With Andy Murray’s Wimbledon final defeat still seemingly fresh in the memory, he has another chance to grace the home crowd and try and bag himself a Gold Medal in the process.
Murray’s task has gotten a little easier, with the withdrawal of reigning Men’s Olympic Champion, Rafa Nadal. The Spaniard won’t be back to defend his Olympic Crown after struggling with a knee injury since winning the French Open. He was due to be Spain’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony, and this would have given him an added boost to go out and win back-to-back Gold Medal’s.
However Nadal’s misfortune is the rest of the players gain, and the odds seem to show it’s a three-horse race between Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
Djokovic was well-fancied when crashing out to an imperious Roger Federer at Wimbledon, and will be aiming to prove he has what it takes to re-gain his World Number One spot after losing it to Federer. Djokovic went close in 2008, when winning Bronze, but will be much more confident after winning five grand-slams, and finishing runner-up in two, since he managed to win his Bronze medal. The Serbian has been in magnificent form as of late, and it would be foolish to rule him out of any major tournament, and with the Olympics counting towards the ATP rankings, he will be be throwing everything at trying to bag the maximum points available, to over-take Federer in the rankings. He is the worthy favourite, but at 6/4, he is no value for the average punter.
Federer will be buoyant after his Wimbledon success and will fancy his chances to re-create his magic on the SW19 courts once more. His return to form didn’t shock too many, but the manner in which he blew away Djokovic with great ease suggested he may be somewhere near back to his best, which is enough to scare anyone. It is best of three-set games until the final, so fatigue from Wimbledon shouldn’t be so apparent and the Swiss King has a great chance of grabbing Gold. 23/10 seems a fair reflection, and I think he will start a lot shorter, with the gap between Federer and Djokovic seemingly too big after Wimbledon performances.
Favourite for the Bronze Medal, Britain’s Andy Murray will be hoping to go one better than his Wimbledon runners-up spot, and must be confident after playing some brilliant tennis at SW19. He looked in control after winning the first set, but couldn’t close out the game, and when the roof shut, it was always going to favour Federer’s accuracy. He will have learned a lot from the experience, and he should not be 7/1. If I was pricing it up, he would be more 7/2 than 7/1 and I think the bookmakers have seriously underestimated the Brit’s chances. He has publicly said how pleased he is that the Olympics are so close to Wimbledon, as he feels it is the best remedy to the heartbreaking loss he sufffered. He is a strongly driven young man, and knows how important it is to represent your country. The home support will certainly be an advantage, and with Murray proving he can beat both Federer and Djokovic in three-set matches, he has what it takes to get Gold.
Of the outsiders there are some brilliant value in the prices to win a medal. Tsonga is an obvious choice to win a medal, he is a pacey and powerful sort and he should come more into the tournament once the fresh covering of grass has disintegrated, which is likely with the current heat-wave around England. He is 11/4 to win a medal of any sort, and will be a popular choice. However the value could lie with David Ferrer, Spains main hope in the tournament after the withdrawal of Nadal has had a fine season and managed to get to the final four of the French Open. He went out to Andy Murray in four-sets at Wimbledon, in which there is no shame, and will be hopeful of building on this performance. He is a stand-out 9/2 with BetVictor to win a medal, which looks great value, especially when you take into account he is only 3/1 with Paddy Power.
The Womens Tennis is very open this year, but there are a few bets which looks good value. Serena Williams is a deserved favourite, after her crushing Wimbledon success, but at 7/4, there is little value. So for the average punter, who would like to back a consistent and classy sort, then look no further than Victoria Azarenka. The Belarusian has had a great year, and was World Number One for a period of time, after winning the Australian Open. She had a great Wimbledon, before going out in the Semi-Finals to her nemesis and eventual winner Serena. She has been seeded first, and will be hoping for a bold showing, when you consider her price is 6/1 in comparison to Serena’s 7/4, it looks a slight risk worth taking.
For an outside bet, you could do much worse than the seemingly forgotten former World Number One, who has dipped off the radar, Caroline Wozniacki. She hasn’t been in the best of form recently, with two major disappointments at both the French Open, and Wimbledon, but the break will have done her the world of good as she looks set to come back into form at any time. The current 85/1 looks outrageously big and it is worth taking a chance on her to get back to the form which seen her keep the World Number One slot for 67 weeks.
1 point win: Andy Murray – 7/1 – Betfair
3 points win: Andy Murray to get a medal – 4/6 – Paddy Power
0.5 points win: David Ferrer to get a medal – 9/2 – BetVictor
1 point e.w: Victoria Azarenka – 6/1 – Ladbrokes
0.25 points win: Caroline Wozniacki – 85/1 – Betfair
0.5 points e.w: Caroline Wozniacki – 66/1 – BetVictor