The Money Maker – Zahlavova Strycova the Wimbledon darkhorse
With the lack of a dominant player on the current female tennis circuit, there is a strong chance that one or two upsets will be caused at Wimbledon and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova may be the darkhorse that is still alive in the tournament in the latter stages.
The openness of the women’s draw is characterised by the fact that nine players are priced at 18/1 or shorter to claim victory.
However, it may pay to look outside this box to find a player at far greater Wimbledon odds to make a name for herself and a case can be made for the Czech star to come of age.
Zahlavova Strycova is 1000/1 to win Wimbledon and although her chances of going all of the way to the trophy are slim, punters could certainly get a good run for their money.
When looking at the four quarters of the women’s draw, an outsider is unlikely to shine in the top half with the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and recent French Open winner Na Li all present.
Meanwhile, the bottom quarter may also be tough to progress through with last year’s beaten Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva, Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams all in this section.
Therefore, if a darkhorse is to emerge then it is liable to come from the third quarter of the draw with the star names being Francesca Schiavone and Victoria Azarenka.
But Schiavone is not the force on grass that she is on other surfaces, while Azarenka is known to be hugely inconsistent.
Zahlavova Strycova reached the third round at Wimbledon 12 months ago before losing to Sharapova and took Li to three sets at the French Open last month.
She also took a solid scalp in Aleksandra Wozniak in the first round at Wimbledon and is more than capable of following up with a victory over Schiavone in round two.
Andrea Petkovic is also in the same quarter of the draw and 40/1 may be a big price that she can win Wimbledon, assuming that she can significantly improve on her previously poor record at SW19.