Mens Wimbledon 2017 Winner Roger Federer each way

Tennis - Wimbledon 2017 - 16 Jul 10:00

Roger Federer is often seen as the best tennis player of all time and I'm hoping he has some magic left in the tank. The majors have always been where Federer performs his best, and given his current need to regain fitness and match play, as well as his historic bias towards Wimbledon, I am happy to back Federer in advance at what seems like a very big price.

I'm sure some will disagree with this selection as Fed divides opinion at the moment, but I can't ignore the price. The average is 17, he is as low as 13 in places and the next best price is 21. I would have said 15-20 was about right and the difference between 20 and 26 in terms of return on investment is 30%. Simply put, 26 makes little sense to me and every other bookie agrees.

As most readers will be aware, Roger Federer has been out since Wimbledon. He had back and knee issues, and in my opinion a general need for rest and rehabilitation. He has been the most consistent player on tour and was seemingly unable to get injured, but finally his human frailty has shown.

Nonetheless, if there is one thing I trust Federer to do well, it's manage his recovery. He had played 65 successive Grand Slam events until he withdrew from the US Open in 2016. That is incredible and it's worth reminding ourselves how well Federer has looked after his body over his career.

I watched the recent video broadcast of his practice on Twitter and it definitely looked like he still needs time. Again, he knows how to manage his body, and will not be rushing anything or playing when he shouldn't be. As any athlete knows, recovery periods reward patience and discipline.

This is especially true of Federer. He has had a prolific career and at 35 would feel no pressure to play if he did not wish to. Which begs the question: why is Federer still playing? Simply put, because he loves tennis and wishes to play as long as possible. Especially of note, he often highlights winning a slam as his main aim. He did so via his Twitter broadcast, and a recent article notes him adding that 'he was doing everything possible to add more majors to his trophy cabinet'.

It makes sense for Federer to aim for Wimbledon. It gives him 6 months to recover and is his best Grand Slam. The surface suits his serve orientated, fast paced, instinctive style and he has talked on various occasions of how it is his favourite event. He has won 7 of his 17 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and made the semi-final this year, narrowly missing out on the final when he lost a two sets to one and double break point lead against Milos Raonic (3-6 7-6 6-4 2-2 40-15*).

This was the match where he fell and pushed his injury issues over the edge. I watched the whole thing and it was Federer's to lose. Had he come through that match he would have made the final and landed the each way part of this bet. He's made at least the final 3 of the last 5 years and 6 of the last 10 and we are getting 12/1 on the same result in 2017.

A huge pro of backing Federer at Wimbledon is the surface. It is the only major on grass, Federer's best surface, and one where he has always given the top seeds Murray and Djokovic major issues. These two are both priced at around 2.5 to win Wimbledon 2017.

Federer has won 7 of his last 10 meetings with Murray including his last 5 in a row and both matches at Wimbledon. The situation is clearly very different now, with Murray world number 1 and Federer coming to the tail end of his career. Nonetheless, Federer's style means he can completely shut down anyone when he is on form, and this is especially true on grass. If anyone remembers the 2015 semi-final between Murray and Federer, they will know what I mean. It was 7-5 7-5 6-4 to Federer and he didn't drop serve all match. He looked untouchable and at the time Murray seemed to have a psychological issue with playing Federer. He may be number 1 but he hasn't proven he can deal with Federer on form.

Djokovic and Federer have always had the closest of rivalries. In 2015 at the end of year finals, Federer defeated Djokovic 7-5 6-2 in the round robin stage and then lost when they met again in the final 6-3 6-4. The current H2H stands at 23-22 and I'm sure Federer would love to even the playing field at Wimbledon. This is Djokovic's worst surface and the place he has always looked vulnerable. This year he was knocked out by Sam Querrey when priced at 1.01. Combined with his recent crisis of faith I feel he is more opposable than odds against suggests.

Other than the two obvious market leaders, the next players in this market are Raonic at 14/1, Kyrgios at 28/1, Wawrinka at 28/1, Del Potro at 33/1 and Nadal at 33/1.

There isn't too much to say about these players. Raonic made the final this year but as mentioned should have lost to Federer and is being over valued in my eyes. Kyrgios could well win a major if he set his mind on it, but I would say his price is about right. The same is true of Wawrinka, especially as he has always had issues with Federer in the past (18-3 H2H). Del Potro is always a threat but given his injury concerns, especially recently, I am happy opposing him. Nadal I am happy to oppose given his injury issues have drastically reduced the effectiveness of his very physical style of play.

All of this aside, the key is how well Federer recovers over the next 6 months. It may seem like his stunning 2015 performance is something only of the past, but I am not convinced. If he comes into this healthy he's a 9/1 shot or thereabouts. If he doesn't, he will likely withdraw, in which case this bet is voided. I am certainly happy to give the greatest grass player of all time one more chance. Especially at the event where he holds the record for most titles.
TennisPilot +2273.75
Stake: 10 4.00Coral
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