’s preparations for Wimbledon have been hindered by injury in recent weeks, leading to his withdrawal from the French Open. With a long and gruelling schedule on tour, it is hardly surprising that Murray had been unable to shake off the back injury that marred his progress at the Monte Carlo Masters, and forced his withdrawal from the clay courts in France.
Given the extra two weeks recovery and preparation time, some observers may see the lay off as less than ideal in the run up to the third major tournament of the season, however it may well prove to be a master stroke by the World number two.
Having come so close to victory on home soil last year succumbing to defeat in four sets by seven-time champion Roger Federer. Major scalps along the way included David Ferrer and 2011 semi-finalist Jo-Wilfred Tsonga along the way.
He later redeemed himself back at the All England Club during the Olympic final against Federer in spectacular fashion, before going on to secure an elusive maiden major at the US Open.
With Murray having reached the semi-finals or better every year since 2009, history suggests that he will be there or there abouts come the closing stages at SW19 again this year. With the British number one the 7/2 third favourite, it would be difficult to argue against staking each-way money on the home crowd favourite.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing