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What a weekend at Wimbledon. The two iconic stars of the sport – Rodger Federer and Serena Williams – thumbed their noses at the hands of time to again reach the mountaintop, only too fall in the final match against two old (and slightly younger) rivals. Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Novak Djokovic came into the Wimbledon Final a huge (-215) favorite. The conventional wisdom concluded that if the Djoker was slightly better than a 33-old Rodger Federer when he beat him in the Wimbledon Final in 2015, that edge had only grown exponentially over the subsequent four years.
However – it was far from easy. In fact, when Federer broke Djokovic’s serve in the 15th game of the 5th set, Live Odds had Federer a -1800 favorite to win the match. At that point Djokovic proved his grit. DJ fought off two Match Points, Re-Broke Federer and forced a third tie break. He went on to win that tiebreak, making himself 3-0 in the tiebreaks for the match, and owner of his 5th Wimbledon trophy.
US Open Preview – Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, New York City.
A day removed from one of the all time great Tennis matches – the longest ever at the All England Club – I am left wondering what state we are in with Tennis.
It was only a decade ago where it was unheard for a 30+ year old player to win a Grand Slam tournament. Now it is a major and shocking upset if a 30+ year old person does NOT win any given major title. Could we really have a few more years of Serena and the Big 3 dominating the sport? Or will an unproven but talented young player finally assert him or herself as the best in the world over and beyond the Old Guard?
Djokovic just took down his 16th major championship at the age of 32. At age 32, presumptive GOAT Rodger Federer also had 16 major trophies. He would go on to add a staggering 4 more titles. Not to be forgotten, Rafael Nadal recorded 17 of his 18 major championships before the age of 33. Is it possible for Nadal and Djokovic to replicate Federer’s agelessness, winning Grand Slams well into their mid-30’s?. If Djokovic had been born four years earlier, or Federer four years later, would that completely change our ideas of who is the best of all time?
On the Women’s side, the Coronation of Serena Williams as the Greatest of All Time continues to be delayed. Serena has yet to win a Major Title since giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Newcomers like Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty, as well as in-their-prime veterans like Simona Halep continue to make the 24th Major Title for Serena the hardest yet.
US Open Early Favorites (Men’s)
Novak Djokovic (defending) +150
Rafael Nadal +500
Rodger Federer +600
Alexander Zverev +1600
Best Bet: – Rafael Nadal +500.
Terrific hard court player – much closer to his prime at 33 than Federer at a similar number. Unlike Wimbledon’s system, the US Open will seed the players purely based on World Rank, and thus Nadal will likely not have to face Djokovic until the Final. If Nadal and Djokovic reach the final, the +500 bet will be great value as the Final match will be much closer to +200 or less for the underdog. Federer can still bring it on grass and on clay, but hasn’t seriously competed in the US Open since he won it in 2008. Alexander Zverev also provides interesting value – if you think that the Big 3 ERA is soon to come to a close. Don’t count me in that group, however.
US Open Early Favorites (Women’s)
Serena Williams +420
Naomi Osaka (Defending) +1100
Simona Halep +900
Ashleigh Barty +1200
Best Bet: – Naomi Osaka +1100
This time last year Naomi Osaka quietly won her first Grand Slam as the Tennis World gasped over the extreme interaction between Serena Williams and Head Referee Carlos Ramos. Osaka was such an after thought after the days and weeks of hand-wringing over the proper relationship between star and official, that she was still 15/1 to win the Australian Open the following Grand Slam. Which she did. Osaka has fallen off the mountaintop somewhat so far this year, exemplified best by her shocking early exit at Wimbledon. Hard-court surfaces suit Osaka’s playing style best, however – and I expect her to return to form in the last major competition of the year.