With Wimbledon fast approaching, the Eastbourne Championships were thought to represent an ideal preparation opportunity for defending champion Petra Kvitova, who is 5/1 to claim back-to-back titles in London.
However, she suffered a shock first-round exit at the hands of Russian minnow Ekaterina Makarova, which could deter punters from investing in her odds at the All England Lawn Club.
After an impressive start to the year that has seen her claim success in the Hopman Cup alongside Tomas Berdych, Kvitova saw her Australian Open progress halted by Maria Sharapova at the semi-final stage.
Particularly worrying about this latest setback though, is the fact that this Eastbourne tournament was played on a grass court, as, of course, Wimbledon will be.
Czech Republican Kvitova admitted she wasn’t at her best, but also praised her opponent’s performance in the bout, telling Reuters, “It was a tough opponent for me for the first round, and I didn’t play well.
“She has won here in the past, so I know that she can play well on the grass.”
It was in fact Kvitova’s first outing on the grass surface since her Wimbledon triumph of last year, and she admitted that it was less than ideal preparation for the Grand Slam.
“It’s not good preparation for Wimbledon, but I have more days for getting ready. I have to work hard now to improve my game.”
Kvitova was not the only big name player to become an early casualty in the championships however, with fellow top three seed Caroline Wozniacki also bowing out at the first hurdle.
Wozniacki was bested by American Christina McHale, and is afforded a monster 50/1 price about Wimbledon success in the aftermath of this surprise result.
Meanwhile, Sharapova heads the betting for this year’s Wimbledon, as an 11/4 shot in the aftermath of her French Open triumph.
That was her first Grand Slam success in four years, and now fully recovered from her reconstructive shoulder surgery, she will see investment to claim a first Wimbledon title since 2004.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.