June and July are the best months to be a tennis betting fan. The two glorious weeks of the French Open are barely over when Wimbledon, the world’s greatest tennis tournament, gets underway. Tennis is never better than during a Grand Slam tournament, and Wimbledon, which starts on Monday, promises to be a great tournament. The top storylines are obvious on both sides – it’s the Nadal-Federer show as always for the men, and the Williams sisters are the biggest story among the women. What’s more interesting to look at, though, are the players that aren’t quite in the public consciousness to the same extent who might be poised to make a breakthrough and do some damage. The French Open gave us a great reminder of the importance of looking beyond the headlines in the big tournaments – neither women’s winner Francesca Schiavone nor runner-up Samantha Stosur were anywhere close to obvious. Here’s a look at three men and three women who are worth a look (odds, when available, are from Bodog):
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It continues to amaze me just how bad the American tennis players are on clay. The latest disaster came today in the French Open when James Blake was beaten in straight sets by a 22 year old Argentinian qualifier making his grand slam debut. Mardy Fish is out as well after a first round setback to another Argentinian. The Americans have three players ranked in the top 22, and only Andy Roddick survived to the second round. It’s pathetic, really. Roddick has played in seven French Opens. He has lost in the first round four times, the second round twice, and once more in the third. This was Blake’s seventh Open. He has two first round departures, four more in the second, and one in the third. Fish has only made it as far as the second round once in four tries. That’s 18 tries combined without so much as a round of 16 to show for the effort. Over the same period the players have a grand slam win, five semifinal appearances, and 12 more quarterfinal showings in the other three slams. It’s pretty clear what the problem is – clay.
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