Wimbledon: Betting Tips, Stats & History - Monday 2nd July 2018

Centre Court at Wimbledon During Ladies Final Match

Wimbledon, or The Championships, Wimbledon to give it's full title, is not only one of the richest tennis tournaments on the circuit, but also one of the most prestigious. The even makes up one of the 4 Grand Slams that run throughout the year and is regarded by many as one of the toughest, mainly because it’s played on grass.

The location is The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon, which is a borough of London, England. Many people associate the event as the start of the British summer time and often you see some amazing flowers and scenery on show. 

The best players on the planet will descend upon SW19 for the fortnight in July, but who will be crowned as the champions?

Men's Singles Betting Tips for 2018

Federer Must Dig Deep to Hold the Chasing Pack at Bay

Wimbledon is one of the very biggest events on the British sporting calendar. The Championships are about much more than just tennis and the recent heat wave has perfectly set the backdrop for strawberries and cream, “new balls please” and the best players in the world going head to head.

It remains to be seen just who will top the men’s rankings after Wimbledon. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been locked in a battle for the number one spot for some time now but it’s the Swiss sensation who has the best chance at Wimbledon. While Nadal can’t seem to take his clay court form to the grass, Federer is supreme on the surface and is the bookies’ favourite to win his ninth Wimbledon title.

Roger Federer (15/8)

Tennis fans love to have debates about the strengths and weaknesses of players from different generations and on different playing surfaces. One of the big debates at the moment is whether facing Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros is the biggest challenge in the history of the sport. Nadal picked up his 11th French Open title last month but some still believe that Federer at his best on grass is an even tougher test.

There were those who believed that Federer was too old to be considered the favourite for Wimbledon last year but he made those critics eat their words by winning the Championships without losing a single set. It’s tough to imagine he’ll be that good one year on but his preparations have gone well and he should be at the top of his game. The 15/8 that Coral are quoting on Federer’s chances may look a little short but he is simply the best on this surface and more than happy to dig deep and graft to win matches so Federer remains the man to beat.

Marin Cilic (7/1)

Marin Cilic is never going to be the most popular tennis player in the world. If you were being unfair you’d say that the Croatian’s game is a little boring compared to the flair of Federer or Nadal. Comparing Cilic to two of the best of all time may not do him any favours but it is fair to say that he is the man most likely to stop Federer at Wimbledon.

Cilic utilised his big serve, 6ft 6in frame and powerful ground strokes to full effect during his run through to the final last year. Unfortunately, he was left in tears during the final as blisters hindered him against Federer. That defeat will only spur him on and with the confidence of his win at Queen’s Club, Cilic is a real threat at 7/1 with Bet365.

Nick Kyrgios (16/1)

Nick Kyrgios is one of several quality players heading to Wimbledon with fitness concerns. The Australian has long suffered with hip problems but when he is moving freely he’s shown enough to suggest that a Wimbledon title could well be in his future.

A battling first round win over Andy Murray at Queen’s set the platform for Kyrgios to make it all the way through to the semi final where he was knocked out by Cilic thanks only to two tie breakers. He’ll take heart from the quality of his tennis and his fitness levels so don’t rule Kyrgios out at 16/1 with BetVictor.

Women's Singles Betting Tips for 2018

Wide Open Tournament Throws Up Tempting Betting Options

There are few individual sports in the world that can match the competitiveness of women’s tennis. Every single tournament on the WTA Tour has a whole host of potential winners which is great for tennis fans and potentially lucrative for punters.

You only have to look at the betting for the women’s tournament for Wimbledon 2018 to see just how competitive things are at the moment. 10 players are available to be backed at 20/1 or shorter and the bookies are struggling to hang their hat too firmly on the favourite, Petra Kvitova. The Czech star narrowly heads the betting thanks to her impressive win at Birmingham but she’ll need to be at her very best to see off the challenge of a chasing pack led by Serena Williams, who is getting back to something resembling her best, and the defending champion, Garbine Muguruza.

