JULY In BrITAIn is a stellar month for sport. Wimbledon begins on Monday (July 2), The Open Championship, this year at Carnoustie, is teeing off on July 19 and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone is on July 8 and that’s not forgetting the World Cup Final on Sunday, July 15. That’s a whole lot of sport. And for the usual suspects, where once it was a benefit, it could this year be slim pickings and it is certainly a case of laying rather than backing your favourites.
Let’s start in the leafy suburbs of SW19 where seven-time Men’s Wimbledon Champion, Roger Federer, is priced up at 6/4. A scant price and one of which I will certainly be laying. Admittedly there will be no Andy Murray even if he turns up but this year I think he will face stern tests from the likes of Zverev (12/1), Cilic (7/1) and Novak (12/1). If I was to have a bet it would be on the Queens winner MArIn CILIC (7/1) and the Canadian teenager DennIs shApoVLoV at 40/1.
Yes, he is Canadian of Russian/Israeli parentage! Over to the women’s championship and can new mum Serena add to her seven Wimbledon crowns? Emphatically no, and she is another legend that needs to be opposed. Her current price is 5/1 and that’s based on her reputation and her love of the grass but this year my two against the field are sLoAne sTephens, freely available
at 16/1 and world number one sIMonA hALep at 14/1.
The red clay of Roland Garros might not seem an ideal preparation for Wimbledon but they are both peaking at the right time and in an open women’s draw they represent value. Let’s move to Silverstone and Lewis Hamilton. So often he has delivered at his home Grand Prix and he will no doubt be favourite to do so again. But this year both his demeanour and, more importantly, the normally uberreliable Mercedes engine is not playing to the script.
A resurgent Ferrari, a resurgent Vettel and the two Red Bulls of MAx VersTAppen and Daniel Ricardo are all snipping at his heels. My personal fancy is the young Dutchman and you are likely to get odds when betting opens of at least 6/1 but again my nap is in laying Lewis. And what of the Open Championship at Carnoustie? Who is favourite? None other than world number six, Rory McIlroy at around 12/1.
Personally his form over the last two years has been erratic at best and I would strongly advise backing him to miss the cut, or not reach top 30 finish where juicy odds lie. Next weekend the World Cup reaches its climax and will perennial fancied nation, Germany, still be in the fray? Again, I would oppose them in the semi-final or final and Jochim Löw will not be presiding over a German repeat success, especially as they may not even reach this stage having to play Brazil in the last 16 after their Mexican adventure!
WORLD CUP UPDATE
With one week to go our free World Cup Competition, sponsored by Car ‘n’ Cab Care, is really hotting up. Check the website for your latest position. These are updated after every match. Are you the person who is going to win our first prize of £200? And there’s prizes up to third place.