Tradition. It’s a wonderful thing.
It’s mint juleps at the Kentucky Derby. It’s Pimento cheese sandwiches at The Masters. It’s milk to the winner of the Indianapolis 500.
And at Wimbledon, it’s strawberries and cream.
“The Championships” as they are known in the U.K., begin Monday. And there’ll be plenty of interesting storylines to follow. With tennis looking to have its changing of the guard, Buckingham Place has nothing on Centre Court at the All England Club.
Much like the Derby where people who never bet horse racing take a stab at picking a winner, many who would never think of betting on a tennis match may want to have some action as they settle in for a fortnight of serving and volleying.
Jeff Sherman of the Westgate SuperBook knows what’s coming. Fans will look to the old reliables — Roger Federer on the men’s side, and Serena Williams in the women’s draw, to step into the wayback machine and find a way to get one more title.
“Federer and Serena always garner support,” Sherman said. “The public will continue to wager on ‘If it has happened before, it can happen again.’”
Federer, who has won Wimbledon eight times, is 3-1 to win a ninth. Novak Djokovic is the 3-2 favorite to defend his title.
Sherman said the Westgate is seeing action spread out among Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal (5-1), Dominic Thiem (30-1) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (16-1) in terms of number of tickets written. As far as money wagered, Djokovic, Nadal, Tsitsipas, Federer and Thiem are getting the most support. But there are no real liabilties of concern.
It’s a little different on the women’s side. Yes, Serena remains a popular choice and as of Monday, she was the second choice in the betting at 6-1 behind Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, who is 4-1. But Naomi Osaka (9-1), Petra Kvitova (12-1) and Simona Halep (16-1) are all getting support ticket-wise.
Money wise, Bianca Andreescu, who opened at 100-1, is getting a lot of support. Sherman said one bettor wagered $1,250 on Andreescu at 20-1. Another $1,250 ticket at 16-1 was written. Monday, Andreescu was back to 20-1.
“We’ve got some liability on Andreescu, although she has been battling injury,” Sherman said. “We also have some liability on Sloane Stephens (18-1).
“We’re always going to have interest in Serena Williams in the majors. Lately, Naomi Osaka has been the popular choice since she won the 2018 U.S. Open.”
Looking for a live long shot in the men’s event? Sherman said Felix Auger-Aliassime at 20-1 and Matteo Berretini at 40-1 are in form and could be worth taking a chance on.
Then there’s Andy Murray, who had hip surgery earlier this year and is likely making his final appearance at Wimbledon. The 32-year-old from Scotland is 50-1 despite having won the doubles title at Queen’s last weekend. A miracle run at the All England Club would captivate the entire U.K.
On the women’s side, Angelique Kerber, the defending Wimbledon champion, can be had at 14-1. Garbine Muguruza, the 2017 champ, is 25-1 after opening up at 12-1.
Barty, incidentally, opened at 30-1 before her winning the French Open and her victory on grass Sunday at Birmingham vaulted her to No. 1 in the WTA rankings. However, she had to pull out of this week’s final Wimbledon tuneup at Eastbourne with an injury to her right arm.
But she had pulled out of the tournament at Strasbourg last month prior to the French Open after the arm injury flared up, so don’t be afraid to back Barty next week, even though the price isn’t great.
As popular as Wimbledon is, Sherman said it doesn’t generate the most betting action for tennis.
“The U.S. Open is our largest wagered upon tennis event of the year, followed by Wimbledon,” Sherman said.
Those who follow and bet tennis regularly no doubt will be using their phone apps for in-game wagering. The odds can dramatically shift with the result of a single game or set. Remember, at Wimbledon, the men’s tournament is best-of-five. So there will be plenty of opportunities to wager during the matches.
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