WIMBLEDON, England — Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Michael Stich and Jim Courier--deemed the most likely to succeed--kick off Wimbledon today as the oddsmakers' choices to win the 106th edition of the world's most famous tennis tournament.
Edberg, whose 5-2 odds established by Ladbrokes are the best in the men's field, faces Steve Bryan of Katy, Tex. The No. 2-seeded Swede may benefit from a favorable draw that looks fairly simple until a potential quarterfinal matchup with either Goran Ivanisevic or Ivan Lendl.
Becker, Stich and Courier are lumped together at 5-1 and all begin play today. Three-time Wimbledon champion Becker plays Omar Camporese of Italy on Centre Court, which follows Lendl's opening match against Patrick Kuhnen of Germany.
Defending champion and No. 3-seeded Stich begins play on Centre Court against Stefano Pescosolido of Italy. Top-seeded Courier, the Australian Open and French Open champion, opens against Markus Zoecke of Germany.
Jimmy Connors, the last Wimbledon champion to play from the backcourt as Courier does, plays Mexico's Luis Herrera. Connors won Wimbledon twice, in 1974 and 1982.
On the women's side, No. 1-seeded Monica Seles opens against Jenny Byrne of England. Seles and defending champion Steffi Graf have been made 13-8 picks to win the title. Three-time Wimbledon champion Graf is scheduled to play her first match Tuesday against Noelle van Lottum, a 19-year-old Dutch-born French woman who has never played a match at Wimbledon.