The U.S. Open is the most raucous tennis major because of its New York City setting, while the French Open is the most unusual because of the red clay surface. The most storied Grand Slam tournament in tennis is the grass-court Wimbledon at the All England Club outside London. This year’s event gets underway Monday. Here are the Sports Interaction favourites on each side of the draw.
2017 Wimbledon Favourites
Wimbledon is the only major that chooses not to seed simply by world rankings; it can basically seed how it wants but greater weight is given to recent results in grass-court tournaments or past success at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon Men’s Odds
Roger Federer is the No. 5 player in the world, but he has been seeded third – the draw is Friday – as the Swiss star is a +212 favourite to set a record with an eighth Wimbledon title. Federer, 35, shocked just about everyone in the tennis world by winning the Australian Open back in January. He hasn’t played a lot since then because of injury and deciding to skip the French Open, Federer’s worst surface, to focus on Wimbledon. He and Pete Sampras are the only players in the open era to win seven Wimbledon titles on the men’s side.
Andy Murray will be the crowd favourite as usual, and the world No. 1 and top seed is +357. Murray broke a nearly 80-year drought for a Great Britain male by winning Wimbledon back in 2012 and added a second title in 2016. Murray hasn’t reached a final of a Slam since but was in the semifinals of the French last month.
French Open champion and No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal (+404) and struggling former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic (+496), the No. 2 seed, round out the Big 4. In Paris, Nadal became the first player to ever win the same Grand Slam 10 times. He’s a two-time champion (2008, ’10) at Wimbledon and three-time runner-up. Djokovic looks nothing like the player who was dominating tennis as recently as a year ago. He has one title in 2017 and was bounced in the second round of the Aussie Open and the quarters of the French. He won Wimbledon in 2011 & 2014-15 but was a third-round exit in 2016.
It’s the first time since Wimbledon three years ago that the Big 4 have been named top seeds for any Grand Slam. Therefore none of them could meet before the semifinals.
Wimbledon Women’s Odds
As for the women’s side, your best bet might be to pick a name out of a hat as it’s a completely wide-open field because it’s again missing Serena Williams (seven-time champion, including past two years) and Maria Sharapova (2004 winner). This was also the case at the French Open, and unknown Jelena Ostapenko took her first title of any kind in Paris. She’s +1400 to pull an incredibly unlikely double.
World No. 1 Angelique Kerber is the top seed but priced down at +1300. She was my pick to win the French and promptly was stunned in the first round in one of the tournament’s biggest-ever upsets. Kerber has yet to win a tournament this year.
Petra Kvitova (+500) and Karolina Pliskova (+550) are your favourites. Kvitova, the No. 11 seed, was out the first five-plus months of 2017 due to an injury suffered in an attack in her home but returned for the French. She’s a two-time Wimbledon champion (2011, ’14) and recently won a grass-court warm-up tournament in Birmingham, England. Pliskova, the No. 3 seed, has never played in the final of any Grand Slam, although she did reach the semis at Wimbledon last year.
Top Canadian Players Odds
No Canadian male or female has won Wimbledon. World No. 7 Milos Raonic (+1100), who is seeded sixth, reached last year’s final, losing in straight sets (4-6, 6-7, 6-7) to Murray. He upset Federer in five sets in the semifinals to get there. Raonic also reached the semis in 2014 but hasn’t been beyond the third round otherwise.
Raonic hasn’t reached a final of any tournament in 2017 and was bounced in the first round last week in a warm-up tournament. The Canadian, who has been battling injuries this year, fired the coach he’s been working with since December, former Wimbledon champ Richard Krajicek. Raonic plans to play with more emotion to get his groove back.
“[I’ll] sort of … put it out there,” Raonic said to reporters recently. “Being more emotional and be a bit more, let’s say, abrasive about it. Really just go after it, not really try to hold anything back.”
Eugenie Bouchard (+5000) had her career breakthrough at Wimbledon in 2014 by reaching the final, although she then only won three games against Kvitova. Bouchard has been ousted in the first and third rounds since and, in fact, hasn’t advanced past the third round of any Slam since the 2015 U.S. Open. Bouchard is just 11-12 on the season and lost in the first round of the Eastbourne International on Monday.
I did solid on my French Open men’s prediction in picking Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka as he reached the final before being routed by Nadal. Here, I like Murray to add a third Wimbledon title. On the women’s side, the choice is Simona Halep (+1800). She should have won the French but blew a 6-4, 3-0 lead against Ostapenko. Halep has progressed as far as the semis at Wimbledon.