The favourites

Eight-time and defending Wimbledon champion Roger Federer naturally heads the betting for this year, having won three of the last four grand slams that he has participated in.

The 36-year-old is not as safe a bet as he was 12 months ago, though.

He lost in the final at the Halle Open last week, having previously triumphed in nine of his 12 appearances there, with defeat to Borna Coric arguably his worst at the event.

Despite his incredible pedigree at SW19 clearly marking him out as favourite, his price of looks a little short.

Thankfully for Federer, it’s difficult to back any of his challengers with much confidence.

Rafael Nadal has had little preparation on grass since cantering to the French Open, so victory at looks very unlikely.

And though Novak Djokovic has improved in recent months, reaching the Italian Open semi-final before a marginal quarter-final exit at Roland-Garros, he lost a final-set decider to Marin Cilic in last weekend’s Queen’s final.

Indeed, it is Cilic who could be Federer’s main rival for this title.

The Croatian has reached four quarter-finals in his last five slams, including the final at Wimbledon 12 months ago. He is so consistent that he is bound to be involved in the latter stages, though he would have to come through a semi-final with Federer to lift the title.

Alex Zverev , who was knocked out early in Halle, is still suffering from the hamstring injury that surfaced during his defeat to Dominic Thiem in the French Open semi-final.

Roger Federer to win Wimbledon 2018
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The field is as top heavy as ever in the men’s game, so finding value in the outright winner market outside the few favourites is difficult.

Juan Martin del Potro progressed all the way to the semi-final at the French Open, and is one of just three men to have beaten Federer in 2018.

He is another to have suffered a disrupted preparation, though, after a groin injury ruled him out of Queen’s.

Next-favourite Nick Kyrgios , meanwhile, has still never progressed beyond his 2014 quarter-final finish at this competition.

Grigor Dimitrov is struggling, too, after failing to progress beyond the third round in four consecutive tournaments.

He will play three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka who, like Murray, is recovering from a serious injury, while former major finalists Dominic Thiem – who is at his best on clay – and Kei Nishikori are out at  and respectively.

British interest beyond Murray will be in Kyle Edmund, who could defy his price in front of home support.

Edmund reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open, and a repeat of that performance feels most likely here.

The path looks clear for Federer and Cilic as the best bets.

Marin Cilic to win Wimbledon 2018
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