7 min read
Wimbledon began on Monday with the infamous London rain putting a dampener on outside court action. Inside the covered stadiums, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka dismissed Monica Niculescu on No. 1 Court 6-1, 6-4 for the first completed match at the All England Club in 700 days, while Novak Djokovic overcame an early challenge from British wild card Jack Draper 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 on Centre Court.
Universal Tennis INSIGHTS, a new predictions analysis tool launched earlier this season, has helped set the stage with a simulation giving the winning probability in percentages for who has the best chance of taking home the title. The simulation runs regularly, and percentages are calculated based on UTR Ratings, draws, and influencing factors.
Both Djokovic (37%) and Sabalenka (11%) are top-seeded favorites this year, but others stand a chance at making a big splash at the All England Club.
Players to Watch With INSIGHTS Title-Winning Odds
No. 13 Elise Mertens - 5%
No. 14 Barbora Krejcikova - 4%
No. 19 Karolina Muchova - 2%
No. 7 Matteo Berrettini - 7%
No. 29 Cameron Norrie - 2%
Frances Tiafoe - <1%
The percentages may seem low, but to put it into perspective, ahead of Wimbledon's start, only six men and eight women had higher than 2% odds of winning Wimbledon this year.
The Men's Players to Watch
Frances Tiafoe (UTR Rating 15.14*) pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset on the very first day by taking out No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. The 23-year-old American came into Wimbledon with some grass-court confidence after winning an ATP Challenger in Nottingham and reaching the quarterfinals of Queen’s Club. Tsitsipas didn’t play a single grass-court match since losing the Roland Garros final to Djokovic.
“Definitely one of my best
Matteo Berrettini (UTR Rating 15.62) is seeded No. 7, but following the Top 4 seeds, he has the highest probability of winning his first major at 5%. The Italian just picked up his second title of 2021 at Queen’s Club and reached the quarterfinals of Roland Garros. Berrettini’s odds of making the quarterfinals for his best Wimbledon run yet is 38%, and he’s in the bottom half of the draw in the same quarter as No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev.
Then there’s Cameron Norrie (UTR Rating 15.50), who is one of five men not named Djokovic with greater than 1% odds of winning it all, according to INSIGHTS. A finalist three times this year (Queen’s Club, Lyon, and Estoril) the 25-year-old Brit has been playing the best tennis of his career by shaking up opponents with his variety, slice, and net-rushing tactics. He could face an uncertain Federer in the third round. Though winning Wimbledon is a stretch, INSIGHTS gives Norrie a 40% chance of reaching the fourth round, which would be his best Grand Slam performance yet.
The Women's Players to Watch
Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova (UTR Rating 12.98) came out of nowhere to win her first Grand Slam title last month and deserves plenty of attention at the All England Club. The 25-year-old Czech was previously best known for her excellent doubles game (she won the Roland Garros doubles crown too, with Katerina Siniakova). She’s in the same quarter as top seed Ashleigh Barty (INSIGHTS has Barty as the tournament-winning favorite with 24%). A quarterfinal run would be quite the achievement for Krejcikova as this is her Wimbledon debut.
“A lot of things were different,” Krejcikova said in press of life after winning in Paris. “A lot of people wanted to see me, talk to me,
Seeded No. 13, Elise Mertens (UTR Rating 12.97) has a 5% predicted chance of capturing her first Grand Slam title. Despite losing both of her Wimbledon warm-up event openers, the Belgian has a whopping 68% chance of reaching the fourth round and a 45% chance of appearing in the quarterfinals. Her odds are boosted by being in the same quarter as No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin, who she beat in the fourth round of the 2020 US Open.
Another women’s star to keep an eye on is Karolina Muchova (UTR Rating 12.92), a Wimbledon quarterfinalist in 2019. The Czech was a semifinalist at the Australian Open with an upset of Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals. She could potentially face Roland Garros finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round and No. 3 seed Elina Svitolina in the fourth round.
•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS predictions as of 12 p.m. EST, June 28.