Wimbledon Tennis Betting Has Value

With at least three men given a realistic chance to bring home the singles title and the women's bracket considered wide open, tennis betting fans may want to take a forehand whack at the future books posted for Wimbledon, the sport's third Major, which takes center court outside London, beginning June 20.

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are bunched atop the men's singles future book list with Nadal, who added a record-equaling sixth French Open title to his resume, June 5, the narrow 2/1 favorite. "Rafa," as Nadal is called, now has won 10 Major championships and will head to England seeking his third Wimbledon singles title in the last four years. The Spaniard beat Tomas Berdych last year and overcame Federer in 2008 and might seeking four in a row had he not been forced to withdraw from 2009's Wimbledon Championship with a knee injury.

Federer, who much prefers the slick grass courts at Wimbledon to the slow red clay at Roland Garros in Paris, opened as the 9/4 second choice. Federer has captured a record 16 Grand Slam singles championship, including a half-dozen at Wimbledon (2003-07, 2009). But Nadal seems o have Federer's number, holding a 17-8 match advantage that includes a 6-2 edge in Grand Slam finals.

Novak Djokovic, who saw his 43-match winning streak halted in the French Open semi-finals, is offered at odds of 5/2. Twice a Wimbledon semi-finalist, including last year when he was upset by Berdych, Djokovic clearly has improved his game and remains the main threat to yet another Nadal-Federer final.

For those of you keeping score at home, a year ago Federer opened as the 5/4 favorite, Nadal was the 3/1 second choice and Djokovic was listed at odds of 10/1. Obviously, sportsbooks have reassessed their odds.

At odds of 6/1, Andy Murray is the only other man in single digits. Murray hasn't exactly inspired confidence since losing to Djokovic in the finals of the Australian Open in January but, mediocre form aside, the Scot is likely to have rabid support from the locals.

Juan Martin Del Potro (16/1), Robin Soderling (20/1), Andy Roddick (25/1) and Berdych (28/1) should appeal to tennis betting gamblers who prefer longshots.

On the women's side, a Williams sister has captured the ladies singles title in nine of the last 11 years but neither Serena nor Venus, each of whom are coming back from injuries, is favored to win this 125th edition of Wimbledon. That distinction, curiously some might argue, goes to Maria Sharapova, a Wimbledon winner in 2004, who opened as the tepid 4/1 betting favorite.

Serena Williams, who, while back in training has not played a competitive tennis match since July of 2010, opened as the 9/2 second choice in futures. In addition to back-to-back Wimbledon singles titles the last two years, Serena also captured the Major in 2002 and 2003, and was runner-up in 2008 and 2004. But can anyone, even someone as talented and competitive as Serena, take off a year and return in top form in the world's oldest tennis tournament?

The ever-popular Kim Clijsters is held at odds of 5/1. Clijsters, the reigning Australian Open and two-time defending US Open champion, in eight tries has never made it past the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

World No. 1 Carolina Wozniacki and reigning French Open champion Li Na each are offered at odds of 8/1 to win this year's Wimbledon ladies singles title. The Dane is 0-18 in Major events, never reaching a final and never getting past the fourth round at Wimbledon. Li, who reached the final and took a set from Clijsters before losing the Australian Open in January and beat Francesca Schiavone in straight sets to win the French Open, June 4, clearly is in top form.

A five-time Wimbledon ladies singles champion, Venus Williams is listed at odds of 9/1. Out since January when she retired in the third round at the Australian Open with a hip injury, like her sister Serena, Venus will have to return from injury with little preparation.

Petra Kvitova (10/1), Victoria Azarenka (12/1) and last year's runner-up, Vera Zvonareva (14/1), also could threaten.

The fickle English weather also is the source of potential bets with gamblers able to get odds of 8/1 that there is no rain during the two-week tournament.

What's more, bettors who want to let it all hang out can accept 6/1 that a streaker (it's happened before) will dash across the courts at the men's or ladies' finals.

With the outcome of the singles titles anything but obvious, there looks to be plenty of tennis betting value at this year's Wimbledon Championship.