Our tennis man Andy Schooler looks back on week one of Wimbledon 2019, gives his view on how things will unfold in week two and offers up an 18/1 shot for Monday’s action.


Wimbledon 2019: Men’s Singles

Story so far

I spoke about the 16-year dominance of tennis’ Big Four in my initial preview and, in the absence of Andy Murray, the Big Three of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer look firmly on course to extend that to 17.

It’s fair to say all three have yet to hit peak form – it’s always the plan to be playing your best come the semis and final any way – but they’ve negotiated everything put in front of them.

Nadal has been the one who has really made an impact on the market – he’s into 7/2 from a starting price of 6/1. The Spaniard’s supposedly tricky draw has been dealt with comfortably so far, Nadal defeating Nick Kyrgios in four sets before dismissing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with ease.

Djokovic also dropped a set – to Hubert Hurkacz – but is now odds-on at 4/6 having been sent off at 5/4.

My pick Federer is the one who has drifted in the market (he’s 7/2 from 3/1) but that’s largely due to Nadal’s eyecatching form – the pair are on course to meet in the semi-finals. Slower court speeds don’t appear to have helped his cause either.


What now?

I fully expect the Big Three to be in the semis – along with my each-way pick Milos Raonic, who is into 18/1 from 33s.

Raonic will, however, need a very good day if he’s to beat Djokovic – he’s only won two sets in nine previous meetings with the Serb.

In the here and now, even money about Raonic reaching the semis looks fair enough. He plays Guido Pella next with Roberto Bautista Agut or Benoit Paire to face the winner.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Milos Raonic of Canada plays a backhand in his Men's Singles third round match against Reilly Opelka of The United States during Day five of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 05, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Djokovic shouldn’t really be troubled by those left in his quarter, but potential dangers remain for Nadal and Federer in the bottom half.

For the former, Sam Querrey is a potential quarter-final foe and his serve has been doing plenty of damage.

He only returned to action after a long lay-off in Eastbourne but reached the final there and he’s been in good form so far in SW19 with Dominic Thiem among his victims.

The American has won at least a set in four of their five previous matches and the most recent was a Querrey win (on hardcourts in Acapulco in 2017).

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Sam Querrey of The United States plays a forehand in his Men's Singles third round match against John Millman of Australia during Day six of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 06, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

As for Federer, his next match looks a tricky one against one of the season’s big improvers, Matteo Berrettini. He’s backed up an excellent claycourt campaign with some fine grass results and his big serve gives him a puncher’s chance against anyone.

Federer hasn’t faced that delivery before so about the Italian claiming the first set certainly looks tempting.

In terms of the eventual winner, Djokovic looks the most likely – just as he did at the start. But the prices reflect that and there seems little value in backing him now at 4/6 given he’s still four wins from glory.

In terms of a long shot, a case can be made for Querrey – a semi-finalist here two years ago – at 33/1. However, to reach the final it’s likely he’ll have to beat both Nadal and Federer and that’s a big ask.


Wimbledon 2019: Women’s Singles

Story so far

The ‘quarter of death’ at the top of the draw saw two of its supposed contenders fail to match seeding expectations with defending champion Angelique Kerber and 2017 winner Garbine Muguruza both losing early.

However, top seed Ash Barty and seven-time winner Serena Williams remain and the pair fill two of the top three spots in the outright market at 5/2 and 11/2 respectively.

Splitting them is my title pick, Karolina Pliskova (7/2 from a starting price of 7/1). As suggested in my outright preview, the bottom half has proved a weak part of the draw with several big names failing to make it beyond week one, most notably Naomi Osaka.

Having survived a tough test against the tricky, mix-it-up play of Su-Wei Hsieh, Pliskova looks well placed to take advantage and make the final.

Wimbledon 2019


What next?

A mouthwatering semi-final between Barty and Serena looks on the cards with both looking in good shape thus far.

Serena’s proven grasscourt pedigree at the highest level makes her a tempting prospect for the title at 11/2 at this juncture but the worry for potential backers is that last-eight showdown could prove draining both physically and mentally.

The winner of Monday’s last-16 clash between Petra Kvitova and Jo Konta could well take advantage and with Kvitova yet to be truly tested following the arm injury which had cast doubt over her participation here, Konta could also offer value at 14/1.

In the bottom half, I’m happy with my Pliskova position but for those seeking value now, Dayana Yastremsaka at 20/1 has a case.

The big-hitting Ukrainian faces Shuai Zhang on Monday with Simona Halep or Cori Gauff to follow. She’s been very much under the radar now but the ‘other’ teenager in this section could yet make some headlines of her own.


Monday’s best bet

The second Monday is, for me, the best day of Wimbledon with all 32 remaining singles players in action.

Of the 16 ties scheduled, the one between Serena Williams and Carla Suarez Navarro throws up a cracking 18/1 shot.

Serena has dominated previous meetings between the pair. She’s won all six matches in straight sets, with the Spaniard never winning more than three games in a set. It’s fair to say, CSN brings some baggage to this one.

Five of those 12 sets have been 6-0 but you can get about the first set on Monday ending that way. It’s clear value.

Two of those five 6-0 Serena sets have been the opener in a match – a strike rate of 1 in 3.

US player Serena Williams returns against Slovakia's Kaja Juvan during their women's singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 4, 2019. (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Clearly it won’t take that much for the bet to go down but it very much looks worth a try.

For those wanting more of safety net built in, the  offered about Serena winning 2-0, serving the most aces and there being under 17.5 games in the match looks decent enough.

Five of the six previous meetings would have won this bet – only a tie in the ace count (in a claycourt match) preventing the clean sweep.

It would be no surprise to see their Wimbledon 2019 contest deliver too.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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