Wimbledon and its strawberry obsession has gone for another year. This year’s southwest London Grand Slam was rather underwhelming as stars fell early in the Men’s draw and the Women’s draw saw the home favourite eliminated emphatically by Venus Williams in the semi-final.
Andy Murray’s niggling injury saw him knocked out before a matchup with one of the other ‘big four’, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic suffered early defeats too, leaving the majestic Roger Federer to claim his record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title. The elegant Swiss was at his very best and did not drop a single set through the tournament, but Marin Cilic simply could not live with him on Sunday. The Women’s final was much the same as Gabrine Muguruza dispatched Williams in straight sets.
The final Grand Slam of the year takes us to the US. The Women’s draw is typically open, with Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova the joint favourites for the crown at 6/1. Pliskova is the world number one, but suffered a second round elimination at Wimbledon. Having been runner-up on the other side of the Atlantic in 2016, Pliskova is understandably a strong favourite to go one step further.
Muguruza’s dominant display in the second set against the veteran Williams makes her a good option in this market, mind. Though she’s only fifth in the rankings right now, the experience of such success stands her in good stead for a deep run in the calendar year’s final Slam. The world number 2 and 3 as of 17th July are Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber who follow in the market at 7/1.
The outside pick that really leaps out from the Women’s draw is Coco Vandeweghe at 20/1. The towering American is on the rise and her straight sets victory over Caroline Wozniacki at Wimbledon should serve as a warning to the rest of the draw.
In the Men’s side it’s typically more straight forward. Federer is the early favourite at 5/2, but the veteran may not have too much time on court between now and the beginning of the US Open. Nadal sits in second at 7/2, though the Spaniard’s record at Flushing Meadows has been disappointing since he last held the trophy aloft in 2013.
The others of the dominant quartet both limped away from Wimbledon with injury concerns, making them particularly risky options. The typical fifth wheel of the Men’s tour, Stan Wawrinka, is at 13/1, though, which is a price well worth consideration at this stage for the 32-year-old world number five. As defending champion, Wawrinka has to be my pick.
It might be tough to call this far in advance, but the world of tennis never stops. We can hope, at least, that the US Open is more entertaining than Wimbledon.