Wimbledon men’s preview 2017

It’s that time of year once again! Get your Pimms at the ready and have those strawberries and cream on standby, because the All England Tennis Club is gearing up for another gruelling two weeks of the finest tennis action in the world. Wimbledon is here.

How long will it take for us to get bored of the “how long will Andy Murray be British for this year?” jokes? You could say he did alright in 2016, going all the way and winning the title for a second time following a dominant straight sets win over Milos Raonic in the final (someone I tipped to do well that year, just saying). http://severnsport.co.uk/?p=5530

Continuing a Severn Sport tradition that runs all the way back to 2015 – I know – here is what I, the official tennis tipster aficionado for Severn Sport, think heading into the men’s draw of SW19 2017.

*All odds are correct at time of writing on Sunday 2 July 2017. Please gamble responsibly*

Like a fine wine, Roger Federer (2/1 paddypower) just gets better with age and, let’s face it, he’s always been the King of Wimbledon. With a record-tying seven titles at SW19 to his name, the Swiss Supremo heads into the tournament as antepost favourite. Having rested for the entire clay season in order to rest for Wimbledon, his grass campaign didn’t get off to the start he would have liked when losing to 39 year-old Tommy Haas in Stuttgart.

However, the young German Alex Zverez found out first hand just how unreal Federer is on grass when the greatest player of all time handed him a 53-minute lesson in the Halle final seven days ago.

Whether from the back of the court or at the net, whether with piercingly precise groudstrokes or insultingly glorious drop shots, this was Federer at his best, unceasingly inventive, relentlessly brilliant, utterly untouchable, and clear evidence he should be regarded as the favourite to win his eighth Wimbledon title.

It will help that his run in Halle has elevated him to third seed, ensuring he will avoid the other members of the big four until the semi-finals at least.

It was more through perspiration than inspiration that Andy Murray (6/1 SkyBet) reached the semi-final at Roland Garros before a five-set defeat to Stan Wawrinka. Murray has never won the title in France, though, so the 31 year-old Scot shouldn’t be too disheartened given the fact he’s always had an excellent record at Wimbledon.

But there are no certainties for Murray at the moment. The malaise he showed in France returned when he lost his first match at Queen’s to Jordan Thompson, a lucky loser and the world No90, before a sore hip ruined his plan to tune up at Hurlingham last week. He will not give up his title without a fight, though. For all his recent toils, he has the pedigree on grass to rule SW19 for a third time.

Federer and Murray are the main two I think will do the business, and being in opposite sides of the draw we might see a repeat of the 2012 final that saw Federer come through in four sets before Murray became the nation’s sweetheart for his emotional post-match interview.

Looking at the rest, then, there will be talk about Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, especially after the former won ‘La Decima’ at Roland Garros last month dropping only 35 games in seven matches. No sets lost on the way to winning a Grand Slam is a ridiculous achievement.

However, I just can’t see him repeating that form at SW19 and even though he’s won here twice in the past, on his last four outings at Wimbledon he’s been humbled by opponents outside the top 100 in the world rankings. It’s no secret that grass isn’t the Spaniard’s favourite surface, but it would be foolish to dismiss him entirely. Saying that, though, the 9/2 offered by most bookmakers shouldn’t be touched in my opinion.

Continuing the tradition of the last two years, I have to stick with my boy Milos Raonic (18/1 paddypower). As I said last year, his powerful game is well suited to how the grass courts at SQ19 play and statistically speaking, he’s one of the best servers in the Open Era.

Last year he reached the final after overcoming Roger Federer from two sets down, only to be humbled in straight sets by Andy Murray. Now with an extra year’s experience on the tour to boot, I think he’s got a real chance to get back to where he was last year and possibly even go one better.

Admittedly his form hasn’t been great in the run-up (losing in the fourth round of the French Open before producing an erratic performance when losing to Thanasi Kokkinakis at Queen’s) and against the big guns he’s rarely come out on top, but if he can just keep churning out consistent performances and getting the job done, the each-way value looks to be with him and he only needs to make the final for a payout.

For my longshot outsider I’m going back to another old favourite of these previews in 23 year-old Dominic Thiem (50/1 SkyBet). The rising young Austrian offered another demonstration of his talent with his demolition of Djokovic in Paris and he is brimming with belief after excelling on clay, although the 23-year-old has yet to prove himself on grass.

However, he has failed to make it past the second round every time he’s been to SW19, so do not be surprised if he is involved in some early drama. Like Raonic, if he can just keep plugging away at it, there’s some decent value to be had on a small each-way punt.

That’ll do it for the antepost preview, we will hopefully have betting tips on the website every day for the next fortnight, so keep your eye out for that.