While golf’s third major is underway at the US Open, we have tennis’ third major of the year, Wimbledon, starting Monday. With a couple of grass-court events completed and a couple more wrapping up this week, bettors are beginning to get an idea of which players could be in form at the right time.
Novak Djokovic: -125
Matteo Berrettini: +600
Rafael Nadal: +650
Carlos Alcaraz: +800
Felix Auger-Aliassime: +1200
It’s no surprise that Djokovic won’t play in a pre-Wimbledon event: Of his six Wimbledon titles, five have been won without playing in a pre-Wimbledon event. Alcaraz has played only two grass-court matches in his ATP career (1-1 in those matches), while Nadal is still not a guarantee to play after expressing that he had to have a foot injection to win the French Open.
So, considering none of the top three favorites have set foot on grass courts yet and two are better known for playing well on clay, there could be some value on the board. The draw will not be published until a few days before the tournament starts, so we are trying to capture value now before some of these current tournaments end before the draw.
Here are two players to consider at BetMGM for an early buy. This thought process is based on two concepts: (1) You already have a Djoker futures ticket in more money, so who else could be an option? And (2), if not Djokovic, then who?
Matthew Berrettini +600
I’m not sure I’ll get to the window with a Berrettini future just yet, but I wouldn’t blame others for jumping in so early. The Italian known as “The Hammer” is through to the semi-final at the Queen’s Club in London. That leaves him 29-3 on grass since 2019, 18-1 on grass since 2021 and 7-0 on grass in 2022. His three losses were against David Goffin at Halle 2019, Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2019 and Djokovic at Wimbledon 2021. ..
What makes him a threat is the one-two punch. He has one of the best serves on this surface. He is heavy, fast and very difficult to return. Berrettini hits a lot of aces and gets a lot of free points with his serve. He combines that with a powerful forehand and it’s over.
What makes him vulnerable is that he doesn’t have much else. His backhand is non-threatening, and when he faces an opponent who can initiate a point and extend the play, that’s where Berrettini is seen to falter. The longer the point, it is not to his benefit. This is why Berrettini failed to reach five sets against Nadal at this year’s Australian Open, why he has failed to reach five sets against Djokovic in three attempts, why he struggled against Andy Murray last week. last week in Stuttgart, and why he fought this week against Denis Kudla. He puts the ball in play, moves Berrettini around the court, hits his backhand and opponents will do well. Both Nadal and Murray may be injured and their status for Wimbledon is unknown, and if Djokovic loses early, that opens the door for Berrettini. If the tie pans out, Hammer could find themselves in back-to-back Wimbledon finals.
Felix Auger Aliassime +1200
I’m waiting for the FAA to blow up. Like, sledgehammer through the brick wall hard. It’s so close!
Aliassime lost to Berrettini in the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year, but it was an unfortunate draw. FAA went five sets to defeat Alexander Zverev in the round of 16 in the previous match in one of the biggest wins of his career.
After that, he reached back-to-back semifinals at the US Open and then the Australian Open, where he nearly defeated Daniil Medvedev, losing a five-set, two-tiebreak match that ended 6-4 in the fifth. He was close. He nearly eliminated Nadal at Roland Garros, Rafa’s home court, pushing Nadal to five sets and becoming the third player in Nadal’s 115-match French Open history to do so. When I say that Aliassime is nearby, I mean that he is close. Zverev is out with injury, and if Berrettini ends up siding with Djoker, this could be very good for the Canadian.
Similar to Berrettini, Aliassime has a booming and precise serve. The difference between the two is that FAA has equally impressive groundstrokes on both his forehand…and backhand. At 12-1, this appeals to me and it’s a ticket in my pocket.
Iga Swiatek: +150
Coco Gauff: +1000
Simona Halep: +1200
Serena Williams: +1400
Yes, that’s Serena you see on the odds board. She is back!
Just this week, Williams announced that he will return to Wimbledon as a wild card for his 21st appearance. With seven Wimbledon titles, it’s hard to pass him up at 14-1. However, Williams has not played a match since last year’s Wimbledon event, where she retired 3-3 in the first set of the first round against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. In addition, she will also be playing for the first time without her coach of 10 years, Patrick Mouratoglou, who is now with Halep. Together, Williams and Mouratoglou won 10 Grand Slams, as well as an Olympic gold medal. Williams is now with her sister’s Venus trainer, Eric Hechtman. At 40 years old, could this be Serena’s retirement tournament instead of the start of a comeback? We’ll find out.
There is only one player that intrigues me: Gauff. Coming off her first Grand Slam final appearance at the French Open, Gauff is rolling this week in Berlin, advancing to the semi-final of the Grass Court Championships. One positive: Her previous two Wimbledon losses were to eventual champion Halep in 2019 and former champion Angelique Kerber in 2021. Those are two very good losses. One thing she has is aggression, and on grass that style of play can be very useful.