All England Club Preview - Venus Williams tipped as winner

Williams. (credit: easilyimpressed)

Serena Williams is considered the favorite but the title may be going back to the Venus this year.

Wimbledon 2010 will start on June 21st and continue on until the men's final ends on July 4th.  The draw will be available in about one week's time.  Here are the odds for the women's outright winner's market as well as my assessment of each of the top player's credentials for the grass court slam:

1.  Serena Williams +225 (9/4) SportingBet
2.  Venus Williams +400 (4/1) BoyleSports
3.  Maria Sharapova +800 (8/1) extrabet
4.  Justine Henin +800 (8/1) BoyleSports

5.  Samantha Stosur +1200 (12/1) SportingBet
6.  Kim Clijsters +1600 (16/1) SportingBet
7.  Caroline Wozniacki +2000 (20/1) bet365
8.  Jelena Jankovic +2500 (25/1) bet365

Serena Williams

Serena Williams is the defending champion for Wimbledon this year although winning last year surely was not easy.  Williams saved match point in the semis against Elena Dementieva and then had a close set against Venus Williams to open the final. 

Williams is considered the favorite despite weak results over the clay court season because that is her pattern.  Last year she fell in the quarters of the French Open and then went on to win Wimbledon with a combination of strength and will power.

Williams has won Wimbledon 3 times, she is currently ranked number 1, and she is also the current holder of the Australian Open title.  She can certainly be backed at +225 with SportingBet (MAXIMUMBONUS is your promotional code).

Venus Williams

Venus Williams has won Wimbledon 5 times and she is currently the second ranked player on the women's tour.  She has made 8 of the last 10 finals at the All England Club including 3 in a row and her form has improved this season.  In 2009 she went out in the second round of the Australian Open and the 3rd round of the French.  So far this season she has improved upon both of those results and she is considered one of the best women's grass courters ever.

Williams has two titles so far this season from Acapulco and Dubai.  In the latter tournament, which was a hard court event, she ran the tables by winning 5 straight matches all in straight sets with no tiebreakers played.

Venus will turn 30 years old on June 17th and she'll probably be the elder player in every match she plays in at Wimbledon.  While that may cause some to pause for concern, really there's no signs of aging at this point as she is actually playing much better tennis so far this year than she did last year. 

+400 is acceptable on V. Williams and probably slightly more valuable than Serena's odds.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon 6 years ago but her status as third favorite for the event is really questionable.  She has not been past the 4th round at the All England Club since 2006 and her 5 Grand Slam results since returning from shoulder surgery are not top-notch.  At the 2009 French Open she took advantage of an easy draw to make the quarters but other than that she has nose-dived since making her comeback:

2009 Wimbledon: 2nd round (l. to Dulko)
2009 US Open: 3rd round (l. Oudin)
2010 Australian Open: 1st round (l. Kirilenko)
2010 French Open: 3rd round (l. Henin)

Sharapova cannot be recommended at +800 and really you might put her out at +1600 in terms of true odds.

Justine Henin

Justine Henin wants a Wimbledon title to complete her career Grand Slam.  It would make for great TV but if she can't get passed the 4th round of the Slam that was historically her best then who thinks she can win a title in the Slam that was historically her worst? 

Backing Henin is risky because her form is not Grand Slam title calibre - if it was then she would have won the French Open.  There is also a problem with backing her because she's only ranked 18th on tour.  There's no way to know what kind of draw she is going to have and she could be facing very tough competition as early as the 3rd round.

+800 is too short for this player and she might be put out at +1600 as well in terms of true odds.

Henin is 1-3 combined on grass versus Serena and Venus and she, Henin, is not playing as well post-retirement as she was before.

Samantha Stosur

Samantha Stosur is the biggest sucker bet out there for Wimbledon.  She's priced at +1200 and those might be good odds if they were for Stosur to win her quarter.  However there's no way this player is making the final at Wimbledon even though she's playing the best tennis of her career.

Stosur was the most deserving player at the 2010 French Open as she eliminated Justine Henin and Serena Williams from the Roland Garros draw in back to back matches, victories that were definitely head turning.  However Stosur made the semis of the French Open last year and was playing well at that time.  She did not follow up that result with success at Wimbledon 2009 as she went out in the third round.

That 3rd round result was actually the best result for Stosur at the All England Club in 7 visits to the grass court slam and she is 5-7 careerwise in the tournament.  Should Stosur face either of the Williams sisters she might be expected to be a +1000 underdog in that single match on grass.

Put Stosur way out at +4000 (40/1) for the outright winner's market for Wimbledon and don't touch anything shorter.

Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters makes her return to Wimbledon after a 4 year hiatus.  She has been a pretty good player at the event as she made the semis in 2003 and 2006. 

She missed the French Open and practically the entire clay court season but she did win a Masters Series title in Miami early in the spring by beating Azarenka, Stosur, Henin, and V. Williams in her last 4 matches.  That looks like a draw from hell and to survive it with only one lost is very impressive.

Clijsters should be considered the third favorite to win the Wimbledon title and you could put this player at +900 (9/1).  The last time we saw her playing serious tennis she was working V. Williams 6-2, 6-1 in the Miami finals and if she, Clijsters, picks up where she left off, she's a tough out.

+1600 with SportingBet is good to go (MAXIMUMBONUS is your promotional code if you are registering with the site).

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki is the sleeper of Wimbledon and promises to win half a dozen Slams in her career.  She's not even 20 years old yet although she will be in about a month and already she has over $4,000,000 in prize money.

Of the players aged 19 to 21 years old on tour Wozniacki, who is currently ranked 3rd, is the chosen one and she has it within her to upset either of the Williams sisters.  Beating both would take something else but then the odds are pretty long at +2000 so that certainly mitigates the risk as you only need a small bet to yield a possible big payday.

Wimbledon 2010 will mark Wozniacki's 4th visit to the All England club and she has shown marked improvement over the last few years:

2007: second round
2008: third round
2009: fourth round

Wozniacki could be a semifinalist this year and if you put her that deep into the draw then you should definitely be taking her at +2000.

Jelena Jankovic

Jankovic is an underachiever at Wimbledon and there's nothing in her history that suggests that she should be considered the 8th favorite.  She has contested 6 Wimbledons in her career and the former world number 1 has not made an All England Club quarterfinal yet.  She's more like +4000 in terms of true odds to win this event and +2500 therefore look pretty skimpy for this player.

Jankovic has already contested 27 Slams in her career and she has only made one final despite often being so highly touted.

Recommendations: pound either Venus or Serena and sprinkle both Clijsters and Wozniacki.

Register with SportingBet to bet on Wimbledon 2010 and use MAXIMUMBONUS when you sign up to receive free bets that can be used on the women's final.

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All England Club Preview - Venus Williams tipped as winner

Serena Williams is considered the favorite but the title may be going back to the Venus this year.

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