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Neil McLeman: Wimbledon’s two-horse race

29 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Neil McLeman: Wimbledon’s two-horse race

Novak Djokovic is the man to beat at Wimbledon, and Andy Murray is the man to beat him

ANDY MURRAY or Novak Djokovic will win the Wimbledon men’s title. The two best players in the world on current form have been drawn on opposite sides of the draw and will meet in the final on July 12. And the British No 1 is the best bet to triumph.

The Serb might have won their last eight meetings dating back to the 2013 Wimbledon final, including in both Grand Slams this season.

But the Scot has won both their meetings on grass and is in the form of his life after winning the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club last week. And crucially, Murray believes he can beat Djokovic on grass.

Greg Rusedski told me: “Djokovic has to be the favourite with all he has achieved this year but Andy is not far behind him. He will start Wimbledon with lots of confidence after his best ever claycourt season and then winning at Queen’s Club.”

Last year Murray lost in the quarter-final to Grigor Dimitrov when he still hadn’t fully recovered from back surgery – and there was unhappiness in his camp after the appointment of Amelie Mauresmo. This time former Wimbledon doubles champion Jonas Bjorkman has been added to the team and harmony reigns. “It’s a happy team,” said the Swede. “I feel from the first day I came in, it’s been a lot of fun, all the guys doing a great job, easy-going and for me and Amelie it was easy as well.”

Murray looks like he has a tough draw with both Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer on his side of the draw but both will struggle to justify their seedings. Djokovic will have the chance to gain revenge for his French Open final defeat to Stan Wawrinka in his semi-final.

5/4 – Stanislas Wawrinka to go further in the tournament than Roger Federer

The real value is identifying the surprise guy who reaches the last four. Last year it was Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov, in 2013 the Pole Jerzy Janowicz.

The women’s side depends on the form and fitness of Serena Williams as she bids to complete the third leg of a calendar Grand Slam. When the world No 1 is firing on all cylinders, she wins. And she proved in Paris that even when she is struggling with her health, she can still lift a Major title.

But even though the American superstar has won the Wimbledon singles title five times, she has not got beyond the fourth round in the last two years as she suffered shock losses to Sabine Lisicki and Alize Cornet.

Chris Evert told me: “It’s all up to her. When she is at her best she is better than anybody else.” 

10/1 – Andy Murray and Serena Williams both to win Wimbledon

Williams has been drawn to face world No 4 Maria Sharapova in the semi. The blonde Russian earns more from commercial endorsements than Williams and took her boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov. But there is little on-court rivalry. The American has won their last 17 matches since 2004, including the tightly-contested Australian Open final. These streaks have to come to an end sometime.

Tomas Berdych ended a 17-match unbeaten run to Rafa Nadal in Melbourne. After after losing 16 times in a row to Jimmy Connors, Vitas Gerulaitis finally beat him and declared: “Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row.”

On grass, defending champion Petr Kvitova is always a threat with her big left-handed serve while Victoria Azarenka, twice a semi-finalist here, is ranked down at world No 23 but can still beat anyone on her day.

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READ: Four day 1 picks to get your Wimbledon off to a winning start > >

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