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Wimbledon 2022 First Round Odds Preview: The Top Eight Men's and Women's Matches of the First Round

Tennis expert Mike Spector previews the top four First Round matches from both the Men's and Women's Draw at Wimbledon that begins on Monday.
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Wimbledon 2022 First Round Odds Preview: The Top Eight Men's and Women's Matches of the First Round

The Men’s and Women’s Draws at Wimbledon this year are somewhat weakened because no players from Russia or Belarus were allowed to compete due to the ongoing war in the Ukraine. In addition, two of the biggest names on each side will be absent, as eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka will miss Wimbledon this year due to injury. 

However, these absences do not take away the excitement for tennis’s most prestigious Grand Slam event. There is plenty to be excited about with Serena Williams’ return from a one-year absence and Rafael Nadal’s pursuit of a calendar Grand Slam.

In this article, we take a look at the eight most exciting First Round matches, from a competitiveness and storyline standpoint, in the Men’s and Women’s Draws at Wimbledon 2022.

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Jannik Sinner (-320) vs. Stan Wawrinka (+250)

Of the top ten men’s seeds, No. 10 seed Jannik Sinner drew the most formidable first-round opponent in Stan Wawrinka, who was ranked No. 3 in the world at one point. Wawrinka has three Grand Slam titles to his name and made back-to-back quarterfinal appearances at Wimbledon in 2014 and 2015.

Rafael Nadal (-5000) vs. Francisco Cerundolo (+1400)

This match makes the list not because there is a great chance of an upset but because we get to see what kind of form Nadal is in as he attempts to become the third Men’s player (and first since 1969) to win the calendar Grand Slam. Nadal also comes into Wimbledon admittedly banged up, so bettors would be wise to monitor how Nadal is moving physically to gauge how deep of a Wimbledon run he can make.

Hubert Hurkacz (-500) vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (+370)

Fokina has won the first set in his last six first-round Grand Slam matches and will be no pushover in this one. Hurkacz is trying to get back to the semifinals at Wimbledon for the second straight year. Still, Fokina played very well in the grass-court season, even reaching the finals at Monte Carlo and defeating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic along the way.

Andy Murray (-575) vs. James Duckworth (+400)

Anytime Andy Murray takes the court in front of his native fans at the All England Club, it is must-watch television. Murray has played in just two Wimbledons since his win in 2016, reaching the quarterfinals in 2017 and the third round last year. Murray is a shell of the player he was in 2016 and has been dealing with an abdominal injury entering this tournament, but this will have one of the most electric atmospheres of any First Round Men’s matches.

Emma Raducanu (+140) vs. Alison van Utyvanck (-170)

For the same reasons we are excited about Andy Murray’s match, we are also excited to watch fellow Brit Emma Raducanu. The biggest difference is that Raducanu could be poised for a deep run as the No. 10 seed but also must get past an injury of her own. Her opponent, van Utyvanck will prove a tough test as the 46th-ranked woman in the world. Raducanu is the highest-seeded women’s player that is an underdog in her first match.

Serena Williams (-360) vs. Harmony Tan (+280)

It will be fascinating to see Serena Williams play singles for the first time in a year at the same event she hurt herself at last year. Williams should not be considered too much in danger of an upset despite her long layoff, but it will still be interesting to see how much rust she has to kick off and if she can be an actual factor at Wimbledon. 

Sloane Stephens (-130) vs. Qinwen Zheng (+110)

Zheng was the only woman to take a set from world No. 1 Iga Swiatek at the French Open. Stephens is coming off a surprising upset in her first match at the hands of Katie Swan at the Homburg Open, so the American is on upset alert here. From a prop bet perspective, Stephens has failed to cover the game spread in seven of her last eight WTA first-round matches.

Simona Halep (-340) vs. Karolina Muchova (+260)

Of all the top female contenders at Wimbledon, No. 16 seed Halep drew arguably the toughest first-round opponent in Karolina Muchova, a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist. However, the winner of that match has open sights ahead of them for the next couple of matches before the daunting task of either beating Paula Badosa, Karolina Pliskova, and/or Coco Gauff awaits. Halep is 23-1 in her last 24 WTA First Round matches, but Muchova will be no pushover.

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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