A BOOKMAKER has taken a £50,000 bet that Andy Murray will win the Wimbledon title for the second time in his career.
The stake, thought to be the largest placed on tennis in Scotland, could return winnings of £175,000 if the British number one emerges from the next fortnight triumphant.
The anonymous punter from Aberdeen accepted the odds being offered by Ladbrokes of 5/2 that Murray will once more be crowned men’s singles champion.
He will make his Wimbledon bow today in a first-round match against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.
A Ladbrokes spokesman said: “Our Murray fan in Aberdeen has given his hero the ultimate vote of confidence with this record-breaking bet.”
It comes as a capacity crowd soaked up the sunshine on the first day of Wimbledon yesterday, with a forecast of even higher temperatures, raising the prospect of play being suspended tomorrow due to the extreme temperatures.
Our Murray fan in Aberdeen has given his hero the ultimate vote of confidenceLadbrokes spokesman
Some 8,000 people packed the courts on the opening day at SW19, with a few die-hard tennis fans queuing for almost 54 hours to secure a seat at Centre Court.
Temperatures reached 29C in London, ensuring a sunkissed day for those who watched stars such as Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams win their first round matches.
But with the Met Office forecast suggesting the mercury could creep up as high as 36.5C tomorrow, there is a chance the women’s second-round ties could be brought to a halt due to extreme temperatures and humidity.
Under Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rules, play can be suspended if temperatures “feel like” 40.1C. Although a match has never been stopped due to heat in Wimbledon’s
138-year history, a spokesman for the All England Club, said: “The WTA rule applies. If the temperature rule combined with humidity is met, the referee would take the decision whether to suspend matches.”
Yesterday, the fine weather attracted vast crowds to Wimbledon, with no signs that the increased security at this year’s event had dissuaded spectators from turning up.
Scotland Yard said changes had been made to policing plans for the event, with the UK’s terror threat level at “severe”, meaning an attack is “highly likely”. Extra officers will be on patrol – including some in plain clothes – and a “highly mobile” reserve unit is ready to respond to “emerging incidents,” the force said.
Security staff searched bags of spectators entering the grounds yesterday, with selfie-sticks among the list of banned items this year.
The queue for tickets reached full capacity by 8:02am, two-and-a-half hours before the gates opened.
First in line was Stella Riley, from Wimbledon, who set up camp outside at 7:30am on Saturday.
The Djokovic fan said: “I’ve been coming nearly every year for the last 30 years.”