Wimbledon Preview And Top Picks For The Individual Titles

On Monday next week, 128 players in both the men’s and women’s draws will start their campaign to be the one player left holding aloft one of the most famous trophies in sport.

Wimbledon fortnight is here and the 2022 version of the Championship has already been hit by controversy in the lead up to the tournament, ostensibly because of the All England Club’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players competing in the event.

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Let’s now learn a little more about this somewhat unusual build up to Wimbledon 2022, before we give you our choice of the players to watch, or maybe even back, to win the men’s and women’s singles events at the Championships this year.

Wimbledon 2022 – Build Up Controversy

Even before the tournament began, there was plenty of controversy over it after the All England Club, after discussing the issue with the British Government, announced that they would be banning Russian and Belarusian players from the event, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The stance was contrary to that taken by the ITF, WTA and ATP tours and led to heavy criticism from players, who felt that individuals should not be punished for the actions of their country, over which they have no control.

However, the ban remained in place and in response the tours and ITF announced that the ranking points normally handed out to players during Wimbledon, would not be awarded for the 2022 tournament.

This then led to a number of players such as Cameron Norrie and Naomi Osaka stating that the tournament would be devalued as a result of this and Osaka even went as far to call the tournament a “glorified exhibition” without ranking points.

In addition to a significant number of Russian and Belarusian players missing, including previous winner of the women’s title Viktoria Azarenka plus the new number 1 ranked male player in the world, Daniil Medvedev, No 4 ranked female Aryna Sabalenka and the 8th ranked male, Andrey Rublev, Osaka announced her decision not to play a few weeks back.

There was also bad news for British fans when Emma Raducanu, the new great hope in British women’s tennis and current US Open Champion, hurt herself at the Nottingham Open warm up event sustaining a freak injury from which she may not recover in time for the start of the tournament on Monday.

Similarly, Andy Murray also picked up an injury just as he was starting to find some form after his lengthy spell of injury worries, but his diagnosis seems to suggest he will be able to play at this year’s event, even if he is not fully fit.

So with several players out of the top 100 missing in both the men’s and women’s tournaments, plus Osaka withdrawing, it seemed Wimbledon would be about the players not there, but there was positive news from one returning superstar of the game.

Earlier in June, Serena Williams confirmed on social media that she would make her return to singles competition after a year out after injuring herself in the first round of Wimbledon last year.

The American ace was back in doubles action last weekend and won the tournament with her partner Ons Jabeur.

Let’s now take a look at some of the players to watch out for in this tournament in both the men’s and women’s singles events.

Men’s Singles Contenders

  • Rafael Nadal (Spain) – The Spanish ace has won 22 Grand Slam titles, 2 more than any other male player and has won both Slam events in this calendar year so far. However, grass isn’t his strongest surface but even so, his natural talent should see him through to the semi-finals at least. Bet365 Odds – 13/2
  • Matteo Berrettini (Italy) – The Italian has become something of a grass court specialist in recent times, especially with his win at Queens Club last week and the fact he was a beaten finalist in last year’s Wimbledon tournament. Bet365 Odds – 11/2
  • Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) – The new sensation in the men’s game is one of the few people to beat Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic on the way to a tour title. Clay is his best surface though and it will be interesting to see how adapts to the challenges at Wimbledon – Bet365 Odds – 8/1.
  • Our Pick – Novak Djokovic (Serbia) – Banned from playing in the Australian Open due to his Covid-vaccine stance, Djokovic has enjoyed an up and down season but back on his favourite surface, the current Champion will be the player to beat in the men’s event. Bet365 Odds – 4/5 favourite.

Other Notable Options in the Men’s Tournament

  • Felix Auger Aliassime – 11/1
  • Hubert Hurkacz – 14/1
  • Nick Kyrgios, Stefanos Tsitsipas – 18/1
  • Marin Cilic – 20/1
  • Andy Murray – 25/1

Women’s Singles Contenders

  • Serena Williams (United States) – Her announcement to return was a very welcome one and with the field in the women’s event weaker, the American superstar should be able to ease her way back into the tournament as a Wildcard entrant. Bet365 Odds – 16/1.
  • Cori Gauff (United States) – The new great hope of women’s tennis in the United States, Gauff reached the French Open final this year and is maturing into a very fine tour player, but she’s never got past the 4th round at Wimbledon so far. Bet365 Odds – 10/1.
  • Ons Jabeur (Tunisia) – Now ranked 2nd in the world, Jabeur has never got past the quarterfinal of a slam event but she has improved markedly on last year and has now got three career titles to her name. Bet365 Odds – 10/1.
  • Our Pick – Iga Swiatek (Poland) – Swiatek has taken over from Ashleigh Barty as the world number 1 and is now the dominant force in women’s tennis with six straight tournament victories behind her, including a second French Open success. I think she represents outstanding value to lift her first Wimbledon title this year and her price is already shortening from the 6/4 she started the week at. Bet365 Odds – 11/8.

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