Ladies Wimbledon preview: Faves and who to avoid
It could be argued that women's tennis has never been more exciting. So I will go ahead and argue that.
You just don't know who's going to win these days (and the girls are getting hotter), so there is a ton of value out there for bettors.
The past six grand slams have seen six different winners, all of whom had never won that specific grand slam before. Four of those girls were first-time grand slam winners, period.
With that in mind, the most consistent grand slam is Wimbledon, where someone named 'Williams' has won nine of the last 12 times.
Here's a look at the favorites and some other notes heading into the Wimbledon fortnight.
Maria Sharapova +275 - Sharapova won her first French Open title this month to complete the career grand slam and grab hold of the world No. 1 ranking. She looks to be as fit as she has been in her career and obliterated the clay court competition with a record of 19-1 this season.
Serena +300 - But that one loss that Sharapova had on clay came against this gal. And there is that whole bit about her winning four titles at the All England Club. Serena was upset in the first round of Roland Garros, so she's had plenty of time to rest a lower back injury that forced her to withdraw from the Italian Open in May.
Petra Kvitova +450 - Last year's Wimbly champ made the semifinals of both grand slams so far this year where she lost to Sharapova both times. Apparently Sharapova didn't like losing to the Czech in last year's final in London because she's won all three meetings this season. Kvitova made the semis in 2010 at Wimbledon though, so she has to be a strong consideration here.
Victoria Azarenka +700 - Azarenka won't mind being finished with the dirtball season and back to her preference of faster surfaces. She can smash with anyone and broke through this season with her first grand slam win at the Aussie, where she beat Sharapova in the final. She's been improving at Wimbly over time where she made the quarters in 2009 and the semis last year when she lost to eventual champion, Kvitova. At 7-1, she's worth a shot.
SAYIN' THERE'S A CHANCE
Agnieszka Radwanska +2500 - She's the No. 3 ranked player in the world but she's never made it past the quarterfinals at a grand slam.
Vera Zvonareva +5000 - Not a great season so far but she made the Wimbly finals in 2009 and has the power to do something if she can overcome the mental hurdles.
Sabine Lisicki +3300 - Because she's hot. And she made the semis last year here too.
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY
Kim Clijsters +1200 - She's unseeded for the first time since 2000 and has been limited by injuries. Clijsters has never reached the final at Wimbledon. Could be inspired to win some matches in her last Wimbledon but isn't going to win it.
Venus Williams +2500 - Sad story but Venus hasn't been the same since being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease, last year.
Sam Stosur +2800 - A player who's always a little tempting to take because she looks strong at the French. But Stosur has never seen as far as the fourth round in London.
Caroline Wozniacki +2000
NA LI +2500
Angelique Kerber +5000
Marion Bartoli +6600
Dominika Cibulkova +6600
Ekaterina Makarova +6600
Yanina Wickmayer +10000
Sara Errani +10000
Shuai Peng +10000
Mona Barthel +10000
Vera Zvonareva +10000
Ana Ivanovic +10000
Jelena Jankovic +10000
Julia Goerges +10000