Wimbledon 2019 betting tips: Preview & best bets for women's singles final between Serena Williams and Simona Halep on Saturday

Can Serena Williams win her 24th Grand Slam title?
Can Serena Williams win her 24th Grand Slam title?

It's the women's singles final at Wimbledon on Saturday and tennis expert Scott Ferguson has two best bets.

Recommended bets

1pt First Set Games Total Under 9.5 games at 8/11

0.5pt Set Exacta - Serena Williams WLW at 13/2

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Serena Williams v Simona Halep

Serena Williams will meet Simona Halep in the Wimbledon final
Serena Williams will meet Simona Halep in the Wimbledon final

The rankings might denote this as numbers seven and ten in the world in the final but it is so much more than that.

Both women have been the number one player in the world with over a year at the top. Both women have won Grand Slam singles titles - but the gap is considerable. It's 64 weeks and one major to Simona Halep against an incredible 319 weeks and 23 major titles for Serena Williams.

The magic number for Serena is 24, the last challenge ahead of her, to equal and then surpass the major singles title record of Margaret Court.

Title-less since January 2017, when she won the Australian Open and soon after announced she was pregnant, Serena went close in two finals last year, beaten here by Angelique Kerber and in New York by Naomi Osaka after that infamous coaching violation.

After coming into this tournament rusty, she is peaking at the right time. In recent rounds, she has faced the ball-bashing of Julia Goerges, the heavy topspin without weapons of Carla Suarez Navarro, and then the crafty grasscourt play of Alison Riske and Barbora Strycova. And in each round she has stepped forward, fine tuning her game back to the imperious Serena we have seen since she first won the title here in 2002. Consider this stat - her winners to unforced errors ratio progressing through the rounds: 1.17, 0.96, 1.27, 1.11, 1.81, 2.8. In that form, she is mighty hard to overcome.

Simona Halep is starting to like the grass this year. In her first Wimbledon final, she has beaten a higher level of opponent through the rounds as I'd detailed in the semi-final preview, but then destroyed Elena Svitolina, winning more than half her return points on both first and second ball. That particular task becomes much harder though with an extra 10mph on the first serve and 20mph on the second, compared to the Ukrainian.

Halep's ability to continually run balls down is better suited to clay and hardcourt where the ball sits up and allows her that time. While the Wimbledon grass these days is not fast, it's not particularly bouncy making it that much harder to reach the rapid groundstrokes from Williams when she winds up.

The head to head stands at 9-1 to Serena, with Halep's only triumph coming in the group stages of the WTA Championships of 2014 (6-0 6-2). And that result was such a shock, when they met again in that final, Serena unleashed and won 6-3 6-0.

Since then they have clashed five times. Three of them went to a third set, and every time, Serena won the first set comfortably, took her foot off the pedal slightly allowing Halep to bring it back to a set apiece, and then claimed victory in a tighter final set. In set exacta terms, a Sky Bet market, that's Serena WLW.

Only once in ten clashes has Halep ever taken the first set, in their first meeting at Wimbledon in 2011. Serena knows she has to start fast and get in front early, more so than against opponents with fewer weapons.

I'm not one for taking prices as short as 8/15, but if that fits your risk profile, go for it. It should be closer to 2/5.

Best bets

1pt First Set Games Total Under 9.5 games at 8/11

0.5pt Set Exacta - Serena Williams WLW at 13/2

Click here for Williams v Halep stats guide

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