Seeds Start Falling at WimbledonPublished June 30, 2008 by OCR Editor
As the fourth round begins, only four of the top 10 seeds remain in the men's singles, while six of the top 10 remain in the women's draw.
The fourth round of Wimbledon begins today in both the men's and women's singles, with some of the biggest names in both draws missing after some major upsets during the first week of the tournament.
On the men's side, first and second seeds Roger Federer (Switzerland), and Rafael Nadal (Spain) remain, but the competition they face comes from players far below them in the world rankings. With six of the top 10 seeds already having made their exit from the tournament, the next highest-ranked players remaining are Frenchman Richard Gasquet (seeded 8), Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis (10) and local boy Andy Murray (12).
Federer and Nadal are now the two runaway favorites to win the tournament. Federer is odds-on to win his sixth consecutive Wimbledon title, quoted at 4/6 by Sportingbet UK. Nadal is 7/4, with third-favorite Murray a staggering 28/1.
The two pre-tournament favorites have already bowed out on the ladies' side of the draw - third-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova losing in the second round to unseeded compatriot Alla Kudryavsteva, while top seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia lost in the third round to China's Jie Zheng.
The Williams sisters lead the betting in the new odds for tournament winner. Seventh seed Venus is 2/1 to favorite, followed by Serena (seeded 6), 11/4, and Serb Jelena Jankovic (seeded 2), 6/1.
UK bookmaker Ladbrokes is continuing its "Strawberries and Cream" specials in addition to the usual head-to-head match betting. The most likely sequence of events to occur under the specials is for Federer, Nadal, Venus and Serena Williams to all win their fourth round matches in straight sets, with Ladbrokes offering odds of 3/1 to successful punters.
Federer takes on 20 th seed and former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt (Australia), Nadal plays 17 th seed Mikhail Youzhny (Russia), Venus Williams is challenged by unseeded Alisa Kleybanova (Russia), while Serena Williams faces unseeded American Bethanie Mattek.
Play begins midday local time.