Defending Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray (3/1 Bet365) hasn’t had the greatest grass court preparation. A win against Mathieu in round one of Queens was followed by a surprise loss to veteran Stepanek. What can Mauresmo bring to Andy’s game in time for SW19? Still I am sure Andy will be very confident when he returns to the All England Club and will be difficult to beat over 5 sets there. His seeding will hopefully be top 4 which also means he will avoid Nadal, Djokovic and Federer until the Semi-finals, thats if they all get there. Andy is good value for money and as long as fitness isn’t an issue should be there or there abouts again in 2014. He needs to play attacking tennis though…..
World number 1 Rafa Nadal (4/1 Bet365) won the title in 2008 and 2010 but over the last few years has struggled, mainly due to some inspired play from Rosol and Darcis. These 2 matches i am sure will still stay in the mind of Rafa and his confidence on this surface is definitely not what it was. While you can never write him off, I feel several players will fancy their chances against the Spaniard this year as well. Nadal’s 9th Roland Garros title may give Nadal a confidence boost though. Lost early in Halle to Dustin Brown
Novak Djokovic (7/4 Bet365) lost to Murray in straight sets last year, but the Serbian has been in great form ever since. He currently does not hold a Grand Slam title, but has been Mr consistency for the past 12 months and the 2011 Wimbledon Winner will fancy his chances of holding the title again. His game is very suited to grass and should make the semi-finals easily. He is short priced favourite though and doesn’t offer too much value.
How about 7 times Wimbledon champion Roger Federer (4/1 Bet365) adding to his collection in 2014? His recent coach Stefan Edberg also had plenty of success on the grass courts of SW19 and Roger will still be hugely motivated to win another title, especially after his shock loss to Stakhovsky in 2013. Roger is very popular with the Wimbledon crowds, 2nd only to Andy Murray for obvious reasons. I expect another bold showing from the Swiss star and he is at a nice price.
Stan Wawrinka’s (10/1 Bet365) grass court success is very limited, though he did OK at Queens Club last week reaching the semi-finals. I cannot see him getting any further than the Quarter Finals, though he may struggle to do this.
Tomas Berdych (33/1 Bet365) is a former finalist and definitely has the ability to cause big problems. However he has only reached the Quarter finals or better 3 times and not sure he can repeat his 2010 final appearance, though a lot will depend on his draw. Big price if he can get into his groove
Big serving Milos Raonic (33/1 Bet365) and John Isner (100/1 Bet365) will be hitting ace after ace on the green surface throughout the championships. They will be difficult to break and therefore could cause surprises at big prices. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (25/1 Bet365) has not been in great form and is struggling to keep his top 20 ranking. He will as ever be dangerous on the grass and with a strong serve and the ability to cover the net gives him a chance of winning a few matches at least. The Frenchman will be popular with the crowd is nothing else. Could well be a very difficult 4th round opponent for a top seed.
Grigor Dimitrov (20/1 Bet365) had a poor French Open and will looking to make amends at Wimbledon. Another very popular player he will get plenty of support and with girlfriend Sharapova watching on, the Bulgarian could well show his capabilities on the grass. You feel Grigor still needs one big breakthrough in a major tournament and this could be it. Dimitrov won the Aegon Championships at Queens Club last week and that is very solid grass court form. The Bulgarian could be very dangerous, but may still lack experience
Injury problems are a cause for concern to Kei Nishikori (50/1 Bet365). Recently making his ATP top 10 debut, the Japanese star lost early at Roland Garros, despite showing excellent clay court capabilities. I can’t see him causing too many problems for the top 4 seeds this year. Lost to Federer in Halle
Ernests Gulbis (50/1 Bet365)lost early at Queens Club and has only ever reached the 3rd round once. However i think we have yet to see the best of the Latvian on grass and his 6 losses have been against Murray, Nadal, Janowicz, Verdasco, Tursunov and Baghdatis, all whom have some good grass court ability. Now ranked top 10 he should avoid the top seeds until the 4th round, by which time he could well have got himself into some good form on this surface. Grass can be very unforgiving though and if he not mentally strong he could perish early on.
Monfils (125/1 Bet365), Anderson (150/1 Bet365), Gasquet (100/1 Bet365) and Dolgopolov (200/1 Bet365) all have strong grass court games and could cause an upset or two, though consistency could be the problem for these players. Ivo Karlovic (200/1 Bet365) if fit could cause a surprise and has some good grass court results in his career mainly down to his big 1st serve while fellow ‘veterans of the tour Lleyton Hewitt (250/1 Bet365) and Dimitry Tursurnov (500/1 Bet365) have plenty of experience at Wimbledon and will be confident of performing well on their day . Jerzy Janowicz needs to keep his head in his matches and if he does the Pole could be dangerous (28/1 Bet365)
I can’t see past the top 4 players though for the title and Andy Murray to retain his title would be my pick at 3/1