Wimbledon is with us again from Monday. Harry Cheesewright looks at the contenders for the men’s and women’s titles...
The 2017 Wimbledon Championships look set to be the most exciting and unpredictable tournament in years.
The resurgence of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer this year coupled with the dramatic loss of form of Novak Djokovic sets up a fascinating two weeks on the grass. That’s not to mention Britain’s very own Andy Murray turning up at SW19 as world No1 for the first time in his career, and with his impressive record at Wimbledon he will fancy a third trophy.
The men’s contenders...
Andy Murray (GBR): approx odds 10/3
Murray was crowned world No1 after defeating Djokovic in November at the World Tour final, topping off a remarkable year. But 2017 has been been a bit of a reality check for Murray, with some early exits in the Masters series and a single tour title. Preparation hasn’t been ideal after he crashed out in the first round at Queen’s but he will still be a seen as a favourite.
Roger Federer (SUI): 9/4 - bookies’ favourite
Federer will be looking to add to his seven Wimbledon titles, having already won three titles, including the Australian Open, this year. He is the hot favourite with his form and with grass being his best surface.
Rafael Nadal (ESP): 4/1
Two-time champion Nadal will be a contender after reaching the Australian Open final and winning his record tenth French Open title but grass has always been his weakest surface, especially in recent years.
Novak Djokovic (SRB): 13/4
Djokovic, though a three-time winner at Wimbledon, has lost his form completely in the past year after seeming unbeatable for years – still expect him to contend but certainly not as a favourite.
Milos Raonic (CAN): 16/1
The big-serving Canadian is one to look out for with a powerful game suited to the grass. I can’t see him winning it but he can certainly make his mark.
The women’s contenders...
On the women’s side of the draw eyes are on Britain’s Johanna Konta, whose dramatic rise has seen her reach a career-high world ranking of No7 this year. With Serena Williams taking time off through pregnancy, the championship will be wide open as a host of world’s top players looking to get their first Wimbledon title.
Johanna Konta (GBR): 9/1
Eastbourne-based Konta surprisingly hasn’t got past the second round of Wimbledon before but the British public have high expectations for her to go all the way this year. Very hard to predict how she’ll fare with all the pressure, but semi final’s my bet with her form this season.
Karolina Pliskova (CZE): 9/2 - bookies’ favourite
The big serving Czech has a game perfectly suited to the grass, and though she’s never got past the second round I can see her going the distance after her semi-final run at the French Open.
Petra Kvitova (CZE): 5/1
A two-time winner at Wimbledon has a terrific record on the grass, but having played only one tournament this year at the French Open it would be a big ask to win the championship this year. She was burgled at her home earlier this year and suffered a serious cut to her hand, keeping her out of action. It would be some story if she could lift the trophy at the end of the tournament.
Garbine Muguruza (ESP): 10/1
2015 Wimbledon finalist Muguruza is a good grass-court player but her season has been mediocre without any tour finals. I can’t see her winning it.
Venus Williams (USA) and Jelena Ostapenko (LAT): 14/1
These two are worth a mention. Venus, a five-time champion, has played well this season and reached the Australian Open final. It’s been eight years since her last Wimbledon title but she’s still a contender. Latvian teenager Ostapenko is the French Open champion and her powerful game could see her go deep into the tournament.
I’m going to put my reputation on the line and predict a Federer win in the men’s championship and Kvitova in the women’s. Let us know what you think!
- by HARRY CHEESEWRIGHT
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