The biggest Grand Slam event of the season finally gets underway on the grass of the All England Club on Monday, June 27, as the best male and female players in the world compete for the prestigious Wimbledon titles. This year’s event will be slightly different from previous years, but there still promises to be wide-open competitions in both the men’s and women’s draws. Find out more below so that you can make an informed choice when you bet on this sport.
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Why Is Wimbledon Different This Year?
This year’s Wimbledon will be slightly different after it was announced last month that players from Russia and Belarus would not be able to compete at the Grand Slam. The decision was made following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but it has been met by the governing bodies of the women’s and men’s game with resistance.
The WTA and ATP both claimed that the decision was setting a ‘damaging precedent’ for tennis, while a number of top players have also questioned the decision. Novak Djokovic called the decision ‘crazy’, while nine-time women’s champion, Martina Navratilova also said that the decision made wasn’t the ‘way to go’. The stance taken by SW19 organisers now means that top-ranked male player Daniil Medvedev will not be able to play at Wimbledon, while female stars such as Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Aryna Sabalenka will also miss out.
Men’s Leading Contenders
The men targeting Wimbledon glory in 2022 will get their campaigns underway on June 27, with the final of the event taking place on July 10. Novak Djokovic will be the hot favourite in the betting to win the Grand Slam for a fourth straight edition. The Serbian star has appeared in seven of the previous ten Wimbledon finals, with his defeat coming in the 2013 final against Andy Murray. Djokovic claimed a sixth victory at Wimbledon at the event last year, as he beat Italian Matteo Berrettini in four sets.
Djokovic is still looking to get back to his very best after his start to the year was far from ideal as he was wrapped up in controversy at the Australian Open. In the previous Grand Slam event, he was beaten in the French Open quarterfinals by Rafael Nadal. The Spanish star could once again be his leading rival at Wimbledon, as Nadal looks for a 23rd career Grand Slam title.
However, Nadal has only claimed two victories at Wimbledon, and his last appearance in the final came in 2011, as he was beaten by Novak Djokovic in a four-set thriller. Andy Murray is also a previous champion at SW19, and recently reached the final of the Stuttgart Open, before he was beaten by Matteo Berrettini. However, his involvement could be in doubt after he was forced to pull out of the Queen’s Club Championships through injury.
Matteo Berrettini could be a leading contender once again this year, as the Italian looks to go one better after losing in the final against Djokovic 12 months ago. Berrettini certainly has quality on the grass, as he won the title at the Queen’s Club in 2021, and looks on course to defend his title in 2022.
Women’s Leading Contenders
The women’s Wimbledon event is typically one of the hardest to predict, as all players have a fighting chance. No woman has been able to dominate at SW19 since the last of Serena Williams’ victories in 2016. Since then, four different players have won the title, including Ashleigh Barty, who beat Karolina Pliskova in three sets in the final 12 months ago.
Barty’s decision to retire after her Australian Open success earlier in the year means that there is a very open feel to the competition this year. The current leading contender is Iga Swiatek. The Pole won her second Grand Slam title earlier in the year, as she claimed success at the French Open. However, both her Grand Slam titles have come on the clay in Paris, and whether she can transfer that form onto the grass remains to be seen. Swiatek’s best run at Wimbledon came last year, as she made it through to the fourth round.
There are also doubts surrounding the participation of some of the other leading contenders, with both Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu yet to officially confirm whether they will be playing at Wimbledon this year. Cori Gauff may be an excellent contender in the field this year, as she looks to improve following a strong run to the French Open final last month.
However, it could be worth siding with experience. Simona Halep won Wimbledon back in 2019, and only returned to grass competition this month with a victory in the opening round of the Birmingham Classic. She looked excellent on her return, and the warm-up competition could give her every chance of a big run at the Grand Slam event this year.