Rain a good bet to close out Wimbledon (Wimbledon Diary)

July 5th, 2008 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Roger Federer
London, July 5 (DPA) The ominous weather picture for Wimbledon finals weekend has led British bookmakers to bet on a couple of rainy days. The forecasts have warned for a dicey Saturday and an even worse Sunday for the high-profile final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The betting house Ladbroke’s offered 6-4 odds that Sunday at Wimbledon would be a total wash-out.

“An awful weather forecast for the championship climax has prompted gloomy punters to put their money on a last-day deluge,” said the betting house.

The odds are the shortest ever in Wimbledon’s colourful betting history of absolutely no play on the concluding day at the All England club.

The change has come after a relatively bright fortnight, with the first, brief rain interruption occurring on the first Friday with another few during the second week.

Meanwhile, the bookmakers are willing on Roger Federer to a sixth straight title in hopes of avoiding a financial soaking.

The Swiss is quoted as an 8-11 favourite to win the title, but should Nadal come through, the gambling houses will rue their losses.

One optimistic punter laid $60,000 on the world number two prior to his semi-final win over Rainer Schuettler.

“An Armada of fans have backed Nadal. We’ll be well and truly scuttled if the Spaniard claims his maiden Wimbledon title,” said the company.

“Nadal is the worst result in our book and would cap a nightmare seven days for the bookies at the hands of Spanish sportsmen (after Spain’s Euro 2008 title).

“We’re in the very rare position of needing a Federer Wimbledon win.”

Nadal’s odds have risen with his every winning match, after the Spaniard started 2008 as long as 7-1.

Fear factor forces father Williams to take flight

London: Tennis dad Richard Williams took his leave of the All England club with a day to spare before daughters Venus and Serena met in their third Wimbledon sibling showdown final.

Williams and his girlfriend cleared out of town and headed back to Florida due to the father’s fear of watching his children perform against each other on the big stage.

“He went home,” confirmed five-times champion Venus. “He always tries to give us the best of advice, so I’m sure he said something to Serena, I guess. She didn’t tell me, but basically he’s (our) coach all the way through.”

Added Serena: “He said he did his job and his job was done, so I guess he’s feeling good. No matter what happens he’s for sure going to be a winner.”

Williams announced this week that he would not watch the final, saying he didn’t relish seeing his children “fight.”

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