Posted by Barrie on Saturday, 20 June 2009

Wimbledon preview

The penultimate Grand Slam of the year is less than 2 days away as we are set for action at the All England Club on Monday morning as Wimbledon 2009 begins!

The biggest news coming into this year's competition is the withdrawal of defending champion and world number 1, Rafael Nadal, after the Spaniard had to withdraw as he struggles with tendinitis in his knee. A great shame, and one that will hurt this year's tournament. But we can still await plenty of shocks and excitement at SW19... and probably some rain! But centre court will be protected from the rain this year, with the all-new retractable roof that will ensure action continues on the main court, and that Cliff Richard will not need to perform ever again.

Roger Federer is the odds-on favourite now, following Nadal's departure, and Federer's history at Wimbeldon, winning 5 straight here before his defeat to Nadal in last year's epic final, not to mention his victory earlier this month at the French Open.

The British public will be cheering on Andy Murray, who is second favourite. He doesn't have a great record here and grass isn't his strongest surface, but after seeing his improvements on clay in Paris, and then win Queen's last week show's he has the credentials to win here. I'm not keen on the 3/1 odds of him going all the way, as much as I'd like to see a new name on the trophy.

Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro are amongst the list of favourites because of their world rankings, but I can't see either going much further than Murray, and not past Federer. Andy Roddick is a 2-time runner up here, both to Federer who he'd need to be elimintated if he wants to win here. Robin Soderling is at 66/1 following his remarkable run at Roland Garros which included beating Rafael Nadal en route to the final.

On the Women's side, with the Williams sisters being kept apart in the draw, it's a good shout for another all-Williams final again this year with their dominance at this competition that has seen one of them lift the title 7 times this millennium. Venus Williams has won 5 of them, including the last 2 and bet365 are offering the best odds for her to retain her title this year. Sister Serena is the favourite, with totesport offering the best odds for the younger Williams sister to win. 888sport are offering odds on an all-Williams final.

Other ladies to keep an eye out on this year are Maria Sharapova, Dinara Safina, Svetlana Kuznetsova and newly-crowned Eastbourne champion, Caroline Wozniacki.

And if you're looking for beauty on the tennis courts when watching the women's games, then check out my top 10 tennis babes post for who to keep an eye on!

Here's to 2 weeks of enjoyment at SW19, and don't forget you can watch Wimbledon live on your PC this year.

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