Petra Kvitova (5/1)

It’s been a long road back to the upper echelons of tennis for Petra Kvitova. The two time Wimbledon champion feared for her career due to significant hand injuries suffered during a knife attack. Surgery and a whole lot of rehab got Kvitova back on court but she continued to suffer with problems for a long while. Kvitova has always enjoyed playing grass court tennis and won her first tournament since that attack at last year’s Aegon Classic. That didn’t help her at Wimbledon last year when she was knocked out in the second round but things should be much better this time around given how quickly Wimbledon followed her return from injury.

Kvitova has been getting used to winning in 2018. Victory on grass in Birmingham was her fifth title of the year and although she had to work very hard to get the better of Agnieszka Radwanska it was encouraging to see her fight like that. Her grass court pedigree, recent form and return to fitness makes Kvitova a worthy favourite at 5/1 with Ladbrokes.

Simona Halep (14/1)

She’s had to go through more than her fair share of heartbreak on the tennis court but Simona Halep finally won her first Grand Slam tournament at the recent French Open. Tennis fans have long known that Halep has the quality to win the biggest tournaments and now that she seems to have addressed the issues of mentality that held her back many more Grand Slams are just around the corner.

Halep had to pull out of Eastbourne due to ongoing Achilles problems but that’s much more of a precaution than a deep-seated problem. Halep goes into Wimbledon full of confidence and as the number one ranked player in the world so she looks a very tempting bet at 14/1 with Betfred.

Johanna Konta (40/1)

Johanna Konta enjoyed her best performance at Wimbledon last year, reaching the semi finals. The British number one has had a tougher time of it since but the signs are encouraging that she’s getting back to something like her best. With her powerful ground strokes and solid defence, Konta has a game which is well suited to grass court tennis. She’ll have to come through some very tough battles even in the relatively early stages of her Wimbledon campaign but backed by the home crowd Konta could be a real contender at 40/1 with Betfred.

About

Whilst many people refer to Wimbledon as simply, ‘Wimbledon’, it’s official name is actually The Championships, Wimbledon. It was brought in as this to prevent any confusion between reference of the town and the tournament proper. 

The two major championships that run within the 2-week event comes in the form of the men’s and women’s singles titles. Like all major titles, these are often thought of as being the highest anticipated and the ones that most spectators want to see.

But, there is much more to the event that simply these two competitions. It also includes men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles and several junior and disability tournaments as well. Over the last decade or so the hosts have put huge emphasis on making these ‘lesser’ events more popular, allowing them to play on the show courts and increased the TV coverage that they get. 

Conditions

Even though the Championships are technically within the British Summer time, the weather is often less than kind. It’s highly unusual for games not to get called off for rain at some point and it’s actually become so common that people see it as part of the game now, utilising these breaks to either start again if behind or maintain if ahead. 

To combat that the Centre Court now has a retractable roof, meaning play can continue no matter what the weather. It’s a glass roof which allows natural light to flood the court, but artificial floodlights can be used when needed. Plans are currently afoot for a similar roof to be added to Court No. 2 in the not too distant future. 

Qualification, Seeding & Draw

For each tournament, 128 players will take place in both the men’s and women’s events. There are a number of ways in which players are able to get access. The easiest way is simply to be seeded, with each variation there are 32 players who are seeded. These essentially not only get automatic qualification, but as the draw is made, they are also kept apart from each other, theoretically giving them an easier opening game. 

Originally players were seeded based on each country nominating up to 4 players to represent that country. But, this was scraped in 1927 and started to seed players based on past performances and current ranking. 

The top 32 players in the world the week before Wimbledon starts will be the top 32 seeds. But, world ranking won’t necessarily reflect the rankings for the seed. They committee take into account previous years performances on that surface. So, as there are very few grass tournaments throughout the year, Wimbledon is actually one of the majors that sticks pretty closely to world rankings. 

Wildcards

The Committee of Management play a big role in who plays at the event. One of their key decisions come from the wildcards that are allocated to each tournament. A wildcard can be allocated to any player who has not already qualified for the tournament. Generally, the committee will favour home-grown talent, but it’s by no means exclusive to this. Goran Ivanisevic is the only wildcard player to have ever won either a men’s or women’s title at Wimbledon. 

