Sunday, 23 June 2013

A look ahead to Wimbledon

So, Wimbledon’s just around the corner, and I thought I’d write a piece on it.

A brief explanation of my betting/viewing habits around tennis: I’m much more casually interested than F1 [ironic, as my tennis bets this year are rather healthier than my F1 bets]. Typically my bets are just straight win/lose on specific matches, based on the stats offered on Betfair.

Anyway, the men’s tournament is perfectly poised. Federer is the defending champion, but to retain the crown he’ll probably have to beat Nadal and Murray and Djokovic, even as his star is waning. Nadal has come back from prolonged injury to take a record 8th French Open title. Murray is the US Open champion and won the last tournament held at Wimbledon (2012 Olympic gold). Djokovic is world number one and reigning Australian Open champion. Perhaps even more importantly he has an easy draw whereby he can only meet Nadal, Federer or Murray in the final.

We have a quartet of excellent men, each of whom has a single Grand Slam title. Not only that, there’s a strong set of would-be winners (Tsonga, Monaco, Del Potro) who are capable of causing an upset.

The women’s game interests me less, as a spectator. Serena Williams seems immensely strong, but in a Schumacher sort of way - winning by so much it drains the tension and drama from the contest. Good for her to win so much, of course, but it's not thrilling to watch. However, there’s an intriguing spat, it would seem, between her and Maria Sharapova (who has not beaten Williams for about a decade).

They’re in separate halves of the draw, I believe, so we could have a grudge match final. Sadly, it’s hard to see anything but a Williams victory.

On the other hand, the British ladies do seem to be getting increasingly competitive, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Watson or Robson can get near the sharp end.

No tips for the first day of play, incidentally.

Morris Dancer

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