American tennis is currently in a prolonged drought when it comes to the men’s scene and the Grand Slam finals.
With Wimbledon 2018 to be played in the early weeks of July, tennis fans in the United States will be looking for one of their players to break through and end the drought. However, the betting odds suggest that it’s the other countries that will see entrants into the men’s final at the All England Club this summer.
The American with the shortest betting odds to win Wimbledon is John Isner, but he is priced way out at +6600 with 5Dimes.
Despite the success he has enjoyed in the tour-level events, Isner has not been a mainstay in the late rounds of the majors. His appearance in the quarterfinals of the 2011 US Open remains his only quarterfinal appearance in any Grand Slam. At Wimbledon in particular, he has never seen even just the middle round.
Fellow American, Sam Querrey, is different. Querrey made the semifinals at Wimbledon last season. At present Querrey is out at +9900 with 5Dimes for the Wimbledon title. Those are certainly odds that could be interesting if Querrey plays well on grass just as he did last season. But Querrey has no wins over players in the top 10 on tour so far in 2018. At present, he doesn’t actually seem to be a threat to duplicate his Wimbledon run from 2017 and that means that he could be in for a major ranking crash come mid-July.
There are other veterans in American tennis that might have their one-hit-wonder Grand Slam at Wimbledon 2018. Steve Johnson is capable of defeating top players. Tennys Sandgren proved he can make the second week of a major at the Australian Open this year. Jack Sock has some grass-court aptitude, at least judging by his title in doubles from the All England Club a few years back. Meanwhile, Ryan Harrison is still not quite old enough to permanently label “a bust” after showing tremendous potential in his youth.
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But the truth is that American tennis fans may have to look further than the established veterans to see a potential finalist in a men’s major. Heading into Wimbledon 2018, it’s probably Frances Tiafoe that American tennis fans should be looking at. When it comes to Isner, Querrey, and other older players in American tennis there is already an idea of what they are about. But Tiafoe’s ceiling is unclear and he could burst out at any time.
He has a surprise title this season on tour, the first of his career (Delray Beach). En route to that title, Tiafoe beat Juan Martin del Potro, Hyeon Chung, and Canada’s bright-light Denis Shapovalov. Tiafoe also did well in Miami and he scalped No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta on clay en route to a runner-up finish in Estoril. Those results are head-turning and it’s interesting that he is more or less at his career-high ranking right now, nestled just inside the top 60.
In an era of men’s tennis where new faces will have to emerge Tiafoe is among a host of players that could get involved in some coin-toss matches with pretty big spots in draws going to the winner. As always, the luck of the draw will be interesting but Tiafoe at +19900 with 5Dimes is not to be ignored for Wimbledon 2018 (each-way at 1/2, 1-2). But overall, the sad reality right now is that American ‘hopefuls’ for Wimbledon 2018 are all long-shots.
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