Wimbledon Wildcards 2016-2017

YearMen's SinglesWomen's Singles
Player (Round Eliminated)CountryPlayer (Round Eliminated)Country
2017 Denis Shapovalov (1) CAN Bethanie Mattek-Sands (2) USA
Cameron Norrie (1) GBR Katie Boulter (1) GBR
Tommy Haas (1) GER Zarina Diyas (3) KAZ
Marton Fucsovics (1) HUN Naomi Broady (1) GBR
James Ward (1) GBR Heather Watson (3) GBR
Brydan Klein (1) GBR Laura Robson (1) GBR
2016 James Ward (1) GBR Daniela Hantuchova (1) SVK
Brydan Klein (1) GBR Tara Moore (2) GBR
Alexander Ward (1) GBR Marina Menikova (1) RUS
Radek Stepanek (1) CZE Katie Swan (1) GBR
Dustin Brown (2) GER Evgeniya Rodina (2) RUS
Liam Broady (1) GBR Laura Robson (1) GBR

Qualifying Tournament

Outside of being seeded, ranked or given a wildcard spot, the only other chance of gaining entry to Wimbledon is via one of the qualifying competitors. Each event will include three-round tournaments. Pre-qualifying tournaments take place all over the world with final qualifying held at the England Sports Centre in London shorlty prior to the main Championship start.

Lead up Events

Ranking events are held throughout the year, but one of the last chances to gain points on grass before Wimbledon for the men is by playing at the Queen’s Club tournament, starting two weeks prior to Wimbledon. It’s a tough place to play though as many players use this tournament as a warm up for the main event, often resulting in a star-studded field. 

Another major lead up event for men on grass comes in the form of the Halle Open which is held alongside Queens in Germany. This is Roger Federer's preferred Wimbledon warm up, it's a tournament that he has won 9 times in the last 15 years.

In the week prior to Wimbledon, the Eastbourne tournament is also held. Though many top players take part, especially when trying to regain fitness, the proximity to Wimbledon itself means many of the highest ranked players will not normally play here.

Last 5 Queen's, Halle & Eastbourne Winners

YearQueen's ChampionshipHalle OpenEastbourne
2018 Marin Cilic TBC TBC
2017 Feliciano Lopez Roger Federer Novak Djokovic
2016 Andy Murray Florian Mayer No tournamnet
2015 Andy Murray Roger Federer No tournament
2014 Grigor Dimitrov Roger Federer Feliciano Lopez

The two main women's grass court lead up events are both held in England in the fortnight prior to Wimbledon with the Birmingham tournament followed by Eastbourne. A grass court competition in Nottingham also serves as a warm up to Wimbledon.

Last 5 Nottingham, Birmingham & Eastbourne Winners

YearNottinghamBirminghamEastbourne
2018 Ashleigh Barty Petra Kvitova TBC
2017 Donna Vekic Petra Kvitova Karolina Pliskova
2016 Karolina Pliskova Madison Keys Dominika Cibulkova
2015 Ana Konjuh Angelique Kerber Belinda Bencic
2014 No Tournament Ana Ivanovic Madison Keys

The Courts

Centre Court Wimbledon When Not in Use
Image Credit: Danbu14, Wikimedia Commons

Wimbledon hosts 19 courts in total, with this number set to rise over the coming years current expansion plans. This allows for a lot of tennis to be played over just a two-week timescale. 

The main courts are that of the iconic Centre Court and No. 1 Court, both of which hold over 10,000 spectators. What’s interesting is that the only tennis that these two courts see over the year is from the 2 weeks of Wimbledon. The committee decided that in order to have the best possible surfaces for the best players in the world, that this was deemed necessary. 

Centre Court isn’t just the biggest court of the Championships, holding 15,000 people, but it’s one of the most iconic courts in the world. One of the reasons why it’s held so dear by so many people is the inclusion of the Royal Box. Whilst royalty doesn’t attend every single day of the 2 weeks, they are there for the main games later in the fortnight. But, there is always a plethora of celebrities and distinguished guests that peruse the seats, strictly on an invite-only basis.  In 2009 a major revamp was undergone, with a retractable roof being added to allow play to continue through inevitable rain breaks. 

