By Antony Jordan
Wimbledon is the home of strawberries and cream, pristine grass courts and swarms of British tennis fanatics descending on this corner of South West London to cheer on the home grown talent and the international superstars. Andy Murray is the crowd favourite as the Scot encompasses both of these groupings and with an Olympic Gold medal from 2012 and a Grand Slam title the following year won on these hallowed grounds both he and the fans will be confident of another impressive performance from Murray this year.
According to online bookmaker Betfair.com Murray will need to overcome world number one Novak Djokovic in the betting odds to take a third title in SW19, but will the home support give him the edge? Here’s our early thoughts and Wimbledon picks.
Novak Djokovic (Odds of 2.25 to win Wimbledon 2015):
The world number one is a wounded animal coming into the 2015 ATP Wimbledon tournament after suffering a four set defeat to Stanislas Wawrinka in the French Open Final at Roland Garros less than two weeks ago. He appeared on the verge of tears during the trophy presentation ceremony and you can be sure that this feeling will not be something that the Serbian world number one wants to feel again so soon. He has reached three Wimbledon finals in the last four years, winning two including last year’s five set epic against Roger Federer, so he is comfortable on these grass courts. Can he make his fifth Grand Slam final in six events to take his third title in this time during his time in the English capital?
Andy Murray (Can be backed at odds of 4.00 to take the Wimbledon title):
The Scot is the home favourite to take this Wimbledon 2015 title even if he is second to Djokovic in the betting odds and to his credit the Scot always tends to do well in this area of London. Murray has reached the last eight in SW19 each year since 2008 making three semi finals and two finals, including taking the 2013 title, in that time and after a shock loss to Grigor Dimitrov at the Quarter Final stage last year he’ll be looking to return to the final again this year. He has had an impressive year so far with 36 wins in 42 matches and had an impressive run on clay before reaching the French Open semi finals. However, four of the six losses in 2015 for the world number three have come at the hands of Djokovic so can he avoid the Serbian to make a return to the winners circle? Or would backing the Scot each way at half odds to make the final be the pick for the 2013 Wimbledon champion?
Roger Federer (7.00 to win the 2015 ATP Wimbledon tournament):
Although the Swiss legend is getting on in years and has not won a Grand Slam event since 2012 he is still very much capable of putting in world clash performances in this corner of London as he has seven Wimbledon titles to his name since 2003 and he has made two other finals, including last year where he was edged out by Djokovic in five sets. The 33 year old has impressed so much in 2015 that he is back up to second in the ATP rankings and he has a 29-6 record this year, and, unlike Murray, he has a respectable record against the world number one this year having won one of their three meetings so far. Will he be able to roll back the years at the home of strawberries and cream to level this year’s scorecard against Djokovic and take Wimbledon title number eight?
The Dark Horses:
French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka (15.00) comes into this third Grand Slam of 2015 as the man of the moment having claimed his second Grand Slam title and with the fact that he has taken hard and clay court titles he will believe that he can improve on last year’s best ever Wimbledon performance of the last eight stage.
Former world number one and two time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal (13.00) is the polar opposite to Wawrinka as he is the forgotten man with him slipping to tenth in the world rankings and suffering just his second defeat at Roland Garros in 11 years as he exited at the Quarter Final stages to Djokovic. However, he did defeat Bernard Tomic, Gael Monfils and Viktor Troicki at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart recently to triumph on grass for the first time since 2010, but will that see the Spaniard bounce back from one of the lowest points of his career?
Although both Wawrinka and Nadal are certainly capable of upstaging the top three players in the world on their day, they are confined to the Dark Horse category for a reason, whether that be poor form on grass or in general, so we are struggling to see past Djokovic, Murray or Federer to win in SW19.
Djokovic has a dominant record over Murray and they are likely to be drawn together at the semi final stage according to their world rankings and we can see this giving Federer a great chance to join the Serbian in the decider. As a result of this we feel that while Djokovic to win the tournament is a great pick at odds of 2.25 with Betfair.com our top Wimbledon 2015 pick from the men’s draw is Roger Federer to win each/way (1/2 odds to make the final) at odds of 7.00 in the Betfair Sportsbook.