Wimbledon Preview – Women

Kim Clijsters is out, while the sisters Williams are suddenly back and it doesn’t make it easier to identify a clear favourite for the women’s Wimbledon tournament.

It is almost always harder to point out a future winner of a Grand Slam tournament for the women than for the men, and Wimbledon this year is certainly no exception. On the contrary, there seems to be so many who possess the ability to climb out on top.

Maria Sharapova is the favorite with the bookmakers, followed closely by the Williams sisters, but in recognition of the women’s tournament looking so hard to call so equal, I’ve choosen to go for even higher odds than these three ladies offer.

Among these are the Danish girl Caroline Wozniacki, and it is highly unusual that you can get odds of around 11.50 on the world’s number one in the rankings to win a Grand Slam tournament. Odds like these I’m not going to pass me by because she can’t complain about the draw. As a former winner of the junior tournament at Wimbledon, she has proven what a good grass player she is and her ambition for doing well in a Grand Slam tournament is not diminished by the early exit in the French Open.

She has Cibulkova, Goerges and Gajdosova among potentially dangerous opponents before the quarterfinals, but if you wish to win a Grand Slam tournament, these are all opponents you should be able to beat. Then Maria Sharapova probably awaits and that she is the favorite says everything about how hard everyone thinks it is to “call” this year’s tournament.

Wozniacki, number 1 in the world, offers 11.50, while a woman who in her last four visits to Wimbledon has reached the fourth, second, second and fourth round is the favorite. In Sharapova’s last 11 Grand Slam appearances, only twice has she advanced further than the fourth round. Moreover, Wozniacki won their last two meetings on hard surfaces, so I confident to put my money on the Dane instead the Russian.

In the semifinals Serena Williams could be waiting, but this half of the draw looks incredibly dangerous. It contains Na Li, French Open winner, Marion Bartoli, a former Wimbledon finalist, Ana Ivanovic, former world number 1, and Sabine Lisicki, who’s just won a major grass tournament, where she swept all opposition aside. Who makes it through this draw alive I dare not predict, but I will say as much that it should be impossible to win Wimbledon on the basis of only two matches since Wimbledon 2010 and that much illness in the meantime. Therefore I shall refrain from bets on Serena Williams.

Then I’m going to bet on a small wager on Andrea Petkovic, who offers 60.00 with Betfair. She is seeded 11, and her quarter of the draw doesn’t look all that scary. Petkovic has been in the quarterfinals at the first two Grand Slam tournaments of the year, and does she go that far again, we will at least be able to sell all or part of our stakes on her. The worst threat in this part is probably Azarenka, seeded four, but she has never been beyond the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam, and Hantuchova, who seems in good form, but she has never in her long career had much success in Grand Slam tournaments. In the past 12, she reached no further than the fourth round.

From the lower part of the draw Vera Zvonareva catches my attention. She offers odds 23,00 which is  an astounding odds for a woman who was in the final at Wimbledon last year. Well, she hasn’t done much recently, you might argue and that’s true, but she didn’t do well last year coming into Wimbledon either.

In the four tournaments leading up to Wimbledon 2010, she was knocked out in the first, second, second and first round. Her most dangerous opponent seems to be Venus Williams already in the 4th round, but Venus has only played three matches since January, and should, like her sister, be too rusty to win a tournament like this.

There a lot of promising names this year, a lot of them offers attractive betting, but one has to make some choices along the way, and my choices are these.

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