The oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament of the year is only a week away. I like to start firing on some futures bets after I can see some of these players get back on grass and see how they perform. Some players take time off after the French, especially after a long run, but others do get a decent leg up of playing on a much different surface than they have recently.
The biggest thing you want to understand about Wimbledon is the surface speed and the major difference that it creates compared to something like clay. For over a decade, we have seen Nadal dominate the French Open because they are on very slow, clay courts. These courts really suit Rafa’s game.
On the other end, Wimbledon plays incredibly fast and really helps elite servers. There are plenty of guys that make a career from being an elite server and Wimbledon is historically the place to cash out on that style. Almost all of my longer shots on the men’s side will be elite servers because they can win over 90% of their service games with ease.
Do not just blindly bet on players that have been playing well on clay and don’t bet against guys that struggled on clay. There are plenty of players that thrive on one surface over another and understanding that is a key difference here.
Early in the tournament, I have had a lot of success betting on underdogs that have better grass service numbers than their opponent. Players that rely on breaking will struggle a lot more at Wimbledon than they have most of this season, which has been on clay. You can often find pretty big underdogs that will just win every one of their service games and eventually need to pull out a tiebreak or two to win.
This particular strategy does work more often with men than with women, just because the men’s game relies a lot more on aces than most women’s matches.
Before the draw comes out, I often try to find a few plays that I like at different price points and watch their odds before the draw. I want to jump on a few guys odds now, but I also don’t want to bet on someone 80-1 and then learn they have to go through a gauntlet.
I want to wait and see who I can get to attack Nadal at the top of the board. Can Nadal win here? Yes, but I think a lot of these younger, service-reliant players are disrespected compared to Nadal in the futures market. My favorite plays from the top, draw dependent are Federer and Raonic.
Novak Djokvic is the clear favorite, but I would avoid betting him right away due to the odds unless he drew a cake walk.
I like longer shots on John Isner and Nick Kyrgios, independent of the draw. Obviously, a soft draw would help, but I think that these guys possess too much value to not like right now. They both have the service game to beat anyone in the world on grass on a given day and they could beat 3 of them over the course of the tournament. Both guys tend to be hot-headed and lose their cool, but they are elite players when focused.
The women’s side is WIDE open this year and I find myself really liking the finalists from last year, Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams, towards the top of the board. Williams hasn’t looked super sharp recently, but her elite service game is something that she can rely on early at Wimbledon. I expect to see Serena look back on top of her game here and coast toward the latter rounds, where you could likely hedge off at nice prices after she looks good.
Kerber is very reliant on her elite return game, but she does it at an incredibly high level, even on grass. Kerber is 8-1 in the last 12 months on grass and she only almost never relies on an ace to get the job done. I think Kerber’s recent grass dominance and experience gives her an edge over others in her price range.
Towards the bottom, I REALLY like Julia Georges at a price that is way too long for her service game Goerges thrives on grass with one of the best serves in women’s tennis. She should be able to overpower her early opponents, which should get her deep into the tournament.
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