Wimbledon Court Capacity - Top 4

CourtCapacityYear OpenedRetractable Roof
Centre Court 15,000 1922 Yes
No. 1 Court 11,000 1997 From 2019
No. 2 Court 4,000 2009 No
No. 3 Court 3,000 2011 No

Grass Surface

Grass Tennis Court and Net

The fact that Wimbledon is played on grass is just one of a number of features that makes this event truly unique. It actually takes the ground staff 15 months to get the right playing surface in place, starting the process outside of the grounds and then moving it in. They use what is known as Perennial Ryegrass, which has been in place since 2001, adding more durability to the modern game. Fun fact, 9 tonnes of grass seed is used each year at Wimbledon alone! 

Grass is a tricky surface for most people to get to grips with and requires a certain skill set to do well there. Often people mention that players who serve volley have had the best records and whilst this is mostly definitely true, the modern era has started to see a slight shift away from that, with the likes of Murray, Djokovic and Federer, all seeing sustain success and none massively known for their serve-volley work. 

Grass is the fastest surface that players will play on. The ball tends to skid off the top more than the likes of clay or hard court, which means that often rallies are much shorter than the two aforementioned surfaces. 

A lot of players actually struggle with the pace, but that’s more because there are so few grass tournaments on the main circuit these days. The reason behind that is simply down to cost of maintenance. Wimbledon can guarantee 40,000 through the doors every day of the Championships, which obviously allows them to make a lot of money and in turn create amazing playing surfaces. The reality is that smaller events might not have 40,000 people through the gates for the entirety of it, so cost becomes a massive issue. 

Prize Money

As with all of these high-profile events, prizemoney plays a huge part. For 2017, the fund was reported at £31,600,000. Do to fluctuations in the Pound, it’s tough to compare it to over major tournaments, but they are all pretty similar these days. 

This money is divided up between each tournament that is running throughout the Championships. The money is equal for both men’s and women’s games, with the winner of the singles title taking home a cheque worth a cool £2,200,000. In fact, a losing quarter finalist will grab a £275,000 payday, such is the lucrative nature of the sport. 

One of the most iconic things about Wimbledon, but something that a lot of people aren’t aware of, is that they have the longest running sponsorship deal in the history of sport. The deal with Slazenger to provide the match balls has been in place since 1902. They’ve also been long time partners with that of Robinsons, who have been on the books since 1935 supplying fruit flavoured drinks. 

Statistics

Since 2003 the Wimbledon men’s game has been dominated by 4 players: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer. But, in those 14 years, it’s been Federer who has been the king of Wimbledon, winning it no fewer that 8 separate occasions, making him the most successful male player in the history of the Championships.

Men's Singles Winners

Year

Winner

Runner Up

2017

Roger Federer

Marin Cilic

2016

Andy Murray

Milos Raonic

2015

Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer

2014

Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer

2013

Andy Murray

Novak Djokovic

The women’s game has seen a similar level of dominance, again with just 5 winners from last 17 years: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli and Gabine Muguruza. But, it’s been the Williams’ sisters that have been most dominant, winning 12 of the 17 years, with Venus winning 5 tournaments and Serena winning 7. 

Women's Singles Winners

Year

Winner

Runner Up

2017

Gabine Muguruza

Venus Williams

2016

Serena Williams

Angelique Kerber

2015

Serena Williams

Gabine Muguruza

2014

Petera Kvitova

Eugenie Bouchard

2013

Marion Bartoli

Sabine Lisicki

History

1908 Mens Final Between Arthur Gore and Herbert Roper Barrett
Image Credit: Barrett J (2001) - The Official History of the Championships via Wikimedia Commons

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club has been about since 1868 and set up primarily as private members club for the upper class of its day. Little did they know it would turn out to be one of the most influential associations within world tennis!

The club was situated in Wimbledon and with came the first Lawn Tennis Championship, essentially the same Championships that we know today. The inaugural event was held as gentleman only and was won by that of Spencer Gore, with over 200 people watching the final. 

The club continued to flourish, before in 1922 deciding that it needed to move to larger premises to accommodate the increasing popularity. It found its home on Church Road in Wimbledon, exactly where it resides today, almost 100 years later. 

