Ashleigh Barty will hope to throw another party at Wimbledon after winning the French Open and going on to claim the world number one spot in the rankings.
Barty was close to turning her back on the sport for good but now stands on the brink of becoming the game’s latest superstar after a stunning 2019 so far.
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She is not just the top seed for Wimbledon this year; the bookmakers have made Barty the favourite in the betting odds even ahead of the great Serena Williams.
Reasons to side with Barty for this year’s Wimbledon are plentiful. Grass is her favourite surface of them all and she has only lost five matches all year. Momentum is on her side.
But the women’s tournament at Wimbledon might just be the most unpredictable competition in all of sport right now.
Serena is a seven-time champion at SW19 but she was beaten by Angelique Kerber in the final a year ago, with the German one of a handful of players who are potential winners at Wimbledon 2019.
But where is the best value to be found in betting odds for the women’s draw? Let’s take a look.
Barty the Player to Beat
Anyone who lifts the trophy at the end of a grueling two weeks of action is likely to have to knock out Ashleigh Barty on their way to banking the cheque.
The Australian is in the form of her life and looks unbeatable right now, having already won tournaments on three different surfaces over the course of the year to date.
Barty opted not to play at Eastbourne, instead resting up after a busy period on the WTA tour, and it is not as if she has been short of on-court practice in the last few months.
The new world number one can be backed at 4/1, a price that still looks well worth taking despite being quite short. Barty has won 12 matches in a row so she is going to take some stopping.
However, it is worth pointing out that Barty’s remarkable streak has not seen her come up against any other players who are in the top 10 of the women’s world rankings.
How would she cope were she to come up against an experienced player such as Angelique Kerber – who is now ranked as the world’ number five – or Petra Kvitova, who has battled her way back to the top of the sport after sustaining serious hand injuries in fighting off an intruder in her home?
Serena to Write Another Chapter in Her History Book?
Coming into Wimbledon without a lot of matches under her belt, it is difficult to know what to make of Serena Williams’ chances of going all the way, but only a fool would write her off.
Made the second favourite in the betting odds by the bookmakers, Williams’ reputation precedes her but she appears to be operating under the radar going into this year’s tournament.
Serena suffered a shock loss at the French Open, going out in the third round to Sofia Kenin at Roland Garros, but Wimbledon is typically where she has played the best tennis of her career.
If she starts the tournament well then momentum could quickly get on her side and unlike a lot of the other top contenders for the crown, she has been here and done it before many times.
Despite approaching the end of her career, Williams has still reached three of the past four Wimbledon finals, so she can never be written off. Her price for this event is set at around 13/2.
Bertens Ready to Make Her Major Breakthrough
It has been a great 12 months for Kiki Bertens, but it might get better yet as she has a real chance of being a massive threat in the women’s Wimbledon draw.
This time last year, Bertens beat Venus Williams on her way to the quarter-finals and, priced at around the 25/1 mark, she is a solid bet to get to that stage or even further again in 2019.
Bertens has continued to make big strides in her game this year and she is no longer considered to be a clay-court specialist as she has shown she can beat just about anyone in any tournament if she produces her best tennis on the day.
Illness meant she had to retire in the second round of the French Open but, fit and firing once more, fourth seed Bertens is a serious contender to go all the way even though the bookies do not seem to fancy her chances at Wimbledon.
Kerber Goes for Back-to-Back Titles
Defending champions always demand respect and Angelique Kerber is no different, with the German having produced a major shock result to get the better of Serena Williams in last year’s final.
The 31-year-old is one of the most experienced players on the WTA tour now and that should stand her in good stead despite the growing crop of rising starlets making their way up.
At 11/1, third in the betting odds behind Serena and top seed Barty, it is expected Kerber will be one of the players to beat. And seeded five, she should have a relatively clear draw as well.
Wimbledon Women’s Picks
Ashleigh Barty has handled pressure just fine in recent weeks but going into Wimbledon as both the clear favourite and the top seed will add a new burden of expectation onto her shoulders.
But the Australian seems to be in good shape and capable of staying focused on her tennis, so at 4/1 she looks like a decent price as a strong contender to be this year’s champion.
It is hard to write Serena Williams off but judging her form is difficult considering she saves herself for the biggest events of the tour nowadays. But a few wins will make her a threat.
Fourth seed Kiki Bertens is certainly among the clutch of players who look to be excellent value, as she can be backed at very generous odds of 25/1. Her breakthrough into the big time looks to be on the way and it is absolutely possible she wins Wimbledon this year.
Young stars will catch the eye as always at SW19 and among them is Amanda Anisimova, with the teenage American having shone in a stunning run to the semi-finals at Roland Garros. Her reward is being made the 25th seed and she is a threat on an each way basis at 33/1, although at just 17 years of age her lack of experience counts against her.
Lastly, available at what looks to be far too big at 40/1, Donna Vekic has the game to beat anyone on grass and if she finds her rhythm it is going to be very tough to knock her out.