Tennis Betting Turns to Wimbledon

The dust, or more appropriately the red clay, barely has settled at the French Open in Paris but for tennis betting fans it's on to the third Major of the year, Wimbledon, at the All England Tennis Club, outside London, June 21-July 4.

Knocked out in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, top seeds Roger Federer and Serena Williams are back as the respective men's and women's favorites at Wimbledon, the only Major conducted on grass, a much faster surface than clay and one far better suited to their individual talents. Tennis betting enthusiasts have learned that because of the surface, what occurs on the French Open clay is anything but a harbinger of what might happen on the lawns at Wimbledon.

Federer, who had his streak of 23 consecutive semi-final appearances in majors snapped at the French Open, started out as a 5/4 favorite to win his seventh Wimbledon men's singles title in the last eight years. Federer won five straight championships from 2003-2007, was upset by Rafael Nadal in 2008, but came back to win again last year. He's captured a record 16 Major titles overall and boasts a staggering 48-1 record at Wimbledon since 2003.

Nadal who notched a fifth French Open crown this June, is a winner of seven Major titles and the obvious second choice in future book betting at odds of 3/1. Nadal owns a 14-7 advantage over Federer in their head-to-head rivalry though the latter leads 2-1 on matches on grass. Though he's nearly unbeatable on clay, Nadal defeated Federer to win the 2008 Wimbledon title in one of the greatest matches of all time so he certainly is capable on this surface.

Andy Murray is the third choice in Wimbledon futures at odds of 4/1. Murray reached the semi-finals at last year's Wimbledon Championship, losing to Andy Roddick. who, incidentally, is next in line in futures at odds of 11/1. Roddick lost an epic five-set final to Federer for the title last year.

Gamblers looking for a double-digit price might want to invest in Robin Soderling, Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic. Soderling, 10/1, eliminated Federer at the French Open before losing the final to Nadal but his results at Wimbledon haven't been nearly as promising. Roddick, 11/1, lost an epic five-set final to Federer for the Wimbledon title last year. Djokovic, 12/1, earned a Major title at the 2008 Australian Open and was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2007.

It's a good bet (though not necessarily one with very much value) that one of the Williams sisters wins the 2010 women's singles championship at Wimbledon. Serena, the 2/1 favorite and the holder of a dozen Major singles titles, is the defending champion and a three-time winner (2002-03, 2009) at Wimbledon. Her older sister Venus, the 3/1 second choice in the future book, has captured nine singles titles, including five of them at Wimbledon (2000-01, 2005, 2007-08) on a surface she clearly prefers.

Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters, who, like the Williams sisters all have been ranked No. 1 in the world at one time, all have a chance to spring the upset. Henin, 5/1, has won seven Major titles but is still looking for a breakthrough at Wimbledon, where she reached the finals in both 2001 and 2006.

Sharapova, 7/1, is a three-time Major Champion, having taken home the top prize at Wimbledon in 2004. The lanky Russian is still trying to regain her top form following shoulder surgery in October of 2008.

Clijsters, also 7/1, missed the French Open with a foot injury but is expected back for this year's Wimbledon, a tournament in which she made the semi-finals in both 2003 and 2006. The two-time US Open champion made a successful return to tennis last year after giving birth to a baby daughter in 2008.

The women's side is deeper than is the men's, casting the likes of French Open semi-finalists Francesca Schiavone, Samantha Stosur, Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva into the Wimbledon tennis betting fray.

Schiavone, 100/1, beat Stosur, 9/1, for the French Open women's singles championship but each will have to step up their games on grass. Jankovic, 25/1, held the world's top ranking for a while but still is looking for her first Major title. Dementieva, 14/1, could be a risky bet after the Russian retired against Schiavone because of a torn left calf muscle.

With Federer and Nadal poised for another epic showdown and the Williams sisters trying to fend off numerous challenges, the 2010 Wimbledon championship should provide tennis betting fans all they could want.