Whilst, unfortunately, we had to hang our patriotic hats up early after the England football team’s early exit from the World Cup, it’s time to don them again to cheer Andy Murray towards a second successive Wimbledon title.
Murray was fantastic in despatching Djokovic in last year’s final, but is due to meet him in the semis this year if both players progress as expected. Tennis fans will be hoping the other semi is fought out by Nadal and Federer, however neither has looked as good as in previous seasons and at least one of them may depart earlier than expected. 4/1 Murray looks the value, whilst the 13/2 for it to be a Murray/Federer final also looks a reasonable bet.
In the women’s, Serena Williams again looks very hard to oppose and 7/4 looks perfectly acceptable.
Murray/Federer final 13/2
Serena Williams 7/4
Football – World Cup
France and Argentina will be keen to win their last matches, therefore avoiding any chance of playing each other, as will Germany and Belgium, and a small accumulator on the four may well pay dividends at around 8/1.
France, Argentina, Germany and Belgium accumulator around 8/1
Golf – BMW International (Thursday – Sunday)
Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia are all classy enough to win this in cruise control, however all three look assured of their Ryder Cup spots and may reach full-throttle, especially new US Open Champion Kaymer who will be mobbed by press this week back in his native Germany.
Kaymer’s fellow German Marcel Siem will have been motivated by his compatriots winning exploits, and has finished 6th and 10th in the last two years. His current form 7/12/14 is solid too, and he’s expected to compete for the title this week.
Pablo Larrazabal, winner in 2011 and runner-up in 2010, looks over-priced at 66/1. He’s been playing better than his recent finishing positions suggest and a couple of good weeks will see the passionate Spaniard on the cusp of challenging for the Ryder Cup spot he desires.
One player who I’m waiting to burst into life is last year’s rookie of the year Peter Uihlein. The young American was going off around 33/1 in events like this last year and, after a patchy few weeks, is trading at a tempting 150/1.
Last but by no means least, is Alexander Levy. The young Frenchman has yet to capture the bookies attention in the way his compatriot Victor Dubuisson has, despite winning the Volvo China Open by four-shots back in April. 100/1 is a little insulting.
Marcel Siem each-way 33/1
Pablo Larrazabal each-way 66/1
Peter Uihlein each-way 150/1
Alexander Levy each-way 100/1
Golf – Quicken Loans National (Thursday – Sunday)
Tiger Woods returns from injury to an event he’s won twice, but even 18/1 can’t tempt me to back him due to his lack of match-practice.
More appealing is Nick Watney who showed his first bit of form for a while at last week’s Travellers Championship. That coincides nicely with his return to an event in which he has a good record and, despite suffering from back injuries recently, his six-year course form of 36/66/7/1/10/61 makes him worth chancing at 80/1.
KJ Choi’s six-year form includes three missed-cuts, but he’s also posted a win and a runner-up spot. Add in his current form of 13/5/28/2, and 40/1 looks fair.
Jason Day looked set to challenge for the World Number One spot until he injured his thumb, but his comeback has seen him finish 37/4/18. Event form of 9/8/21 and runner-up here in the 2011 US Open suggests he should make a challenge and, whilst 14/1 isn’t stunning value, it’s big enough.
Another player who performed well in the 2011 US Open was Robert Garrigus, and the big-hitter has gone on record as saying the course suits his eye. The early 100/1 may well get snapped up quickly, but 80/1 is still acceptable.
Nick Watney each-way 80/1
KJ Choi each-way 40/1
Jason Day each-way 14/1
Robert Garrigus each-way 100/1