Wimbledon Tennis 2014: Championship Predictions and Odds for Title Favorites
This year, home-grown hero and defending champion Andy Murray leapfrogged over Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka to claim the No. 3 seed. Still, Murray is not the favorite.
Wimbledon arrives with the top of the men's and women's professional tennis tours looking remarkably similar. Three of the Top Five on the ATP and WTA Tours are perennial top-tier players. Each tour has a Top-Five newbie ranked No. 3. The fifth-ranked player on each tour is a Wimbledon champion who has climbed back among the elite after missing the latter part of last season.
Even after a turbulent Wimbledon in 2013, oddsmakers love the front-runners. Despite lackluster performances at the Australian Open and the French Open, Williams is favored 6-5; Djokovic, 7-4.
Will Djokovic and Williams regain their dominant form? Or could we see a pair of first-time Wimbledon champions?
It will all be sorted out over the fortnight, beginning June 23. Until then, here are the odds and predictions for title favorites.
ATP Ranking: 5
Prediction: Murray benefits from some British brew. Seeded third, instead of fifth (reflecting his ATP ranking), Murray avoids a clash with Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer until the semifinals.
Besides defending his title, Murray also has to contend with the media frenzy surrounding his hire of Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach.
Murray is coming off a dreadful performance against Nadal in the semifinals of the French Open. He'll have the British crowd behind him and one of the best first serves on tour.
But he will fall short of defending his crown. His run will end in the semifinals.
WTA Ranking: 5
Prediction: Sharapova comes into Wimbledon ahead of all players in points earned this season. Her win at the French Open moved her back into the WTA Top Five.
Because Sharapova lost in the second round last year, every round she reaches beyond that just pads her lead in the Road to Singapore, the WTA's year-end championship.
Sharapova will try to become the first woman since Serena Williams (2002) to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year.
The long clay-court season and her unreliable serve will keep her from moving past the quarterfinals.
Prediction: Federer is coming off a win at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany. It was his 14th grass-court title.
Federer, winner of seven Wimbledon titles, is probably the sentimental favorite for many tennis fans. If he did manage to win Wimbledon it would be considered a major surprise. Certainly not a long shot, Federer is one of the best grass-court players in history. However, the Maestro is considered somewhat of an underdog.
In yet another disappointing Grand Slam appearance, Federer will fail to reach the quarterfinals.
WTA Ranking: 4
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska was in the Wimbledon final in 2012. Up 2-1 in the third set, Radwanska fell prey to spectacular serving from Serena Williams.
With a finals appearance on her resume and the No. 4 ranking, you'd think Radwanska would garner better odds. But her game has fallen off, and seemingly so have her chances of becoming the first Polish woman to win Wimbledon.
Radwanska will crash out in Week 1.
ATP Ranking: 3
Prediction: Since winning the Australian Open, Wawrinka's season has been a mixed bag of highs and lows. He defeated Federer to capture the title at Monte Carlo, but he lost his opening-round match at the French Open. Despite his ATP ranking, he is seeded fifth.
He had a decent showing at the Queen's Club, where he lost to Grigor Dimitrov. Wawrinka could blow hot or cold at Wimbledon. Either way, he won't be hot enough to advance past the third round.
WTA Ranking: 3
Prediction: Simona Halep proved her ascendancy to the WTA Top Five was no fluke. She battled Maria Sharapova to an intense three-setter in the 2014 French Open final. Although she lost to the two-time French Open champion, Halep gained the respect of peers and fans.
Yet the oddsmakers give her the same chance of winning the title as newcomer Eugenie Bouchard. Perhaps that's because of Halep's lack of experience in the big moments.
Halep has also struggled against big hitters such as Sharapova and Serena Williams—then again, who hasn't. Halep's consistency should propel her into the fourth round.
ATP Ranking: 2
Prediction: Djokovic is coming off another devastating French Open loss to Nadal. Yet the oddsmakers believe he will bounce back.
Djokovic is on a bit of a losing streak in Grand Slam finals. He last won a Slam in Australia in 2013. Since then he's been runner-up in three of the last four Slams. Still, the Serbian usually finds a way to steady himself after big losses.
He's facing a changeling field of Grand Slam winners and up-and-coming big hitters like Milos Raonic and Dimitrov.
But bolstered by the No. 1 seeding, Djokovic will find a way to return to a Wimbledon final, and this time he'll win it all.
WTA Ranking: 2
Prediction: Li Na needs to remind oddsmakers who she is. She is ranked No. 2 and had a better 2013 Wimbledon than Serena Williams, Sharapova or Halep. Despite that, the oddsmakers give Bouchard a better chance of winning Wimbledon than Li.
The serve-and-volley game she's adopted under coach Carlos Rodriguez makes her a serious contender to weave through the land mines of hungry veterans and ambitious young players. Well-rested after an early exit from Roland Garros, Li will cruise into the quarterfinals.
ATP Ranking: 1
Prediction: The All England Club and the oddsmakers seem unimpressed with Nadal's game on grass. He comes in behind Djokovic in seeding and odds.
The undisputed King of Clay won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010. At the time it seemed he'd solved his grass-court issues. However, he's suffered early losses in the past two years. He lost in the second round in 2012 and was upset in the first round last year.
His stunning loss to Dustin Brown at Halle confirmed that Nadal is a completely different player off his favorite surface. Yet, he's still Nadal, winner of 14 Grand Slams. He will at least advance to the fourth round.
WTA Ranking: 1
Prediction: Serena Williams is the most heavily favored player going into Wimbledon. She's also the player with perhaps the most question marks. She has not advanced beyond the fourth round at a Grand Slam this year.
She seems to lack the urgency and intensity she played with in 2013. But how can you bet against Williams on grass? How can you bet against Williams on any surface?
Last year, when she was upset in the fourth round, something was missing: Venus. It was the first time Serena played at Wimbledon without big sis there.
She has entered the doubles draw with Venus this year. With Venus by her side, Serena will return to her winning ways and capture her 18th Grand Slam.