Wimbledon Betting Preview: Hobbled Nadal No Longer Favorite

Midwest Sports FansAnalyst IJune 18, 2009

The Wimbledon betting community isn’t sure what to make of Rafael Nadal at this point. He is slated to be the number one seed at Wimbledon and he is the defending champ, so he has to be taken seriously.

At the same time, he just isn’t healthy right now.

Nadal exited the French Open in surprising fashion when he lost to No. 23 seed Robin Soderling. Nadal had dominated the red clay in Paris for years. As a matter of fact, he had never lost.

Nadal was a perfect 81-0 in the French Open and had won four straight titles.

If the fact that he lost there isn’t a red flag, then there aren’t any other warning signs to heed.

With Nadal out of the way, Roger Federer finally won a French Open – his first – and also tied Pete Sampras’ record for most Grand Slam victories. Federer, who is now tied with Tiger Woods for major victories, can break Sampras record and separate from Woods with a win at Wimbledon. Woods, though, is the favorite on the US Open odds, which is taking place over the weekend.

Right after the French Open, there was some speculation as to whether Nadal was healthy, and his coach came out and said he’s not. He then said that Nadal might miss Wimbledon altogether.

The odds makers realize that it is still a possibility, even though Nadal has come back to play since. Nadal has played in a couple of warm-up matches for the big Tournament.

The reality of the matter is that Nadal had to be at full strength, full peak to defeat Federer last year. Now that he’s hampered by a bad knee, not only will he probably not be able to beat Federer, he might not even make it through the ranks of the tournament to defend his title.

A lot of sports picks originally pegged Nadal as the man to win Wimbledon once again, but now injuries are the wild card factor. If Nadal was healthy, we might be in for another classic, but playing on one-and-a-half legs, Federer will be too strong for Nadal on the lawn in England.

The price per head for both tennis players has dropped according to the odds makers. Now that Nadal is back in the mix, the price for Federer has dropped while the fact that Nadal is not healthy has hurt his own odds. Andy Murray, who will be the British hopeful, has been the beneficiary on the betting lines.