Sharapova avoids arch-nemesis Serena Williams in Wimbledon draw
Maria Sharapova is 5/2 to claiming the Wimbledon title after receiving a favourable draw for this year’s showpiece at SW19.
The world number one’s success in the French Open earlier in the year has seen her rewarded with a route to the final that avoids title-holder Petra Kvitova – who is 6/1 to retain her crown – as well as her long-time nemesis Serena Williams.
The Russian will be delighted to avoid Williams, a player she has only won against twice in ten attempts and someone she has failed to beat since 2004.
There is a potential challenge to come from Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round but further down the line, 50/1 shot Sabine Lisicki has struggled with injury whilst Angelique Kerber has struggled on grass, never going further than the third round here.
It would seem that Sharapova has a great chance to become only the second woman to win a Paris-London double since Steffi Graf in 1996.
Serena Williams herself suffered a shock exit in the first round at the French but she feels at home on Centre Court and has won this title four times but her poor showing at the French means she faces awkward early matches and will have to face Kvitova as soon as the quarters.
Venus also has a tough task after being unseeded in the draw. The older of the Williams sisters, priced at 25/1, will have to face 40/1 Agnieszka Radwanksa in the second round, providing a stern test early on.
Victoria Azarenka seems to be ignored ahead of Grand-Slam events but she won the Australian Open this year and made the semi-finals here last year. She looks good value at 8/1 to net a first Wimbledon crown.