SEAN CALVERT is a top tennis tipster at Unibet with an excellent track record of picking winners.

Here's his take on Wimbledon which gets under way today.

Sean says: “Since the 2002 win for Lleyton Hewitt the men’s event has been dominated by the ‘big four’, with one of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal winning each year.

There have been fewer tiebreaks lately at Wimbledon, where in the last three years it’s gone down from 63% of the matches featuring at least one to less than half in 2016.

There could be a fair few factors in that, but it indicates the lack of pace in the courts, despite head groundsman Neil Stubley saying: “The speed is more or less the same. It's more about the bounce now. We have a firmer, harder surface now with less of the energy of the ball being absorbed into the grass. It should suit everybody.”

How a surface can suit everybody is beyond me, but there we are.

Breaking down the amount of tie break matches by round over the last three years in the men’s singles we see that rounds 2, 3, and 4 all average more than 50% in terms of matches featuring tie breaks.

Round two has an average of 60% of the matches featuring a breaker over the last three years and 10 of the last 14 finals have had at least one in them.

Draws and form

Quarter one sees Andy Murray head the market as roughly an even money chance to make the semis, but he’s struggling with a hip problem and he pulled out of the two exhibition matches he had lined up this week following his shock defeat at Queen’s to Jordan Thompson.

That’s about the worst possible preparation Murray could have had, but his draw looks very reasonable early on, with nothing (apart from injury) likely to bother him until round four when most likely either Nick Kyrgios or Lucas Pouille await.

Murray’s had few problems with that pair though and if he’s fit he should make the quarters, but the Scot to win quarter one can’t possibly be a bet at evens given his condition.

Stan Wawrinka hasn’t really taken to grass so far in his career and could be vulnerable in round one against Daniil Medvedev, so perhaps Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Sam Querrey will fight it out for the right to play Murray or Murray’s conqueror in the quarter finals.

Kevin Anderson may have something to say about that if he can find his form of old on grass, as might Medvedev, but it’s hard to see anyone else figuring.

It’s the second quarter that’s very interesting to me, with Nadal mostly a dodgy favourite to win his section when he’s won the French Open (which is most of the time).

He can lose to anyone here and hasn’t won his quarter at Wimbledon since 2011, so 1.60 on him winning it this time seems crazy.

Second favourite Marin Cilic is also much too short given he has a really tough draw early on against players he has a negative head-to-head against.

Round one opponent Philipp Kohlschreiber has beaten the Croat six times, including their one clash last season, and that’s about as tough a start for Cilic as he’s likely to get.

If he does win that one he may have to face Viktor Troicki, who’s beaten Cilic five out of the last six times they’ve met, including two on grass, so that would be tough too.

Even if Troicki loses in round one Flo Mayer is no easy opponent on grass (and he’s beaten Cilic twice from four meetings, with the other two going to a decider).

So, we can take Nadal and Cilic on, but with whom?

Gilles Muller is perhaps the obvious choice given his form on grass, but Muller and Ivo Karlovic are far less effective here at Wimbledon over five sets than over best-of-three in quicker conditions.

Both Muller and Karlovic have mediocre records at Wimbledon at best, while Kei Nishikori’s fitness cannot be trusted at all, so he has a line through his name as well.

The interesting one here is Karen Khachanov, who took to grass well in Halle, where he gave Roger Federer a decent test and I’m not concerned about him pulling out of Antalya.

He probably took one look at the 40C heat expected and thought better of it and he has the sort of attacking game that should be effective on grass if he can make a few smarter decisions than he sometimes does.

His service hold/break stats on all surfaces over the past 12 months are good at 105 and at Khachanov looks to be a handy price to win this quarter at 40-1.

Quarter three looks a three-horse race between Roger Federer, Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev, with Federer the clear favourite at 1.60.

Grigor Dimitrov could possibly be added to that list at a push, but the chances of him beating Fed at Wimbledon are slim at best, and my interest here is to take a chance on Zverev to win this section.

Raonic looks to have gone backwards with all his injuries and constant tinkering with different coaches and I think he’s maxed out his ability level by making one major final.

Zverev can beat the Canadian and take his chances against the almost 36-year-old Federer (probably) in the quarter finals.

And the winner of that will surely face my main outright wager in the men’s tournament, which is Novak Djokovic at a very reasonable price of 6.5.

The Serb has a nice draw, with only Juan Martin Del Potro seemingly capable of beating him and Delpo is another that’s a major fitness doubt, with the latest ailment being a groin strain that’s kept him out of the grass swing until now.

The Argentine is a danger on his day, but with his fitness record he can’t really be backed to win this title and the rest of Djokovic’s quarter contains players he has dominant head-to-heads against.

Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Feli Lopez and Tomas Berdych are a combined 4-61 versus Djokovic, while Dominic Thiem finds grass a real struggle and is unlikely to pose a threat this fortnight.

Assuming a safe passage through to the semis for Djokovic if he does face Federer he’s won eight of his last 10 against the Swiss at majors and Fed’s last victory in Slams over the Serb came here in 2012.

So, we’ll take on Nadal and Cilic with a small bet on Khachanov to win quarter two at 20-1 and take a chance on Zverev against Raonic and Federer in quarter three.

The German had a tumble on Saturday in practice, but says he’s OK and he’s certainly more confident on grass than in previous years.

The price on Djokovic I find a bit strange, rated as less likely to win it than Nadal, who’s done very little here since losing to Djokovic in the 2011 final.

He’s also the same price as an injured Murray and twice the price of a soon-to-be 36-year-old. Given that one of these four always win it the Serb looks the value choice.

Sean Calvert's Best Bets

  • 4 points Djokovic to win at 11-2 at Unibet
  • 2 points A. Zverev to win quarter three at 6-1 at Unibet
  • 0.5 points Khachanov to win quarter two at 40-1 at Unibet

Sean Calvert’s Day One Best Bets

  • 1.5 points over 38.5 games in Wawrinka/Medvedev at 4-5 at Unibet
  • 1.5 points Kohlschreiber +2.5 sets to beat Cilic at 8-11 at Unibet
1 Comment
  1. elvis parsley 5 years ago

    cant see kohlschreiber winning but fancy him to win a set.
    over 3.5 match sets at evens paddy power.
    kohlschreiber to win at least a set 8-11 paddy power.

    wawrinka v Medvedev over 3.5 sets 8-11 Ladbrokes\corals

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