By Lee Dover
This year all of the matches at Wimbledon will be streamed live on PPtv for Ireland and UK customers.
It is almost time to get the strawberries and cream at the ready, and have that lovely bottle of Pimms on ice.
Yes, all of these items in one place mean only one thing to any sports fan – SW19 is swinging open its gates once more and Wimbledon is here again.
One of the most anticipated events on the tennis calendar, this year’s tournament already has the potential to be the most exciting competition that London has had to offer for some time – the build-up to the Olympic Games will have to take a back seat for now.
British tennis fans who are hoping for some homegrown glory at the Wimbledon Championships may want to look away now though.
The world number four Andy Murray faces the prospect of a semi-final match against two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal – who is a tasty 9/4 with Paddy Power to make it three wins at SW19 in 2012.
However, his path to get that far begins against Russian warrior Nikolay Davydenko in the first round, before possible pitfalls against Ivo Karlovic, Marcos Baghdatis, Marin Cilic and David Ferrer as Wimbledon progresses.
Not many tennis players will want to jump into Murray’s sturdy boots with that turbulent road ahead of him.
However, fans who think the Scot can overcome the odds and finally lay claim to his first Grand Slam victory can get 10/1 with Paddy Power for their optimism.
Don’t just take our word for it – even Novak Djokovic is giving his backing to Murray.
“Andy’s chances are always strong. Maybe the media is too hard on him for not winning a Grand Slam, but he’s a quality player,” the world number one stated. “He’s an all-round player who can play on all different types of surfaces.”
Nice comments from the reigning Wimbledon champion, but could there be a touch of mind games in his words?
The Serb is currently the 13/8 favourite to be successful at SW19 once more, beginning with his first-round tie against former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero. With US Open and Australian Open victories in the bag over the past 12 months, who can argue with those prices?
Step forward one Roger Federer – a six-time Wimbledon champion who is racing towards a seventh title at the venue this year. Only Pete Sampras has reached these heights in tennis folklore.
Former British number one Tim Henman has seen first-hand how skilful Federer is on the court and is backing the Swiss maestro to make history at SW19 this year and scoop his 17th Grand Slam title.
He explained: “I actually think that Roger’s best level now is higher than it was when he was winning everything in sight; it’s just that everyone else has improved too.”
If you are confident of Federer’s chances at Wimbledon, why not put your money where your mouth is and take odds of 9/2 for the Swiss ace to barrel roll his way through every competitor laid out in front of him?