Nobody bet on Marcus Willis reaching the Wimbledon second-round, but now he’s about to face Roger Federer. Can he win?
Even if you bet on sports in the UK, you probably weren’t familiar to Marcus Willis till yesterday. Up until this week British number 23 had only earned winnings of £220. With a World ranking of 775, he arrived at a pre-qualifying event as the lowest-ranked and final entrant. His victory in this event won him a wildcard for the actual qualification, and he unexpectedly made it through that too. He earned a first round match-up with Ricardas Berankis, ranked 54th in the world: he beat him in straight sets. This has guaranteed him prize money of at least £50,000 and, more significantly, a match against Roger Federer.
Nobody bet on Marcus Willis to make it here
Until February the 25 year-old Englishman had been considering quitting tennis to coach in the United States. However, he met a new girlfriend who convinced him to give it one last shot. He’d only played one tournament in 2016 – a low level competition in Tunisia – but he managed to squeeze into Wimbledon pre-qualifying thanks to his nationality. His previous career-best result was reaching the third round at a minor tournament in Texas, where spectators mocked him for his lack of shape.
Should you bet on Marcus Willis to beat Roger Federer?
Online sportsbook have Willis as a massive outsider. If you want to bet on Marcus Willis to win, Bet365 have odds of 33/1. At BetVictor, Federer is only 1/ 1000 to win a set. However, if you were ever going to be on Federer to lose, now is the time. He’s had an injury blighted season, and way well find it strange to find the Wimbledon crowd against him.
Even against Murray last year, the Swiss legend found the crowd often on his side. However, it’s unlike that the home crowd will resist cheering for what the British number 1 calls a “really cool story”. He noted how Willis’ style is quite unconventional, a factor which could Federer. He certainly won’t have seen him play much before. Murray noted that Willis “serves-and volleys a little bit. He’s got really good touch, good volleys, puts lots of slice on his slice backhand, quite a spinny forehand. He’s quite an unusual player”. Could this unusual style surprise lead to a shock win? It’s unlikely, but if Federer isn’t in the best shape Willis might have a chance!