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The chips are down: Eoghan O’Dea backs Tsonga

by Josh Powell | June 25, 2012

When he’s not cashing in his chips, Eoghan O’Dea is a huge tennis punter. The 26-year-old is third on the all time money list for Irish Poker players and won over $1.7million on the World Series final table last year.

He writes exclusively for the Paddy Power Blog on this year’s Wimbledon.

Novak Djokovic is the 13/8 favourite this year followed closely by Rafael Nadal at 9/4. Many people have been backing Nadal even with his early exit in the Halle Open straight after Roland Garos.

He played such an aggressive game in the French Open and could easily tear it up at Wimbledon but I’m not so sure.

The surface is very different here and Nadal is in the bottom half of the draw which certainly looks harder.

If it all works out he could face Andy Murray in the semi-finals. They have played the last two years in the semis and once before in the quarters and Nadal hasn’t been beaten. Murray is 11/1 with Paddy Power to lift the trophy.

Not backing Murray in a hurry

Murray’s draw is the toughest anybody faces. He runs into massive servers the whole way through, starting with Ivo Karlovic in the second round, Grigor Dimitrov or Kevin Anderson in the third, the upcoming Canadian sensation Miles Raonic in the fourth and possibly Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarters.

His back is still causing him big problems. He went down first round in Queens where he was defending champion and then lost both his exhibition matches last week. He has been playing some awful tennis of late.

Haas Tommy got enough to beat Federer?

Rafael Nadal looks to run into Tommy Haas in the third round which could be an interesting one and possibly quite a sweat for Rafa. Haas won the Halle Open two weeks ago and took down the great Roger Federer in the final.

Haas played some of the best tennis of his life in that tournament which at 34-years-old is quite impressive. That’s a bit too old to start being a contender for a grand slam title though and he’s a massive 200/1 shot.

I’ve backed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 25-1. He’s in that bottom half of the draw and could bump into Rafa in the quarters but I really like the way he’s been playing this year and he loves the grass.

Another one that could be worth a punt at 40/1 is Milos Raonic who is scheduled to play Murray in the fourth round.

Roger Federer has been playing very well for most of the year but did look a level or two below Djokovic and Nadal on the clay. Federer will play well here and does have an easy draw to his semi’s. He’s 9/2 with Paddy Power which doesn’t seem to be too shabby either.

An English star?

James Ward has a great chance tomorrow against Pablo Andujar at 4/11 with Paddy Power. James plays very well on grass and played some good matches last few weeks. The 25-year-old has got a great chance on home soil and can win his first ever match in Wimbledon.

Andujar ranked 36 in the world has never won a match on a grass court in his life. The Spaniard will have to hope James tightens up a lot on the court.

This year all of the matches at Wimbledon will be streamed live on PPtv for Ireland and UK customers.


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