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Determined Nadal overpriced to right Wimbledon wrongs

| 10.06.2014

Rafael Nadal targeted a third Wimbledon championship in the aftermath of his record-breaking ninth French Open title and at 9/2 with Ladbrokes there will be no shortage of takers for the all-conquering Spaniard.

Currently third favourite behind beaten Roland Garros finalist Novak Djokovic (7/4) and current holder, Andy Murray (3/1), Nadal’s seemingly generous price is largely based on the 28-year-old’s recent struggles in transferring his form from the clay to the SW19 grass

In his last two visits to south London the new world number one has failed to reach the third round after inexplicable defeats against the otherwise unknown Steve Darcis last year and the unheralded Lukas Rosol in 2012.

That defeat to the Czech number three two years ago signalled the end of the season for the Pearl of Manacor while the loss to Darcis triggered a six week break, a decision that was rewarded handsomely as Nadal then went onto win his first four tournaments on returning including a second US Open.

Nadal said: “I want to try to play well again in Wimbledon, I’m healthy. That’s the most important thing.”

And for would-be backers that is the crucial piece of information as there is no doubt a fully fit Nadal would not have suffered the shock exits he has done at the All England Club.

Although the 14-time Major winner hinted after his third round victory over Leonardo Mayer in Paris that his back was restricting the power in his first serve there was little evidence of that despite having played his most physical match of the season against old foe Djokovic.

As a result, the price of 9/2 available on Nadal is, as it stands, an attractive one, especially considering there are just as valid if not more pressing question marks surrounding his main rivals.

While Djokovic will be an obvious threat, the Serb will have to overcome a fifth defeat from his last six Grand Slam finals while Murray looks too short in the betting despite seemingly coming back to form in the past fortnight.

There was a feeling that the Scot flattered to deceive for much of his time in the French capital and his true level was painfully exposed as he registered only six games against Nadal in the semi-finals.

If they were to meet in London the match would obviously not be so one-sided, however, to think that such a deficit could be made up between two players proven on grass just because of a change of surface would take a significant leap of faith.

While it is strange to see Murray a point and a half further ahead in the betting than a man who thrashed him so recently it is less of a surprise to see Roger Federer (6/1) closer in the betting than he was at the French Open.

The seven-time Wimbledon winner looks far more at ease this year after finally getting to grips with his racquet change and cannot be ruled out in what, in context of the elevated world of the big-four anyway, looks a wide-open tournament.

At present though the value certainly lies with a fit and healthy Nadal, especially, rather in spite of his last two attempts as there are few sportsmen on the planet more dangerous to oppose when wanting to prove a point.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Sam Foster