Would you bet on someone ranked 1,204th in the world to win the women’s singles crown at Wimbledon? Never, right? But what if that player was Serena Williams?
When Williams won the 2017 Australian Open, it marked her 23rd career Grand Slam title – passing Steffi Graf for most Grand Slam titles in the Open Era. One more major victory would tie the all-time mark held by Margaret Court. What seemed a fait accompli at the time now feels like a long shot. Pregnancy, upsets and injuries have held Williams back. She reached the finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 and 2019 but lost all four matches. After being forced to withdraw with an injury in the first round at Wimbledon last year, she hadn’t played until winning a doubles match on grass just this week. Earlier this month, Williams announced she would play at Wimbledon this year, and the All England Lawn Club granted her a wild-card invite.
Three months shy of her 41st birthday, this could be Williams’s last chance to win her 24th major. She’s currently at +1500 at SI Sportsbook to win Wimbledon, which begins June 27.
Perhaps the question shouldn’t be, “Would you bet on Serena Williams to win Wimbledon?” but rather, “Would you bet on anyone other than Iga Swiatek to win Wimbledon?”
After all, the world’s No. 1 player just captured her second French Open title and has won 35 straight matches. The 21-year-old from Poland is the prohibitive favorite entering the fortnight, listed at +150 at SI Sportsbook. Perhaps the only reason Swiatek doesn’t have even lower odds is that she’s never advanced past the fourth round as a pro at the All England Club.
Does that open the door for Williams or another contender?
Odds to Win 2022 Wimbledon Women’s Singles Title
Williams’s Hall of Fame career and popularity have probably skewed her odds – she likely should be more of a long shot, and it’s hard to think she’ll get close to the finals. It’s certainly not much fun to bet on Swiatek at her odds. So let’s look at a few more intriguing options:
She’s not the highest-ranked American in women’s tennis, but Coco Gauff has already blossomed into the face of American tennis – men’s or women’s – at age 18. She just reached a Grand Slam final for the first time, losing to Swiatek in straight sets at the French Open, and she’s already enjoyed success at the All England Club. In 2019, Gauff became the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon and then upset five-time champ Venus Williams, on her way to a fourth-round appearance. She reached the fourth round again last year.
Honestly, this might not be a smart bet, but it’s good if you like a good story. The 19-year-old has struggled of late and is nursing a leg injury that has forced her to retire in her last two tournaments. Still, Raducanu has a championship pedigree, having won last year’s US Open, and the Wimbledon crowd loves a local. After reaching the fourth round in her first Wimbledon main draw last year, Raducanu was forced to retire in what was a panic attack. She returns to the All England Club, aiming to become the first British woman to win Wimbledon since Virginia Wade in 1977.
Beatriz Haddad Maia
Speaking of long Wimbledon droughts, it’s been 58 years since a Brazilian player has won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon. It just so happens that one of the hottest players on tour right now is Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia. The 26-year-old left-hander has a 12-match winning streak and has won back-to-back tournaments on grass. Thanks to that success, Haddad Maia has earned a career-high ranking of No. 26 and is seeded at a slam for the first time. Though she has never reached the third round of a major, Haddad Maia’s hot streak makes her a tempting pick at +3700.
Look, any bet against Swiatek at this point is a fool’s errand, so we might as well swing for the fences. No reason not to take a shot with Haddad Maia while she’s surging and still offers a big number.
BET: Beatriz Haddad Maia +3900