Wimbledon ladies’ singles round one: Kvitova begins defence
Only WTA world number one Serena Williams is more fancied as a Wimbledon betting tip to take the ladies’ singles title than defending champion Petra Kvitova, who is 4/1 with Coral for a third Grand Slam triumph at the All-England Club.
The number two seed and tournament second-favourite starts her bid to retain the famous shield against Kiki Bertens, and Czech Republic player Kvitova encounters the Dutchwoman for the first time here in SW19.
Heavily odds-on at 1/9 to come through her Wimbledon opener, Kvitova clashes with an opponent that has never bettered the second round at the grass Grand Slam. Bertens is thus a massive 5/1 outsider.
Kvitova is better at 4/11 to beat Bertens in straight sets, and this looks likely given four or her last five opening contests here have been wrapped up without dropping a set.
Also scheduled to be in action on Tuesday are third and fifth seeds Simona Halep (20/1 chance for the title) and Caroline Wozniacki (33/1).
Romania’s Halep handles Jana Cepelova, and has nothing to fear from this Eastern Europe encounter as she smashed the Slovakian in straight sets at the US Open last year.
Handy Halep dropped just three games to Cepelova as Flushing Meadows, so to better her overwhelming odds-on 1/20 match price, take 1/6 on another victory without losing a set.
Denmark’s Wozniacki, meanwhile, faces a first-time clash with Saisai Zheng of China, but retired during the AEGON International semi-finals at Eastbourne. Was she saving herself for Wimbledon or does that indicate some injury?
A fully fit Wozniacki will have no trouble against Zheng so, while 1/16 to win the match is short, 2/9 for victory in straight sets is more appealing.
The German contingent also kick off their quest to taste Wimbledon glory with 10th seed Angelique Kerber and 2013 finalist Sabine Lisciki (16/1 shot to go one better this year) facing first-ever encounters with compatriot Carina Witthoft and Jarmila Gajdosova respectively.
Kerber is massively odds-on at 1/12, and 3/10 to beat her countrywoman in straight sets. Lisicki, meanwhile, is only 1/4 to get past Gajdsovoa, who has represented Australia since 2009, and 8/13 to do so without dropping a set.
Agnieszka Radwanska, another former SW19 finalist, plays thorny foe Lucie Hradecka, and the Pole has lost all three previous encounters with her round one opponent.
Odds of 11/2 say that trend will continue and Czech player Hradecka will sent the 13th seed home. Radwanska can only belie that history, however, and tasty odds of 10/3 say she will finally thwart this veteran in three sets.
Finally, last year’s runner-up Eugenie Bouchard takes on Yingying Duan and British hope Laura Robson steps up her injury comeback by battling Evgeniya Rodina. These are also first-time fixtures.
Bouchard is expected to get past Chinese player Duan with a minimum of fuss at 1/3, but there are no such weights on Robson, 7/4 to knock her Russian opponent out.
Two of Rodina’s high-profile compatriots, Ekaterina Makarova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, are also set to take to the grass on Tuesday, while other notable names in action include Jelena Jankovic and American young pretender Madison Keys.