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Michael Taylor 28th Jun 2009 - 21:28

Wimbledon tennis first week review

After a week of intriguing tennis at Wimbledon, 4/7 favourite Roger Federer remains on the threshold of becoming the most decorated Grand Slam champion of all-time; the question is can anybody halt the Fed Express?

It's a question that has been asked many times before - with the eventual answer being 'no' fourteen times - but, for once, I am fairly confident the Swiss Master will have to go to bed on Sunday night content with still being tied on Grand Slam wins with Pete Sampras.

The reason for that lies in my remaining confidence that Andy Murray can create his own little piece of history by becoming the first British man to win at the All England Club since Fred Perry's 1936 success.

Murray, the 2/1 second favourite, has been simply fantastic throughout the opening rounds as his serve, serve return and shot making abilty has seen him rise to a whole new level.

In fact, and both Ernests Gulbis and Victor Troicki can testify to this, Murray is actually starting to play with the type of flair and consistency associated with Roger Federer.

Fair enough, Murray doesn't have the experience of his main rival but the one big advantage he does have is a relatively simple passage through to the final with perhaps only Andy Roddick blocking the Scot's safe passage.

Compare this with the challenges potentially facing Federer - if he overcomes French Open finalist Robin Soderling in the fourth round - of Ivo Karlovic and recently rejuvenated Novak Djokovic then you can see the imbalance between the two halves of the draw.

You could even argue that 12/1 shot Djokovic is as dangerous anybody if his opening round form is real.

The former Australian Open champion, unlike Murray and Federer, didn't drop a set in the first week, while his straight sets victory over Mardy Fish in the third round was, by anybody's standards, highly polished.

Prior to the tournament, the Serbian may even have laid himself, if he was allowed, but you have to believe he'll now have one eye on the big prize, especially with Israeli journeyman Dudi Sela offering him the perfect opportunity to reach the quarter-finals.

Elsewhere in the gentlemen's side of things I'll be extremely interested to see how Gilles Simon goes against former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Simon, much like Djokovic, has so far had a 2009 to forget but, if he manages to regain the form that saw him enter the world's top ten last year, then there has to be some value about him at a crazy 150/1 - although I would be very reluctant to put even a penny of my money in unless he destroys Ferrero.

Williams' Wimbledon once again

As for the women's side of things, I have just been given a week long reminder of why Wimbledon, since the turn of the millennium, has become the Williams' show as Venus and Serena continue to have great success at the All England Club.

The iconic sisters still have all the pace and power to dominate the female game and the only issue here is who to choose from the pair; Serena at 7/4 or Venus at 2/1 - personally I prefer former five-time champ Venus, purely based on past success.

As for the rest, Dinara Safina has once again been dominant, just as she was at Roland Garros, but can she justify the 12/1 about her and finally perform in a final? I wouldn't bank on it.

Also, Victoria Azarenka, third in the betting at 13/2, has shone over recent months but her Grand Slam CV pales in comparison to a good number of others in the draw.

Finally, one worth watching out for is 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo at 25/1.

If the powerful French star can barge her way past Dinara Safina in the fourth round then who knows what is possible? She's been there before and at such a big price she has to be worth a little flutter, just in case the Williams sisters slip up.

Make sure you stick with William Hill for the very best Wimbledon betting coverage. With over 70 markets available for every gentleman's match and 50 for the women you'll always find something to take your fancy. Plus we have live in-play betting for every singles match throughout the duration of the tournament.

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