BACKING Britons at Wimbledon has always been a costly business for punters.
Since Fred Perry it has been a barren land for British bets. If you hung your hat on Henman, you’d have been out of pocket. And if you lumped on Lloyd before him, you’d have been similarly skint.
Only when we waded in on Virginia Wade was there any semblance of a profit.
But so far there has been little chance to make a mint out of Andy Murray.
There is, though, a way to make a profit with the Scot at SW19 – well specifically by benefiting from Murray’s misery.
The great Scot is in a catch-22 situation in that he is easily one of the four best players on the tennis circuit – but sadly three of the finest ever to take to the court are ahead of him – and show no signs of stopping.
So no matter how well he plays he invariably has one or other of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer blocking his path from Grand Slam glory.
If you think he can finally triumph on Centre Court two weeks on Sunday he is a best-priced 10-1 with Sportingbet and Bwin while William Hill optimistically have an offer of 66-1 that he wins Wimbledon without losing a set.
You could probably add a nought to that price and it wouldn’t be good value.
But Hill have another market that can make you money out of Murray. You can bet on what stage Murray will be eliminated with the 2-1 on offer for another heartbreaking semi-final defeat looking a rock-solid investment.
As for the winner that looks another straight shoot-out between last year’s champion Djokovic and his recent French Open conqueror Nadal.
It really is the toss of a coin almost on who will win. Djokovic is the best-priced 7-4 favourite with most bookmakers while his Spanish rival 5-2 with Paddy Power.
Djokovic is 8-13 with BetVictor to reach the final with Nadal 5-6 with the same firm.
They both look nailed on to set up another momentous match-up on July 8 – or July 9 if you think rain will stretch the fortnight into a week (a real possibility with all the recent rain at 6-1 with Hills).
Djokovic may just have enough to take the crown for a second successive year but it will be close and it could go to five sets in the final.
Federer comes in at a top offer of 11-2 with BetVictor and BlueSquare, which is probably the biggest price he’s been since he landed the first of his six Wimbledon successes at 7-1 back in 2003.
A year before Federer first triumphed David Nalbandian was beaten in the final by Lleyton Hewitt. The Argentine has hit – and a line judge – the headlines again this week.
He is now 300-1 with BetVictor to win Wimbledon 10 years after his first final appearance.
But it appears he’s better at inflicting pain on old men than hurting the young guns on the circuit these days.