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  • Chris Sobey

Tennis


A good start to Wimbledon for my tennis selections with the 4-fold accumulator of Isner, Seppi, Tomic and Vesely at 5/1 all winning their respective first round matches. There were mixed fortunes for my first round trades; Brengle (1.28) lost and it was possible to cash out for a profit on the Fognini (1.22) and Pliskova (1.25) matches, but the other players all won their respective matches comfortably.

There have already been a number of shocks and seeds upset from both the men’s and women’s draws. In the first round Gael Monfils seeded 17 (1.53), Kevin Anderson seeded 20 (1.38) and Pablo Cuevas seeded 29 all lost close five setters. Philip Kohlschreiber seeded 21 (1.22) lost in four sets against Frenchman Hugues-Herbert, who looked particularly impressive, and backed that performance up yesterday knocking out Dzumhur in four sets.

The Second round was no different with David Ferrer seeded 13 losing in straight sets against grass court specialist Nicholas Mahut, Gilles Simon seeded 16 lost against a resurgent Grigor Dimitrov, Ivo Karlovic seeded 23 lost at short odds (1.22) against Lukas Lacko ranked 123 in the world, as did Victor Troicki seeded 25 (1.36) against Ramos-Vinolas. Benoit Paire seeded 26 crashed out against John Millman as did Dolgopolov in straight sets at short odds (1.36) against Britain’s Dan Evans.

The seeds have been dropping like flies already from the women’s draw as well. In the first round Ivanovic seeded 23 (1.08) was the biggest upset, followed by Mladenovic seeded 31 (1.14) who also lost at short odds and Begu seeded 25 was the other seed to fall at this stage. The second round witnessed a plethora of seeds crash out; second seed and French Open winner Muguruza (1.12) was the highest profile player to fall losing in straight sets against Cepelova.

Seventh seed Bencic (1.13) retired at 3-0 down after losing the first set against world number 225 Boserup, Pliskova seeded 15 (1.31) lost in straight sets against Doi, Svitolina seeded 17 (1.43) lost against Shvedova, Jankovic seeded 22 (1.43) lost against Erakovic and Garcia seeded 30 (1.3) lost against Siniakova who is ranked 114 in the world. Other seeds to fall were Errani seeded 20 against Cornet and Stosur seeded 14 against Lisicki.

The remainder of the men’s and women’s second round matches will be completed today and the third round encounters will be played today and tomorrow. The pick of the men’s third round matches look to be between Sock and Raonic, which has the all the hallmarks of a four or five set encounter, and Raonic should prevail having won seven of their eight previous encounters, including a straight sets win here back in 2014. There’s little value in backing him to win (1.2), but a 3-1 sets win does appeal at 3/1 as Sock has improved since 2014 and is well at home on grass having won the Wimbledon men’s doubles title.

Steve Johnson against Grigor Dimitrov should be a competitive match with both players looking in decent form so far this week. However, it’s hard to see why Johnson is the outsider given his recent form. He’s ranked higher than Dimitrov, clearly in confident mood and on a seven match winning run on the surface having won the title at Nottingham last week.

I’m still not convinced Nishikori (1.16) should be such a short favourite given his injury problems and he had to work hard to beat Groth and veteran Benneteau, who he dropped the first set against. His opponent on Saturday Kuznetsov has looked impressive this week beating the in-form Cuevas and Muller so far, he also beat Nishikori on grass back in 2010 and it’s worth laying Nishikori on the exchanges in my view with an eye on cashing out if his price doubles.

With plenty of upsets occurring at the women’s tournament so far it’s worthwhile noting a few that may struggle to win or lose today and tomorrow. Bacsinszky (1.28) seeded 11 has a 4-2 losing head-to-head record against the unorthodox veteran Niculescu and may find her a handful again today. Finally, veteran Venus Williams (1.4) seeded 8 struggled in her last round against the little known Sakkari from Greece and could struggle again today against the talented young Russian Kasaktina, who she lost to at the beginning of the year at Auckland in three sets.


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