Wimbledon Men’s Singles preview round one: Djokovic begins defence
Pimms and strawberries at the ready, Coral bring you all the expected action at Wimbledon for round one of the men’s championships.
Reigning champion Novak Djokovic is odds-on at 1/20 to beat German hope Philipp Kohlschreiber and despite disappointment at Roland Garros, the Serbian remains the man to beat. He is 1/3 to win in straight sets.
The 28-year-old is hoping to bounce back from his French Open performance and is fired up to defend his Wimbledon crown.
“I needed some time off, more mentally rather than physically,” the eight-time major winner said.
“I know it could have been useful to play a couple of official matches on grass, but it’s not the first time I’m coming straight into Wimbledon.”
Meanwhile, French Open winner Stan Wawrinka opens against Portugal’s Joao Sousa, and the Swiss star is odds-on at 1/12 to get through, while to win 3-1 punters can get decent 11/4 odds.
One tie that could be particularly entertaining for neutrals is Lleyton Hewitt against Jarkko Nieminen. Two veterans of the game at 34 and 33 respectively, both have said it will be their last Wimbledon with each bound for retirement.
Hewitt has also won Wimbledon before. In 2002, the Australian defeated David Nalbandian aged just 21 and went on to inspire a generation of grass court tennis players. He is odds-on at 4/7 to beat Nieminen, who he is undefeated against.
Rising Japanese sensation Kei Nishikori takes on Italy’s Simone Bolelli and is odds-on at 1/4 to advance, or 5/4 to do so in straight sets. The duo met last year, with Nishikori narrowly winning in five sets, so to repeat this, odds of 6/1 are a decent price.
Briton Liam Broady is also in action and the 21-year-old who hails from Stockport, just like Fred Perry, is 6/4 to get past Marinko Matosevic. It makes an intriguing sub-plot, and he could well advance under the radar, though in a rare twist, his sister Naomi will play in the women’s competition. Both are Wimbledon wildcards.
Other ties that are likely to be of interest include Milos Raonic who is 1/50 to beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Marin Cilic, 1/25 to get past Hiroki Moriya and Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 1/25 to get past Federico Delbonis.
Dimitrov knocked out Andy Murray last year at the quarter-final stage, before Djokovic beat him in the semis, so the 24-year-old will be hoping to build on that this time around.
Coral recommended tip: Nishikori win in straight sets @ 5/4