Wimbledon: Women’s Winner | 2nd-15th July 2018
TENNIS analyst Gavin Mair take s a look at the women’s Wimbledon outright market, picking out his favourite fancies.
The 2018 WTA draw promises to provide for an entertaining fortnight. Top seed Simona Halep (14/1) returns to action for the first time since lifting a maiden Grand Slam title in Paris last month, whilst the top two players of the past 10 years, Serena Williams (6/1) and Maria Sharapova (16/1), are both seeded and sit ominously in the draw.
Whilst Serena and Maria continue their career comebacks, it is another player that has had to climb back up the rankings who leads the outright market. Before the start of the 2017 season two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (9/2) sustained damage to the tendons in her left hand when a knife-wielding attacker invaded her home.
Career obituaries were typed up in the days and weeks following that event, yet the Czech is back at her best – and has never looked fitter – as we head into the 2018 Wimbledon tournament.
Whilst Kvitova has the form, fitness and pedigree to win a third Wimbledon title she looks short in the outright markets given her draw. Kvitova has not made it past the third round since 2014, yet to make the semis she may have to overcome the aforementioned Sharapova and Halep.
Defending champion Garbine Muguruza (15/2) is another short-priced favourite and it would be no surprise to see the Spaniard, who saves her best tennis for the big events, defend her crown. Her biggest – and possibly only threat – in the second quarter comes from 2017 runner-up Angelique Kerber (11/1), although the ever improving Naomi Osaka (drawn to meet Kerber in the third round) may also cause some problems.
To me, the third quarter looks to be the softest and this likely favours last year’s outright favourite Karolina Pliskova (14/1). Pliskova is by no means the most talented player in the tournament and there are certain match-ups that can exploit her wooden movement which has been her undoing in recent years, but she is a talented grass court player and knows how to grind past lesser opponents.
Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens stand in Pliskova’s way but I feel comfortable in opposing them. The years look to be finally catching up with 38-year-old Venus, whilst Stephens may struggle to follow up her strong clay season.
The fourth quarter is Serena Williams’ to lose. Her current condition is unknown and she was last seen withdrawing from a fourth round match against Sharapova in Paris. If Serena isn’t at the races then it possibly favours Coco Vandeweghe in the bottom half of the final quarter.
The American has made the quarters in two of the last three years and is value at 15/1 to go one step further this year – although an in-form Serena Williams will be tough to defeat.
Garbine Muguruza to win outright (15/2)
Karolina Pliskova to win outright (14/1)
Coco Vandeweghe to win the 4th Quarter (15/1)