Even Big Wcan’t excite

Jun 19, 2007 4:39 AM

Tennis is not a major betting sports. In fact, it barely registers.

However, it’s Wimbledon time. This is the biggest event in tennis, the Daytona 500 of NASCAR and U.S. Open of golf. The fact it occurs two weeks after the French, doesn’t diminish the value, but wiseguys may have a problem getting up for it.

That may also apply because Americans have become allergic to grass over the years. With Pete Sampras enjoying retirement, Swiss stud Roger Federer has claimed the Big W for himself. This leaves the USA with Andy Roddick and James Blake on the men’s side.

The women’s picture is different. The Williams sisters are big threats on grass with their huge serves and court coverage. Injuries are their biggest problem.

Serena is the 5/2 favorite at the Big W, but Justine Henin at 3/1 is really the top choice to win. Henin has clearly become the No. 1 player, with the Russian Front chasing.

Maria Sharapova has the serve, toughness and work ethic to win. Lately, though, she has come up with indifferent efforts against the top players. Former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo may be more hungry and dangerous during her slump.

As for the men, it’s Federer’s tournament to win or lose. If Fed is on, count it. He’s unbeatable on grass. But he took the French Open final loss to Rafael Nadal especially hard and opted out of the event at Queens Club. Roddick, who won the London event for the fourth time in five years, was bounced from the French in the first round.That was on red clay.

If ever Andy had a shot to win Wimbledon, this is the year. But our money is on Fed and Justine.