Wimbledon build-up: Is there more to come men’s best of the rest?
Since Wimbledon 2005, only six Grand Slam titles have found their way to male tennis pros outside of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal during the last decade.
Federer’s fellow Switzerland star Stan Wawrinka and British number one Andy Murray account for four of those top honours, but them apart the men’s game has been dominated by these all-time greats.
Having also asked if the days of Federer and Nadal dominance are done ahead of Wimbledon, Coral’s experts now turn their attention to the best of the rest. Is there more to come from the less lauded elements of the ATP’s top 12? We have picked out five that could step up!
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (33/1)
Now 30, France’s seasoned campaigner Tsonga replicated his best-ever French Open performance in a recent run to the semi-finals where he lost to Roland Garros winner Wawrinka. He has also reached the last four of Wimbledon on two occasions, and will use all his experience to come again this year, but is yet to play on grass.
Montenegrin-born Raonic, 24, who represents Canada on the court, shot all the way to the semis at SW19 in 2014, knocking Nishikori out in round four and another upcoming talent Nick Kyrgios thereafter before falling to Federer.
A foot injury ruled Raonic out of the French Open, so there may be some sharpness lost from his game. Punters must mull over his shock run to Wimbledon’s final four last term was a fluke or signs that he can hang with the best on grass.
Kei Nishikori (33/1)
Ranked fifth in the world, Japan’s rising star Nishikori reached last year’s US Open final, and has subsequently built on that hard court campaign with best Grand Slam runs to the quarters at the Australian and French Open this term. He must take that improvement over to grass, and the fact that the 25-year-old has only made round four of Wimbledon is something Nishikori should rectify.
Marin Cilic (66/1)
Croatia’s Cilic, 26, is just inside the ATP top 10 and has tasted Grand Slam glory when he scooped the US Open crown in 2014. Sidelined by a shoulder problem, so he missed the start of the season, he is now back in contention and will be looking to better reaching the quarter-finals in SW19.
Our tour of top tennis pros around Eastern Europe continues with Bulgarian all-round court campaigner Dimitorv, 24. He’s a definite danger on grass, following his Wimbledon win over then-defending champion Murray in last year’s quarters before taking world number one Djokovic to four sets in the semis.
Clay is not Dimitrov’s strong suit, so punters can disregard his early exit at Roland Garros. As dark horses go, he is a much better bet than the likes of Tomas Berdych and Kyrgios. A shock second round loss at Queen’s does count against him, however.
Coral betting tip: Don’t discount Cilic, who already knows what it takes to win a Grand Slam. At superb odds of 66/1, it surely worthy a cheeky couple of pounds!