Wimbledon started Monday at the All England Club in London, but the English faithful already has lost their Tennis Betting favorite to win the tournament as Andy Murray, a two-time winner of the grass-court major, had to pull out. He’s still recovering from hip surgery and has barely played since Wimbledon last year. Here’s a look at a couple of first-round matches odds scheduled for Tuesday.
2018 Wimbledon Men’s First Round Tennis Betting Prediction
With Murray sidelined for so long, the top-ranked British men’s player in the world is Kyle Edmund, who is ranked 17th in the world. He’s a -430 favorite against Alex Bolt (+345). Bolt is an Aussie ranked 204th in the world so it shouldn’t be much trouble for Edmund. Bolt has never won a singles title and will be making his first appearance in this tournament. Bolt beat three opponents in qualifying for the tournament.
Edmund, meanwhile, became British No. 1 in March and was the 21st seed in the men’s draw – Wimbledon doesn’t necessarily seed by world ranking. The 23-year-old beat Murray in straight sets at Eastbourne last week in a warm-up tournament and Murray clearly wasn’t feeling 100 percent. In doing so, Edmund became the first Brit to beat the two-time Wimbledon champion since Tim Henman in 2006. Murray had been the British No. 1 at every Wimbledon since 2008.
Edmund has made some nice progress this year, beating Grigor Dimitrov to make his first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open and overcoming former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open in May. Assuming Edmund wins, he would play either Yuichi Sugita or Bradley Klahn in the second round with a likely clash with 12th seed and three-time champion Djokovic in the third round.
Edmund is still to win any career titles (apart from the Estoril Open doubles with Cameron Norrie in May) but reached the Marrakech final this year. Hall of Famer John McEnroe says Edmund has “Top 10 potential” but that him winning a slam would take more work. McEnroe believes Edmund lacks the killer instinct right now.
After solid tune-ups at Queen’s Club and Eastbourne, Edmund said this even though he lost to world No. 90 Mikhail Kukushkin in the next round after beating Murray: “I have played my best grass court tennis this year. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.”
Last year at Wimbledon, Edmund lost against Gaël Monfils in three sets, his fifth defeat in six matches in the main draw since his debut in 2013.
Jack Sock vs. Matteo Berrettini
American men’s tennis has been pretty much a disaster since Andy Roddick retired and no U.S. male has won Wimbledon since Pete Sampras won his then-record seventh title (since surpassed by Roger Federer) in 2000. It’s rather unlikely that drought changes this summer, but maybe Jack Sock can surprise people. He’s the 18th seed for this tournament but just a -120 favorite against Matteo Berrettini in Tuesday’s first-round match.
Sock has won four singles titles in his ATP career but none this year. In fact, he’s an awful 5-12 overall in 2018 matches. It seems as if grass and Sock’s game is a terrible fit. The slumping Sock lost a week ago to world No. 316 Daniel Brands at Eastbourne. Berrettini, ranked 81st in the world, had never played a professional match on grass prior to June 2018. These two have never met.
Rafael Nadal vs. Dudi Sela
Nadal is a two-time Wimbledon champion but has struggled here the past few years and is seeded second this year despite being No. 1 in the world. He’s a massive -3300 favorite against Dudi Sela. I think we all want to see Nadal face Roger Federer in the final – the played maybe the greatest Wimbledon final ever 10 years ago. About possibly playing the final against Federer, Nadal said that it would be good news because he would be in a Wimbledon final for the first time in seven years.
“Now it’s impossible to think about it,” he added. “I come with a short preparation, I have to think day by day and not about Federer who is in the other side of the draw. I hope to meet him.”
It’s not clear if Nadal is fully healthy even though he not long ago won a record 11th French Open title – he’s clearly the best clay-court player ever. Nadal’s only grass-court preparation ahead of Wimbledon was an exhibition event at Hurlingham.
Nadal pulled out of the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club, saying he overexerted himself in winning the French Open.
“Of course, it wasn’t positive for me not to play Queen’s. I was sad not to have the chance to be there. On the other hand, the reason I didn’t play there was because I had played a lot on clay, so I was very happy,” he said. “I decided not to play Queen’s because I’d had a long clay-court season. The body needed a rest and a slow adaptation to adapt to the grass. That’s what I did.”
The Spaniard hasn’t reached a quarterfinal at Wimbledon since 2011 when he reached the final. He was knocked out by Gilles Muller in the fourth round 12 months ago.
Sela is an Israeli ranked 127th in the world. Not a very big guy at 5-foot-9, 144 pounds. Sela, whose career-high ranking was 29th in 2009, has never won an ATP Tour title and is 5-7 this year. He has lost both career matches vs. Nadal. They last met in Miami in 2017 and Nadal won in straight sets.
No reason not to back all three favorites here, although I could see Nadal losing a set as he might be rusty.