Murray to return with straight-sets Wimbledon win over Baghdatis
Andy Murray last played successive grass matches that didn't finish in straight sets in 2008
Lukas Rosol’s victory over Rafael Nadal may have given some added confidence to the lesser players on the men’s circuit, but Andy Murray can still be fancied to advance in straight sets to the fourth round of Wimbledon at the expense of Marcos Baghdatis.
There are certainly some reasons that punters will believe that Baghdatis can beat the Brit, with the two leading ones being his extra rest and the fact he won their previous Wimbledon meeting.
Baghdatis did not even need two sets to win his second-round encounter with Grigor Dimitrov withdrawing because of illness, meaning he was on court for far less time than Murray needed to finally grind down the big-serving Ivo Karlovic.
Furthermore, he beat Murray at Wimbledon on their only previous showdown on grass back in 2006, triumphing in straight sets in the fourth round.
It is 6/1 that Baghdatis wins this time and a big 33/1 that he repeats his straight-sets victory.
However, a lot has changed since this meeting six years ago.
Then Baghdatis was positioned at a high of eight in the world ranking and has now slumped to 42, while Murray is firmly established in the top-four of the game.
The head-to-head record between the pair stands at 3-3, but importantly, Murray has won the last two of these and the last was a routine 6-2, 6-2 triumph in Brisbane at the start of this year.
It is 1/10 that Murray beats Baghdatis again, but 4/7 is good value that he progresses with a 3-0 success.
Not since 2008 has Murray been involved in successive matches on grass that have not been settled in straight sets and given that four sets were needed to beat Karlovic, there is a strong likelihood his meeting with Baghdatis will finish 3-0.
Murray’s former coach Miles Maclagan is now on the team of Baghdatis and should therefore be able to inform the Cypriot of some of his weaknesses.
But this has had little impact thus far, with Murray winning both games since this partnership began two years ago.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.