Traditions

Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Players and Umpire
Image Credit: Bo Mertz, flickr, via Wikimedia Commons

With the tournament comes a whole host of traditions, which makes Wimbledon so unique compared to other majors throughout the year. One of things that the players must adhere to is to wear all white when they are playing. This is a strict rule and whilst some leniency does come in for things like logos and very fine patterns, the bulk of the clothing must be white.  

In contrast to that, the official colours if Wimbledon are actually that of purple and green, two colours that are heavily donned by that of the ball boys/girls and the umpires. Many of the members for the day in the Royal box are encouraged to wear to some sort of homage to this. It’s also worth noting that men within the Royal box must wear a tie or they will be refused permission. 

Finally, the word ‘Wimbledon’ rarely goes by without mentioning of the now famous strawberries and cream that are served up, often washed down with a glass of Pimms. 

Most Successful Men

Throughout the open era of Wimbledon there have been many greats that have managed to get their hands on the trophy, including the likes of Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. But, there are two that are able to stand head and shoulders above all of these greats; Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. 

Sampras was the first player to really dominate Wimbledon and whilst he found success at other majors, there was something about the grass surface that just seemed to suit his aggressive serve-volley style. We won Wimbledon on 7 different occasions, but what’s most impressive is that he did it just 8 years. Only Richard Kraijceck in 1996 stood in the middle of 7 successes. 

It was probably quite fitting that the man to stop him winning an 8thtitle and 5 in a row at the time just so happened to be the man who surpassed his then record of 7 titles, Roger Federer. It was Federer who beat Sampras in 2001, but later went on to lose to Tim Henman.

It was a quick learning curve for the Swiss legend, who picked up his first win in 2003. He then went on to win 5 times in a row, with some epic battles including that of the 2007 five-setter against Rafael Nadal, a player we would beat in 2 finals. 

What’s most impressive about Federer is the fact that he did it over an extended period of time. No player in the Open Era has won 14 years apart from his first and most recent win, and who’s to say that the record is going to stop there?

Most Successful Women

Martina Navratalova Playing Tennis Shot
Bob Mendelson, flickr, via Wikimedia Commons

The greatest of them all in the women’s game at Wimbledon is that of Martina Navratilova. The American won a record 9 titles, from 1978 though to 1990. She dominated for huge parts of the eighties, winning 6 consecutive times from 1982 to 1987. 

Closely following Navratilova is that of German Steffi Graff and fellow American, Serena Williams. With all three women, there was a feeling of the changing of the guard. Graff’s dominance game in late eighties and actually beat Navratilova in two consecutive finals. She then went on to win her 7th and final title in 1996. 

Serena took over in the early ‘naughties’ with her first title coming in 2002, beating her sister over the space of 5 years when the Williams’ sisters really dominated the world of tennis. Serena has continued as one of the greatest of all time and it’s only she that can now realistically catch Navratilova’s record in the modern game.  

Brits at Wimbledon

Andy Murray at Wimbledon
Paul Kane, flickr, via Wikimedia Commons

Whilst British tennis hasn’t always been the strongest, they have been able to produce a couple of greats. From the women’s game is that of Virginia Wade. Her one and only victory came about in 1977, but is still dubbed as the most successful female British tennis player of all time, with 3 Grand Slam victories to her name from the early-mid 1970’s.

A generation or two prior was that of Fred Perry in the men’s game. Perry won Wimbledon on 3 separate occasions, making a part of 8 majors in total. But, Perry was also the first player to win the career Grand Slam, which is made up winning all four of the majors within a calendar year. To this date, only a handful of players have ever repeated this feat. 

In the modern day, the Brits have relied on the success of Andy Murray to keep them going. Murray was the first and only male winner since Fred Perry and has been able to complete two career Wimbledon wins in 2013 and 2016. Unfortunately for Murray, he will likely always be remembered for the final loss to roger Federer in 2012 where he broke down in tears in the interview after. But, Murray was to have the last laugh as he not only won Olympic Gold later that summer beating Federer on the same Wimbledon Centre Court, but also going on to finally lift the men’s crown just 12 months later, beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets. 

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