There is a saying in horse racing that there are races that are “bridge jumpers.” This means that there is a favorite that is so much a favorite that you have to bet a lot of money just to make a little money. If the horse doesn’t win, then if you invested a lot of money in the bet, you are going to jump off a bridge because you lost all your money!
Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon is like a bridge jumper race. He is the overwhelming favorite to win – and our pick to win – but if he doesn’t win, there may be some “punters” who will line up on London Bridge after the fortnight.
Who are some “dark horse” picks to maybe pull an upset? Maybe there is a 1985 Boris Becker or 1996 Richard Krajicek or 2001 Goran Ivanisevic out there. Taylor Fritz could fit this role. He has been on the verge of a big breakthrough and aren’t Americans due to win a men’s singles major? It hasn’t happened since 2003 when Andy Roddick won the U.S. Open. Fritz had a disappointing loss to an injured Rafael Nadal last year at Wimbledon so he may be extra motivated to perhaps finish some unfinished business from the year before.
Women’s tennis has been super exciting of late because of its unpredictability. There is a bit of “Big Three” at the moment in women’s tennis between reigning U.S. and French champion Iga Swiatek, Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina, the defending Wimbledon women’s champion.
Grass is not the favored surface for Swiatek so it is hard to see her as the definitive favorite, despite the odds. We don’t see Rybakina repeating based the pressure perhaps being too much for her to win again. Sabalenka’s shaky nerves were on full display at Roland Garros and the lawns of Wimbledon certainly bring even more nerves to the surface so we are not picking Sabalenka to be this year’s winner.
Petra Kvitova, a two-time champion at Wimbledon, should certainly be among the leading favorites to win the women’s title and we will make her our pick. She is 11-1 odds which is very attractive to those who want to make an investment. She won in Miami and again in Berlin on grass leading into Wimbledon so she’s in top form.
Jelena Ostapenko won the pre-Wimbledon event in Birmingham will also be a threat to win the title, but she could also lose in the first round. “We know she has the game for grass,” said Andy Roddick on Tennis Channel. She is about a 25-1 favorite, but she is just too unstable to get through seven matches.