The 2011 Wimbledon men’s final will be another pairing between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer if the oddsmakers are correct.
Note the odds listed below are from before the tournament got underway on Monday.
Federer and Nadal (both 2/1) have dominated this tourney the last eight years with the former winning six titles and the latter two. The last men’s player to win Wimbledon outside the two greats was Australian Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.
Nadal won at Wimbledon in 2008, beating Federer in a classic 5-set final. He then sat out the 2009 tourney due to knee problems, but came back last year to win again, dispatching Tomas Berdych in straight sets in the final match.
Nadal is still in his prime at just turning 25. He has 10 Grand Slam titles, six less than Federer’s record 16. Nadal just beat Federer in the final of the French Open and has won four of the last five Grand Slam events.
Federer is the third seed, the first time he’s been outside the top-2 since 2003. That was the year he won the first of his five consecutive Wimbledon single titles. He also won in 2009 when he beat American Andy Roddick, but wasn’t given full credit by some with Nadal injured.
Last year, Federer bowed out to Berdych in the quarterfinals in a stunning development.
Federer is still plenty motivated at almost age 30 (old in tennis years). A win would tie him with Pete Sampras for most Wimbledon titles (seven) in the modern era. However, he hasn’t won a Grand Slam event since the 2010 Australian Open and also finds himself in the same half of the draw as Novak Djokovic. (11/4).
Second-seed Djokovic (11/4) won this year’s Australian Open for his second Grand Slam title. He also had a 41-match winning streak to start this year before losing to Federer in the French Open semifinals. Djokovic has never made the Wimbledon final, making the semis last year and in 2007.
Fourth-seed Andy Murray (5/1) is Nadal’s biggest impediment to making the final. He lost to Nadal in the semis last year, the second year in a row he’s advanced that far. He’s still trying to become the first Briton to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 and the pressure seems to increase each year.
There is a big drop-off on the odds list after Murray, with Juan Martin Del Potro next at 20/1.
On the women’s side, Serena Williams (4/1) is the co-favorite despite being out almost a year with a foot injury after stepping on broken glass last July. She also developed serious blood clots on both lungs.
Williams is seeded seventh, 19 places above her world ranking. The two-time defending champion did play a Wimbledon warmup at Eastbourne last week, losing to Vera Zvonareva in the second round.
Maria Sharapova is the co-favorite at 4/1. The fifth seed has battled injuries the last couple of years, but is rounding back into form, winning the Italian Open and making the semis of the French.
Li Na (7/1), Venus Williams (7/1), Petra Kvitova (8/1) and Caroline Wozniacki (9/1) are the next four on the odds list. Kim Clijsters, winner of this year’s Australian Open and last year’s US Open, would have been on the list, but had to withdraw (ankle).
The almost 21-year-old Wozniacki is the world’s No. 1 player and the top seed at this tourney despite never advancing past the fourth round. Zvonareva (16/1) is now the second seed and made the finals here last year before losing to Serena Williams.
Third-seed Na became the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam singles title at this year’s French Open. She also made the finals of the Australian Open, but her best finish at Wimbledon is the quarterfinals (2006, 2010).
Venus Williams is a 5-time Wimbledon champ, most recently in 2007 and 2008, and isn’t ready to cede the spotlight to her sister despite being the 23rd seed.