Sean Calvert: How will longer grass swing affect Wimbledon 2015 betting?

Will the extra week on grass in 2015 help the likes of Gulbis?
Will the extra week on grass in 2015 help the likes of Gulbis?

The grass court season has been extended for 2015 and, in the first of a new weekly column here on B.B, tennis correspondent Sean Calvert takes a look at how the change in the calendar could affect the betting for Wimbledon 2015...

"Gulbis' price of 126.0125/1 now might look very big in 11 months' time - especially if he is able to build on that breakthrough at the French in other slams."

Back Gulbis at 126.0125/1

The final flickers of the grass court season, such as it is, died out on Sunday in Newport, USA, but the brief interlude that has been the grass swing is set to become bigger and better in 2015.

Next year the grass swing takes up six weeks of the tennis calendar from weeks 23 to 28 inclusive and it should make a big difference to those looking at Wimbledon 2015.

It's rarely too early to have a look at the prices for upcoming majors and if you're prepared to take the risk of injury/illness scuppering your futures investments there could be some value to be had.

The obvious candidate that could benefit from the extended grass swing is Rafa Nadal, who has done amazingly well to land two Wimbledon crowns with the event coming so close to the French Open up until now.

Once that Wimbledon title dream had been accomplished we've seen the injury prone Spaniard tailor his season to winning the French at the expense of more All England Club crowns, but 2015 might see that change.

Assuming he makes the final in Paris again - and he's a 2.56/4 shot for a 10th French Open currently - Nadal will play the final on June 7, with Wimbledon not starting next year until June 29.

This gives the Spaniard at least three weeks in which to rest then play a warm-up tournament and he now has several to choose from.

Having rather predictably flopped on the quick grass of Halle in his last two appearances at the Gerry Weber Open the event must be very displeased at the return on the mega bucks three-year deal that they gave to Rafa back in 2011.

That has now run out and after one match win in the three years of that deal (he didn't play in 2013) Rafa may find better preparation for the second slam of the year at the new grass event in Stuttgart.

Rafa's uncle, Toni Nadal, has said of the 2015 Mercedes Cup: "The surface is very similar to the courts at Wimbledon, which is an important thing for the players in terms of preparation to the All England Championships. The courts in Halle year were too fast."

The new grass courts at Stuttgart, which will replace the traditional clay there, were opened with an exhibition match between John McEnroe and Michael Stich last week and perhaps that will come too soon after Paris for Rafa, as it's set for the week after.

Perhaps a better choice would be Queen's the week after, with Halle very unlikely now one would think.

The AEGON 250 switches to Nottingham from Eastbourne the week before Wimbledon and in all the extra week could prove the difference, not just for Rafa, but others too.

Ernests Gulbis has been pretty poor on grass thus far and struggled again this year after a long clay campaign, but will that extra week help him to rest, then find his grass shoes for a title tilt? His price of 126.0125/1 now might look very big in 11 months' time - especially if he is able to build on that breakthrough at the French in other slams.

As might Rafa's current price of 7.513/2, while conversely, surely Grigor Dimitrov's odds of around 11.010/1 are too short, as is the price of 41.040/1 about Nick Kyrgios.

Dimitrov is always priced too short anyway, but 11.010/1 offers no value at all, with the Bulgarian yet to really make the breakthrough at slams, although he has improved in 2014.

Marin Cilic, like Dimitrov, is a Queen's winner and took 2014 champion Novak Djokovic to five sets, while Grigor took only the one off the Serb, yet Cilic can be backed at a much bigger 81.080/1 for the Wimbledon crown in 2015.

Rafa's 2014 Wimbledon conqueror Kyrgios is a classic example of layers over reacting to one match, with the Aussie in the thousands to win Wimbledon 2014, yet one win over Nadal and he's a 41.040/1 shot?

The women's tournament odds are just as interesting, with Serena Williams widely perceived to be nearing the end of her career and plenty of up and coming youngsters starting to show their class.

Garbine Muguruza probably won't be 51.050/1 in a year's time and Taylor Townsend could turn out to be a similarly powerful player to Williams, but I'd want bigger than the current 151150/1 about the American.

Belinda Bencic is another hot prospect in the women's game, but she'll need another year or two at least I would have though - as will Townsend in all likelihood, but Madison Keys could be backable at 31.030/1.

The American needs to work on her fitness and movement on grass, but if she does that successfully - and she may do with the extra time in the calendar - Keys has the goods to go all the way, as does Muguruza in the likely post-Serena era.

Recommended Bet - back to lay
Back Gulbis for Wimbledon 2015 at 126.0125/1

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Is there anything you'd like Sean to cover in his new column? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting Sean 

Wimbledon 2014 profit and loss

Staked (based on £10 per bet): £260.00
Return: £348.00
Profit: + £88.00

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