Oddschecker.com has Roger Federer 6/5, and Nadal at 44/17 (what?!). SportsBetting.com has Fed at even odds, Nadal at 2-1, Nole Djokovic at 3-1, and Andrew Roddick at 15/1. (More odds here.) BetBrain.com has Fed at 6/5; Nadal at 11/4; Djokovic at 5/1.
This week I started a class in broadcasting, and the teacher, from the first day on, talks about “fact” vs. “opinion”. When it comes to picking this year’s Wimbledon winner, no one’s fact is better than the other’s opinion.
For 2008 Wimbledon I’m going with BBC’s Sue Barker: I see it 50-50 between Federer and Nadal — aka “Pick ’em,” as the immortal commentator Jim Courier puts it. Based on all the evidence at hand, you really can’t pick Federer, despite five consecutive Wimbledon wins and his five titles at Halle. And you can’t pick Nadal because there’s Federer. And Djokovic lurking behind the well-manicured planters. Should he and Nadal meet in the semis again, you almost have to give Djokovic even odds. Which would be one explanation why Fed has better odds than Nadal.
But how interesting is all of that, really, when compared with justice? If Nadal manages to add the ultimate grass crown to his resume, he will have avenged last year’s tight loss. And if Fed defends, let’s face it: he’ll reciprocate on the embarrassing loss at Roland Garros. Meanwhile, Nadal still has all the humility in the world for a champion, as we saw at the close of the French. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say Fed beats Nadal while losing only a handful of games. Do you think he would tone down his on-court celebration?
Well all right then. Whether it’s Nadal over Fed, Fed over Nadal, Nadal over Djokovic, or Roddick over Andy Murray, the winner will have earned it. And the guy who wins with the most class is still Nadal.
Michael Shaw writes about tennis and other subjects for the Los Angeles Times and is also an artist. He can be reached at michaelshaw_sar AT yahoo DOT com. Read his previous posts for TSF here.