The 2016 Wimbledon tennis tournament hits the grass later in June, with most tennis fans and experts alike banking on the top players to have a shot at hoisting one of the sport’s most prestigious trophies. That certainly makes sense and Vegas backs that logic, as top-ranked studs like Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams tend to dominate the men’s and women’s fields – specifically in this very tournament.
Williams won in 2015 and Djokovic has secured two straight Wimbledon titles, so logic does tell us there is a very good chance they both either win again in 2016, or at least get to the final. Of course, there isn’t a lot of money to be made with these two favorites. The women’s field just traditionally isn’t that deep, as Williams only has one true threat – Gabrine Muguruza – who she defeated at Wimbledon last year and just fell to in this year’s French Open.
The story is pretty similar with Novak, who has won three of the last five Wimbledon titles and typically is only taking a backseat to Roger Federer or Andy Murray. He just rediscovered his dominance over Murray with a big win at the French Open, though, while an aging Federer is still working his way back to full strength after getting knocked out of the French Open due to injury. None of this is to say that Muguruza, Murray and Federer aren’t top threats – they are.
But that’s where the contenders die for the most part. Beyond that, there is a handful of Wimbledon sleepers and then everyone else. It’s true that the “everyone else” can sometimes produce a tennis pro no one sees coming, but usually we will have a pretty good idea as to who is going to be at the final. Williams and Djokovic are probably going to be there and if they’re not facing the same people they did in 2015, perhaps we can bet on one of the following sleepers working their way through Wimbledon for their shot at glory.
Without further haste, here’s a look at four sleepers you may want to consider betting on at Wimbledon this month:
Petra Kvitova +600
Kvitova doesn’t have the odds of a legit Wimbledon title contender, but she’ll do just fine as a sleeper worth betting on. Not only has Kvitova had some success at this very event (won in 2011 and 2014), but she’s also reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and the French Open.
— Live Tennis (@livetennis) June 17, 2016
The important part is her clear comfort level on grass and at Wimbledon, so Vegas is at least giving her the respect she’s earned at this event. That being said, there is no denying a mild slide for Kvitova, who has slid a bit in the past two years and more recently fell outside of the top-10. She’s still on the cusp of that elite list, currently penciled in as the 11th best women’s pro tennis player. A big comeback at Wimbledon would naturally vault her up the ladder.
Stan Wawrinka +1600
Wawrinka is an interesting sleeper, both because the 31-year old has found solid success lately and because he’s gotten quite serious about finding even more success on grass. For one, the guy has gotten to his only two career grand slam finals in the past two years – and won both – achieving victories in the 2014 Australian Open and the 2015 French Open.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 10, 2016
He’s yet to keep that run going in 2016, but a recent move could get him going in that direction at June’s Wimbledon tourney. Per Wawrinka’s social media, he’s reached out to former Wimbledon champ Richard Krajicek and added him to his coaching staff. With the help of Krajicek via his title-winning experience on the grass at Wimbledon, Wawrinka hopes to eradicate any remaining flaws in his Wimbledon game. He faces an uphill battle, but the extra help can’t hurt.
Milos Raonic +1600
Raonic is much younger than Wawrinka and a lot more interesting of a play at Wimbledon due to his youth, talent and sudden rise. He reached #4 status in the world this May and it’s very possible his climb is only just beginning. He’s just 25, yet Raonic has reached the semifinals at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open (this year). It’s very possible he’s ready for an even bigger leap this summer, where he could shoot for his first ever grands slam final appearance.
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) June 11, 2016
That’s a big bite out of the tennis world, but Raonic has at least taken the necessary steps to try to reach the next level. One way to do that is by listening to coach John McEnroe, who could give the youngster enough pointers to push his game over the top. He’s still not guaranteed to be ready for the big time, but there’s something about Raonic’s heart and talent that suggests he’s getting awfully close.
Sabine Lisicki +4000
Need a bit of a long shot that might play as an interesting sleepers? Lisicki may be the call for the women’s side. We know Lisicki has the goods to make a deep run thanks to her appearance in the 2013 Wimbledon final, and she also has a lot to prove after sliding to 63rd in the women’s tennis rankings. She’s also enjoyed some decent success in the U.S. Open and French Open recently, advancing to at least the third round in both events in 2015.
The momentum Lisicki started running with in 2013 has been halted time and time again by injuries, inconsistency and superior opponents. However, her best run ever came at Wimbledon, which might suggest grass and maybe even this specific event could be her calling card. Even if it doesn’t end up being true, the mere possibility makers her a mild threat to open up the tourney. She’s undergone coaching and management changes and while she’s not exactly trending in the right direction, it’s arguable a good start at Wimbledon could be the spark she needs. With these fun +4000 odds, she could be an interesting sleeper to attack when it comes to 2016 Wimbledon betting.