The early rounds are not expected to unduly test the top seeds, but the draw has also put Murray on a collision course with Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios in the last 16, while Roger Federer has been placed in the same half as Djokovic. The Serbian superstar remains a firm favourite to win the tournament, but where can the best value be found in the first round?
How the top seeds start
- Djokovic vs Ward: Djokovic 1/250, Ward 25/1
- Broady vs Murray: Broady 20/1, Murray 1/250
- Federer vs Guido Pella: Federer 1/100, Pella 16/1
Matches to watch
- Samuel Groth vs Kei Nishikori: Groth 7/1, Nishikori 1/16
- Dominic Thiem vs Florian Mayer: Thiem 2/9, Mayer 3/1
- Taylor Fritz vs Stan Wawrinka: Fritz 7/1, Wawrinka 1/16
Djokovic, Murray and Federer will head into their opening matches as overwhelming favourites after being given quite favourable first-round draws, but some of the seeds immediately below them are facing potentially tricky obstacles. Wawrinka is a two-time Grand Slam champion who has the game to win Wimbledon and has been to the quarter-finals at SW19 for the past two years, but rising star Fritz could be a dangerous customer. The young American has a huge serve and took a set off Federer at the recent Mercedes Cup. While he may not quite be ready to take out a player of Wawrinka’s calibre on the big stage, it may be worth a punt on him winning a set or two.
Groth is another player who none of the top seeds would have wanted to be drawn against, but Nishikori finds himself in that unfortunate position. The Japanese fifth seed, who has never been beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon, must find a way of retrieving the monstrous Groth serve, which was clocked at 147mph at one point last year. Again, Nishikori should have too much class to avoid being knocked out, but a tie-break or two is likely and if Groth can pinch the opening set it may be worth a flutter in-play.
No.8 seed Thiem is one of the dark horses for the title, but he couldn’t have been given a much tougher first round than German veteran Florian Mayer. The 32-year-old Mayer is a two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist and warmed up for this year’s event with victory at the prestigious Halle event, where he defeated Thiem in the semi-finals. There will be a lot of interest in Mayer to beat Thiem but it could just work to the Austrian youngster’s advantage that he will now be more accustomed to Mayer’s unusual playing style and a victory for the higher-ranked player in five sets may be the way to go.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Dominic Thiem to beat Florian Mayer 3-2 - 13/2
*Please note, odds may fluctuate in the lead-up to the matches