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Davis Cup Britain vs France Day 1

The first day of Britain's Davis Cup quarter final tie against France sees two of the UK's highest ranked players taking on two of the best France has to offer in two singles matches.

It's a big tie for more than just the obvious reasons - a quarter final is impressive, but if Britain can triumph at Queen's Club this weekend they will reach the semi finals for the first time since 1981. The semi final would be another home tie, and it would be against Australia or Kazakhstan, both tempting opponents.

Overcoming France is no mean feat, however. They were finalists in last year's competition, and they boast one of the strongest lineups of any side. Gilles Simon, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Richard Gasquet are ranked 11th, 12th, and 13th in the world respectively, and Nicolas Mahut is ranked 22nd in doubles.

Set that against British number 1 and world number 3 Andy Murray, world number 89 James Ward, and Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot for the doubles, who are ranked 20th and 40th in that category. There's no doubt the squad has quality, but the average level of competitiveness on paper doesn't match that of the French.

Tomorrow's matches see James Ward take on Gilles Simon, while Andy Murray faces Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Murray is reliably on form, but we think James Ward may prove to be the surprise package of the day.

Ward has been steadily improving all year - his progress to the third round of Wimbledon was fully earned, and he has broken into the top 100 rankings as a result. He's well on course to become Britain's second highest rated player, and let's not forget that his superb five sets victory over John Isner that helped win the previous round against the USA.

Gilles Simon is a formidable opponent and there's no doubt Ward is the underdog, but we think he's worth a longer odds punt at 5/1 over at StanJames.

Andy Murray should be well placed to take victory also. Tsonga is ranked highly enough to be a difficult opponent, but Murray leads their meetings by 10 wins to 2, and we think he's going to add number eleven on Friday evening. The best place to back him is at BoyleSports, who are offering a remarkably short yet still market leading 1/5.

Finally, for a slightly longer odds selection on Murray, we're tempted to pick up Murray to win in straight sets. When it came to Wimbledon he was a force to be reckoned with until he came up against Roger Federer, and losing to Federer is no shame whatsoever. We're betting he'll carry that form back over to Queen's, where he won just before the Wimbledon tournament began. The best place to back him to win by three sets to love is at 888Sport, who are offering a decent 11/10.

Wimbledon 2015 Men's Singles Final

The tennis headlines are all about two things at the moment. The first, of course, is Serena Williams' magnificent achievement at Wimbledon today. By winning yet another title she completed the Serena Slam for the second time, and if she defends her US Open title later this year she will become only the second female tennis player ever to hold all four Grand Slam titles in one year, equalling Steffi Graf's 1988 record as well as equalling her all-time record of 22 Grand Slam titles.

That's a story for another day, though. Because the other thing concerning tennis writers right now is the Men's Singles Final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, taking place tomorrow afternoon and no doubt drawing a packed audience of ticket holders and television viewers.

It will undoubtedly be a sight to behold. The world's two best male tennis players going head to head, just as they did last year, to try and add another title to their collection. For Roger Federer in particular, it could be a very special day indeed.

He currently shares the record for the number of Wimbledon titles with Pete Sampras, both players having won seven. Another title would give him the record outright, as well as making him the oldest male Wimbledon winner in the Open era and near enough confirming him as the greatest male tennis player of all time.

Given his form so far this tournament he has every chance of pulling it off. His serving has been extraordinary, so good in fact that Andy Murray even managed to get 73% of his own first serves in and still lost the semi final in straight sets. For all that he's not getting younger, Federer has arguably never been better, and the best place to back him is at ToteSport, who are offering odds of 11/10.

That said, Djokovic is no pushover. Along with Nadal and Federer, Djokovic has dominated tennis in this century, and his route to the final was no less convincing than Federer's. He triumphed against the Swiss here last year and we see no reason why he couldn't do it again. The best place to back him is at Coral, who are giving a reasonably decent 5/6.

All in all though, our feeling is that Federer is playing better than this time last year. Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are the two best returners of serve in the game, and Federer has already brushed one of them aside without looking troubled.

A straight sets victory over Djokovic seems unlikely, but Federer has only dropped one set since the tournament began. If you want to back it you can get a three sets to love victory for Federer at a market leading 27/5 at 888Sport. However, we fancy Federer to win by three sets to one, and the best place to back that is at BoyleSports, who are offering an appealing 9/2.

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