Stan Hey: 6-5 against
Saturday 21 June 2008
It is a pound to a strawberry that the Wimbledon men's singles title will go to Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic. Look at the bookies' lists – the Swiss is a best-priced 6-5 (Coral, Ladbrokes), and the Spaniard cannot be backed at bigger than 9-4 (Paddy Power, Blue Square). The Serb is 9-2 (Ladbrokes, Coral). After that there is a huge gap to the two Andys – Roddick (25-1) and Murray (33-1).
Tennis fans love their reigning champions, but could Federer's reign be about to end? He has won only two egg-and-spoon tournaments this year, one due to a retirement. Apart from multiple defeats to Nadal, he has lost to Radek Stepanek, Roddick, Murray, Djokovic and Mardy Fish.
Nadal is closing fast on grass and Djokovic is assuming control on the hard-courts, so Federer is under siege. Taking 6-5 on a dodgy favourite is no option so £10 goes on both Nadal and Djokovic, with a superstitious fiver on Murray in case he clicks.
The women's singles is wide open, with Maria Sharapova the 9-4 "jolly" and Serena and Venus Williams best at 3-1 (Ladbrokes) and 5-1 (BetDirect) respectively. The French Open champion, Ana Ivanovic, is 5-1 and Jelena Jankovic is 12-1. The Williams sisters crank up the power at Wimbledon but their era may be over too – so £10 on Sharapova, who is more than a one-hit wonder.
Last week's wagers
Crippled by injury, Tiger Woods won the US Open like the hopping Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Our bets wilted – Justin Rose missed the cut; Phil Mickelson shot nine on the 13th; Geoff Ogilvy faded late; and Andres Romero dropped away. But the latter is still worth noting for Royal Birkdale.
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