Andy Murray’s draw to win Olympic gold in the men’s singles is not as bad as it could have been, but preference is for Roger Federer at 13/8 who appears to have a simpler passage to the final.
For once, Murray will not have to contend with a probable major semi final with Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard withdrew because of injury, but instead a meeting with Novak Djokovic looks likely at this stage of proceedings.
Before this, Murray will have to win four matches and up first is a potentially tricky clash with Stanislas Wawrinka.
The pair had a memorable showdown in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2009, which Murray eventually won in five sets, but Wawrinka has triumphed in four of their ten career meetings.
However, the fact that Wawrinka has been below par for much of the season and was dumped out in the first round of Wimbledon by Jurgen Melzer suggests that Murray can collect a first ever Olympic victory.
Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych are other probable opponents ahead of the semi finals for the Wimbledon finalist and he is 5/1 to win the men’s singles at the Olympics.
Djokovic has never played Murray on grass, but he may have the toughest task of the top four seeds in reaching the semi finals after drawing the short straw by getting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his quarter, who is certainly the danger man from lower in the draw.
This means that Federer has largely avoided the big guns in his half, with Spain’s leading hope in the absence of Nadal, David Ferrer, appearing to be his toughest assignment in a possible semi final.
Federer has the added confidence advantage of arriving at the Olympics on the back of a seventh Wimbledon victory and the will to win as he attempts to claim arguably the biggest title still to evade him in the sport.
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