First-time finalist Nick Kyrgios, who advanced after Rafael Nadal withdrew from the semifinal, will look to upset six-time champion Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final on Sunday.
Wimbledon betting odds had Djokovic as the +100 favorite before the start of Wimbledon. Now, he’s the heavy -455 favorite going into the final against Kyrgios, whose +350 underdog status demonstrates his first-time final status.
According to Wimbledon odds, Kyrgios started the tournament at +3300.
Djokovic’s outrageously short odds to start the tournament were a clear indication of a conspicuously weaker draw.
Cameron Norrie, whom Djokovic knocked off in the semifinal (2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4), was the highest-ranked player (world No. 12) standing between the Serb and yet another Wimbledon crown.
While Norrie was Djokovic’s highest-ranked opponent, Jannik Sinner, the world No. 13, proved the Serb’s stiffest challenge. Sinner took Djokovic to a fifth and deciding set after winning the first two.
Otherwise, as expected, Djokovic cruised to the final without being forced to play at his vintage best.
Kyrgios also benefited most from a comparatively meek draw.
Aside from an early first-round scare against the 219th-ranked Paul Jubb and a third-round controversial battle against fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, Kyrgios has barely accelerated out of first gear.
Other than Tsitsipas, Kyrgios faced just one seeded player, 31st-ranked Filip Krajinovic, who he beat in straight sets. The mercurial Aussie also benefited from the massive reprieve of not facing Nadal in the semifinal.
Wimbledon Odds: Novak Djokovic (-455) vs. Nick Kyrgios (+350)
Djokovic is a win away from securing his fourth successive and seventh Wimbledon crown, putting him just one behind Roger Federer’s all-time record at the All England Club.
It would also mark his 21st Grand Slam victory. Nadal leads the all-time race with 22.
Djokovic started the current tournament somewhat sluggishly, conceding a set to 81st-ranked Soon-woo Kwon in the opening round. It took the defending champion almost five matches to showcase some of his best tennis.
⭐ The tweener-volley combo ⭐
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 8, 2022
Going down two sets to Sinner in the quarterfinal triggered his emergency response system, devastating news for anyone standing on the opposite side of the net.
After tossing away the first set to Norrie, Djokovic played some of the best tennis he’s managed all year. And that should concern Kyrgios, who enjoyed an additional two days off after Nadal pulled out of the semifinal due to a minor abdominal muscle tear.
Kyrgios will be scouring to source a weakness he can exploit in Djokovic’s game. The Djoker has dropped the first set in two successive matches, something Kyrgios will need to capitalize on if he has any chance of pulling off the behemoth upset.
Kyrgios will rely on his missile-like serve to bridge the overall skill and aptitude disparity. The Australian, ranked 40th in the world, has the most aces (120) and best first-serve percentage (70) on the men’s side of the draw.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 6, 2022
The controversial Aussie will also assuredly be more well-rested.
However, Djokovic, even at 35 years of age, is one of the most physically fit on tour. Yes, he’s had his fair share of recent injuries, but he appears to be in top physical condition, unfazed by two weeks and just over 15 hours of on-court action.
Kyrgios, somewhat surprisingly, has won both head-to-head matches. They’ve never played against each other at a major and haven’t battled since 2017.
Djokovic will focus on getting Kyrgios moving laterally in the backcourt as much as possible while forcing the lanky 27-year-old to play significantly more than he’d like to on his weaker forehand.
Even Kyrgios’ staggeringly effective serve won’t be enough to prevent Djokovic from winning his 27th in a row on the lawns of Wimbledon.
Look for the six-time champion to take no prisoners and beat Kyrgios in four sets to pick up his seventh Wimbledon crown.
Pick: Djokovic (-455), Four Set Victory (+250)
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