It’s time to dig out the strawberries and cream and enjoy two weeks of non-stop Sue Barker on our screens as Tennis’s most prestigious event, Wimbledon, finally gets underway with the first round proper getting underway on Monday 3rd July.
The men’s side of the draw is shaping up to be one of the most competitive we have seen for many a year with the top two in the world Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic struggling for form as they enter SW19.
This has led to Australian Open Champion and seven time Wimbledon victor Roger Federer instilled as the favourite with us at 9/4.
Mr nice guy Federer would prove a popular winner despite Murray being on home soil, although it has been five years since 35-year-old Federer last won on the grass courts of Wimbledon.
Despite this, Federer is the man on form, four titles have ensued this year including his 18th Grand slam title at the Aussie Open and after skipping the entire clay court season to focus on grass, Federer has made it clear that he will leave no stone unturned in his bid for an eighth Wimbledon title.
The crowds will gather on Murray-Mount to see if everyone’s favourite smiling Scot can make it back to back Wimbledon titles.
Current form suggests that is an unlikely scenario especially after his shock first-round defeat at the Queens Club last week to Jordan Thompson.
2017 has not been Murray’s year but what better tonic than a Wimbledon winner and with the British crowd behind him anything could happen.
No one denies Murray has the talent to win and at 9/2 he could prove to be a steal.
There is talk that Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka are in a competition to see who can win the most Grand Slam titles before they hang up their rackets (both have three to their names).
32-year-old Wawrinka has never quite reached the heights on grass that he has on the hard and clay courts of the Australian, French and US Opens.
A quarter finalist in 2014 and 2015 is Wawrinka’s best performances at SW19, however, at 22/1 it is hard to completely write off a three-time major champion.
Over in the ladies draw, Czech Petra Kvitová has been instilled as joint favourite with fellow country mate Karolina Pliskova at 5/1 with us.
For Kvitova, being instilled as joint favourite is a remarkable achievement after a knife attack in her own home during a burglary just before Christmas left her with tendon and nerve injuries to her left hand which threatened to prematurely end her career.
However, Kvitova bounced back and recovered from injury in style and went on to win the Aegon Classic in Birmingham for her 20th career title.
British interest lies firmly at the feet of Johanna Konta, the Australian-cum-Brit’s best finish on the grass courts at Wimbledon is just the second round, however, she did perform well in the grand slams in 2016 with a semi-final spot at the Australian Open a highlight.
It may be too tall an order for Konta but if you fancy the patriotic bet then you can back her at 12/1 with us.