AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Wimbledon Manic Monday

Manic Monday. No, not the song from The Bangles, but today’s action at what is arguably the height of Wimbledon, where we’ve got the best mix between quality and quantity in the entire Championships.

Most eyes will be on the star 15-year-old Cori Gauff, who will face the toughest challenge of her Wimbledon campaign when she takes on Simona Halep, whilst British Number 1 Johanna Konta will take on Petra Kvitova in another big name clash.

Elsewhere in the women’s draw, Karolina Pliskova faces fellow Czech Karolina Muchova whilst Serena Williams, the seven-time winner, faces the Spainiard Carla Suarez Navarro.

For the men, defending Champion and 8/11 shot with, Novak Djokovic will play Frenchman Ugo Humbert on Court One, and the action today at Centre Court starts with eight-time champion Roger Federer taking on Italian Matteo Berrettini whilst Rafael Nadal plays Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

So there’s plenty to get stuck into, whether from a view of the narrative or with the huge amount of matches to pick from.

Most people had little hope for Petra Kvitova before the Championships started thanks to an arm injury which forced her to miss the Birmingham warm-up, but you wouldn’t know it from her impressive wins against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur (6-4, 6-2), France’s Kristina Mladenovic (7-5 6-2) and Poland’s Magda Linette (6-3 6-2) in the third round.

Today she steps up a gear to take on Johanna Konta, the British number 1 who showed some of her best Wimbeldon form with a 3-6 6-4 6-1 last-32 victory over ninth seed and 2017 US Open heroine Sloane Stephens in the last round.

Kvitova leads the head to head between the two 3-1, so the sixth seed is the right favourite if her arm holds up, but this could be a tight battle between two top 10 seeds and Kvitova to win with over 18.5 games could be the wager.

The market foresees no such problems for 8/11 tournament favourite Novak Djokovic, who has made serene progress through his part of the draw. Djokovic breezed past Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the opening round with a 6-3 7-5 6-3 straight sets victory that saw him serve up 12 aces, and was even more superior against Denis Kudia of America as he beat the American 6-3 6-2 6-2 before seeing off Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in four sets.

Hurkacz managed to give Novak a slight scare and a similar showing for Ugo Humbert would probably see the Frenchman go home happy. Humbert has reached here thanks to high profile shock victories against 16th seed Gael Monfils and 19th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime. That’s a more than decent level of form and he might be able to land a blow or two on Novak, considering that 48th seed Hurkacz took a set. Take the favourite to win with 28 or more games involved.

15-year-old Cori Gauff has been the star of the show so far, but her journey could well end when she faces Simona Halep. Halep, the former World Number 1 and seventh seed for Wimbledon, destroyed Victoria Azarenka 6-1-3-1 in the last 32 and reached the quarter-finals of both Roland Garros and then Eastbourne.

That is a high standard for Gauff to set, and whilst she was tenacious against Polona Hercog, she was 6-3 and 5-2 down in the second set and Halep is unlikely to let such a lead slip this time. She can end the fairytale relatively quickly.

Put Halep and Djokovic with Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, David Goffin and Rafael Nadal for a six fold that returns 1.86 points for every single point staked.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK 5 pts Petra Kvitova To Win and Over 18.5 Games at 11/10 with
BACK 5 pts Simona Halep To Win and Under 21.5 Games at 8/11 with
BACK 5 pts Novak Djokovic To Win and Over 28.5 Games at Evens with
BACK 5 pts Simona Halep, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, David Goffin and Rafael Nadal to win at 1.86 with

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 194.29 points
(excluding Cricket World Cup ante-post)