The third Grand Slam tournament of the tennis season and the sport’s most historic event, Wimbledon, begins Monday on the grass courts of the All England Club. Just like last month’s French Open on the clay courts of Paris, the men’s draw of Wimbledon has all the star power, while the women’s side is again missing its two biggest names.
World No. 5 Roger Federer of Switzerland could stamp himself the best grass-court player in history with his record eighth Wimbledon title. He’s tied at seven with American Pete Sampras. Federer, 35, was a surprise winner of the Australian Open in January but chose to skip the French – clay is Federer’s worst surface – to prepare for Wimbledon. He is the +200 betting favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament where the seedings do not automatically follow the rankings, and Federer has been seeded third. His last title came in 2012. Federer has finished runner-up twice since and was a semifinalist in 2016.
Defending champion and world No. 1 Andy Murray has been named the top seed, and the Brit will have essentially home-court advantage. He beat Canada’s Milos Raonic in straight sets last year for a second Wimbledon title (also 2013). Murray is a +350 second-favorite on the ATP tennis odds.
However, Murray has played all of one official grass-court match this season: a first-round loss in the Queen’s Cup. Murray was to play two exhibitions on grass this week but pulled out due to a sore hip.
Slumping world No. 4 Novak Djokovic is the second seed, and No. 2 Rafael Nadal is the fourth seed. Djokovic (+600) is a three-time Wimbledon champion but has just a single title in 2017 (as of this writing) after seven last year. The former world No. 1 held all four Grand Slam titles going into last year’s Wimbledon.
Nadal (+400) just became the first man to win a Grand Slam event 10 times by taking the French Open. The Spaniard won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010. Nadal and Murray are in the same half of the draw, and Federer and Djokovic on the other side.
The women’s side is as wide open as it was at the French Open, because like at that tournament Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova aren’t playing. Serena has won Wimbledon seven times, second-most in the Open era behind Martina Navratilova. Sharapova won in 2004.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber is the world No. 1 and top seed but is back at +1400 to win on the 2017 Wimbledon odds. She has yet to win a title this year and was shocked in the first round of the French Open. Kerber lost to Serena in last year’s women’s final.
The two favorites are No. 11 seed Petra Kvitova (+500) and No. 3 Karolina Pliskova (+550). Kvitova won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. She missed the first five months of this season after being attacked at her apartment and returned at the French Open. Pliskova has yet to advance past the second round at Wimbledon in five tries.
The only realistic American hope in either draw is women’s No. 10 seed Venus Williams. The five-time Wimbledon champion (last in 2008), now 37, is seeded 10th and is at +1200 on the WTA tennis odds.