The lawns at the All England Club are getting a workout this summer with the 2012 Olympic Summer Games setting up shop. Just weeks after an exciting Wimbledon finish, the top tennis players in the world return to the UK in search of gold.
Yesterday, we looked at the action on the men’s side of the Olympic draw. Now, it’s the ladies' turn. We talked to Aron Black of bet365.com about which players are drawing the most action and which ones could surprise tennis fans at London 2012.
Following her win at Wimbledon, American Serena Williams moved from +350 to +175 to win Olympic singles gold for the third time. However, while Williams' march through the lawn tournament was impressive, that adjustment is also based on poor showings from other notables.
“After winning Wimbledon and putting on an impressive serving display whilst doing so, it’s no surprise (Williams) sees support in the market,” Black told Covers. “The big cut (in odds) is due to the way she performed at Wimbledon, combined with early (Petra) Kvitova and (Maria) Sharapova exits from Wimbledon.”
Sharapova, the reigning French Open champ, is currently listed at +350 while Kvitova is priced at +500, along with World’s No. 1 Victoria Azarenka from Belarus. Sharapova, who won Wimbledon in 2004, was available as high as +700. Azarenka, on the other hand, has fallen from +300 to +500.
“Bettors are holding faith that (Sharapova) can have a better Olympic run than she did at Wimbledon,” says Black. “Azarenka was a popular choice earlier in the year and when Wimbledon began, but the action has now dried up on her after losing to Serena at Wimbledon.”
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland has been relatively ignored by tennis bettors, despite a strong 2012 campaign. She’s currently ranked No. 2 in the world and is coming off a long run at Wimbledon, falling to Williams in the tournament final – her first Grand Slam finals appearance. Radwanska was priced as high as +2,500 and was adjusted to +1,400, but is now coming back up and currently sits at +1,800.
“The bettors don’t seem to be convinced about her ability to win,” says Black. “She fought through the final against Serena, which was rather impressive given the health issues she had leading into the final. It’s possible that if she was not struggling with respiratory problems, she may have been able to beat Serena. But so far, no one is putting any money on her to win the gold.”
Here’s a look at the Top-10 favorites to bring home gold on the women’s side:
Serena Williams, U.S.A. +175
Maria Sharapova, Russia +350
Victoria Azarenka, Belarus +500
Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic +500
Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland +1,800
Kim Clijsters, Belgium +2,500
Angelique Kerber, Germany +2,500
Li Na, China +2,800
Samantha Stosur, Australia +4,000
Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark +4,000
Odds courtesy of bet365.com.