It's a sentence that could have been written before any Wimbledon of the last six years: Roger Federer and Serena Williams are the favorites to win the year's annual grass court major.
British oddsmakers installed Federer and Williams, who have a combined 10 titles between them, as the favorites to win their respective draws in lines set before the tournament began Monday afternoon in England. Defending champion Rafael Nadal was installed as the early favorite before the odds shifted slightly to Federer's favor over the weekend.
Granted, 4/1 isn't steep by any means; but Novak Djokovic has lost one match -- one -- all year and we're almost halfway to Christmas. Yet there he is, getting worse odds than two players he's 9-1 against this season and barely better odds than a guy who might actually wilt like a flower if he had to play on Centre Court in the Wimbledon final. Also interesting that Tsonga is getting better odds than finalists from the last two years, Roddick and Berdych.
What would it have taken for Serena to not be favored at Wimbledon? Would she still have been getting the best odds to win if she wore a dress that pinned her left arm to her side? Dressed as a pirate and played with a hook and an eyepatch? Entered the men's draw? She's played two matches in the past 351 days! (That being said, I picked her too.)
It says something about the state of women's tennis that the two highest-ranked players in the draw, Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonareva, are getting the sixth- and eighth-best odds, respectively. I don't know what it says -- the rankings system undervalues Grand Slams? -- but it says something.